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Old 07-02-2013, 02:47 AM   #106
blacktiger
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Originally Posted by GuiltyParty View Post
I don't have a tracking page just been sending 'ok' messages every couple of days to let the family know we're safe. We're in Kokand Eastern Uzbek crossing into Kyrgyzstan today
OK, That's much better for battery consumption. Stay safe mate.
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:15 AM   #107
sideway5
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Thanks for the great RR and the many outstanding photos. I really wish to go on a trip like this one day, until then I keep my dream alive through your lens and words. Best of luck!
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:26 PM   #108
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Glad you found the tire... before anyone else did
Sucks you had an off.. glad you are both ok! (I never fell on that stretch by the way)
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Old 07-05-2013, 08:16 AM   #109
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I'm in !!

A question... wich are the bags that you use over the sw-motech engine protectors ?
they are the rucksacks that fit an army yoke. they cost £30 for the pair at an army disposal store and they're waterproof
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Old 07-05-2013, 10:26 AM   #110
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Uzbekistan

Our muscles were sore and shoulders were tight and we vowed never to ride roads like the one from Shetpe to Beyneu again sitting down. After a little practice we blitzed the dirt road between Bayneu and the Uzbek border standing the whole way (about 75km) with trucks blaring their horns in approval as we passed.

At the border there was a queue of trucks 200 metres long but we skipped all that and went straight to the front. The process was relatively straighforward (in an eastern europe sense) but we had to wait until 1 o'clock for them to get internet to register the bikes details In Beyneu we met a Russian guy hitchhiking through the 'stans and he acted as translator for us and helped the process along.

Once through the border there are ladies converting dollars or tenge (Kazakh) to Som so we changed a very small amount over because it was unlikely we would be finding an ATM before we needed fuel.

With three quarters of a tank left and 9 litres in the dromaderry bladder we set off. I was expecting the worst, but as 10km's of paved road became 300 we welcomed the break in the 40 degree heat. So flat in every direction you could see the curvature of the earth



When we stopped a car pulled in beside us and asked if we were ok.



It's a long way between fuel stops and lucky we carried spare fuel because as we pulled into the first town in 400km the fuel light came on. It was getting late and we wanted to stop the night and as we got off the bike and shook off the dust we could smell the shishlek on the bbq and thought this is fantastic...only to be told they had no accommodation and no fuel It was 100km to the next town and we wouldn't make it without fuel so we had to perservere and eventually they called a guy to come open up the only petrol bowser in town. No idea what octane it was but it was petrol, and we used what little som we had with us.

Every now and again the desert would stop and there would be lush greenery



I've never seen an islamic cemetery before and was impressed at how ornate it looked.



We rolled into Nukus using our last dregs of petrol from the stove and trolled the streets looking for a bank or hotel and could find neither. After awhile someone that could speak english said that in the Republic of Uzbekistan there are no atm's (cash points) and you must go to a bank.

Next day we went to the bank and they gave us US$ instead of Som - "what do we do with this? We need Som" So he called another guy to come change the USD to Som, but luckily a dutch guy intervened and said to go to the black market where we could get a better exchange rate. The banks were offering 2000 to 1 exchange, the black market was doing 2700 to 1 and the official exchange is 2200 to 1 - go figure. We changed the money from a guy selling washing machines.

Rock Superstar



Glamming up the building with abseiling painters



Petrol is scarce (very scarce) in Western Uzbek and noone in Nukus seemed to know where we could find petrol. Eventually we spotted a guy on a motorbike who took us to his house and filled the tank from a 5l jug. He claimed it was 91 but who knows , it looked clean so what the hell.



And gave us tea





Hurricane proof ceiling



A random plane in the desert



A local stopped on the side of the road then lead us to his local restaurant and for £4 we were stuffed





New gas pipelines going in



Roadworks along the Tajikistan border.



Super highway



Every night you're supposed to register at a hotel or guest house so the government can monitor you but it's just too far between Nukus and Bukhara so we threw caution to the wind and camped in the desert. A big thing about this trip was the camping so we'll worry about the authorities later. There are military check points every couple of hundred k's and they really slow progress. Some you can drive through, some take details and some just want to look at the bike. After awhile they become a nuisance.



The worst the road got, and this was only a very small section of an otherwise good road network in Uzbekistan.



Just before Bukhara we ran into three indian guys on enfields travelling the opposite direction.



One was a 1995 Enfield and between them they were carrying 40kg's of spares.





The queue for petrol



Coming into Bukhara it felt as though the clutch was slipping a little, like it was struggling to engage and take off in 1st gear. I think it's somehow linked to the stalling problem I've been having so as a precaution I've ordered new plates. I can't risk it failing on BAM or Road of Bones.

Bukhara is a pretty city, but feels fake, as though everything has been set up and laid out for us personally. There were very few tourists possibly because of the heat so it was nice to be in a pretty city but without the tourists that normally accompany such a city.











Leaving Bukhara



We decided not to take the road most travelled directly between Bukhara and Samarkand and instead went north in a loop that we were told would take us into the mountains, just to mix it up a bit.

Big signs





Some mountains to break up the flat landscape



We stayed the night in a guesthouse in the mountains













It's not a TKC or K60 so I left it there







Petrol with 80 octane has become the norm and the tiger is running completely fine with it. Mileage has dropped as expected but not significantly.

Just outside Samarkand we were stopped the third time this trip for speeding. Twice in Turkey the coppers just asked where we were from and let us go, and surprisingly the Uzbek copper after realizing we couldn't speak Russian just let us go as well.

Samarkand is also a pretty place, but in my opinion not as nice as Bukhara. More people, but big wide open streets and traffic that flows smoothly.















Pot hole of doom



Samarkand was the first city that the attention Patty received was a little overwhelming for her and for me. In the towns it's in small doses where people would ask for a photo or ask where she's from but in the city all eyes were focussed on her because she must be the only black person in the whole city. She just wanted to walk by unnoticed but once people saw her the whispers would start and some would giggle, others wanted a photo just to be seen with a black person and treated her rudely. The experience was a little upsetting for her and she wanted to end the trip here thinking it would only get worse.

After Samarkand we rode up the corridor between Tajikistan and Kazakhstan going to Kyrgyzstan. This is the only photo the now bloody annoying military / police would let me get, looking in the direction we just came from. The military were more thorough (annoying) in these parts.



Further along and away from military eyes



Sorry officer



As the sun set we pulled into Kokand for our final night in Uzbekistan.



People in these parts were much more friendlier to Patty and it convinced her to stay. This lady made us fresh bread straight from the oven



Take this guy with us to BAM and he can build us a bridge



Next up Kyrgyzstan.
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Old 07-05-2013, 02:40 PM   #111
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omg, thanks for taking the time for the amazing pics and stories.
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Old 07-05-2013, 03:15 PM   #112
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Awesome Trip!

Ride safe...
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Old 07-06-2013, 05:40 AM   #113
littlelionmonster
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Great report! Enjoy the tiger. I just finished up a trip thru northern Canada and had zero issues with her. Not quite as intense as what you're doing though.

Looking forward to the rest of your adventure.
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Old 07-06-2013, 05:55 AM   #114
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Very jealous! A very similar route from Oz to Europe is in the works for me! Have an excellent and safe rest of your trip. Thanks for posting the great pictures.
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Old 07-06-2013, 12:51 PM   #115
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Great pictures, Safe travels!
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:50 PM   #116
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Kyrgyzstan Part 1

Leaving Uzbekistan the border security assed about so it took three and a half hours to exit. A fight almost erupted in the queue. I've found that getting the bike on it's centre stand and taking some tools out as though you own the place generally moves things a long, or making sandwiches and pretending the wait isn't a bother. I'm not the most patient of people, Patty will tell you so.

The Kyrgyzstan side took five minutes and the border guard shook our hands and said "welcome to Kyrgyzstan".

We were on a mission to Bishkek to arrange a visa for Tajikistan because as you probably noticed from the beginning of the report, we haven't planned much and made things up on the fly.

Transmission towers on each of the ripples in the mountain. I think the truck in the centre left is bogged and the blokes are trying to figure out how to get it out.



We camped the night in the hills overlooking Jalal-Abad - I just love saying Jalal-Abad it just rolls off the tongue - Jalal-Abad.



Big ass mountains in the distance



During the night some strong winds kicked up so we were up at the crack of dawn to pack up before we got blown away.



This family searched around our camp site for berries. To me the hills looked barren. We disappeared before they found the 'berries' we left behind



Shishlek sanga for brekkie



We were taking the west road via Karakol. You don't need to leave the main road for some great views.











We explored a little for a camp site





The road was running out so we asked a bee keeper if we can camp and he said it was ok. In the heat we were desperate to camp next to some running water



First a guy on horseback arrived. We thought we were in the middle of nowhere



Second two kids on horseback showed up





Third a guy with two barrels of cherries on horseback arrived



Soon word had spread in town that we were in the hills so on dark just as we thought nobody else would go past two car loads of teenagers turned up for photos.

The next morning when all was peaceful and the only sound was the running lake I contemplated skipping Tajikistan and spending that time in Mongolia doing nothing but fishing and swimming in the lake.

A pit stop for breakfast of biscuits and juice



Past Karakol the scenery changed from dry red mountains to lush green high plains



We stopped for a photo and this guy on horseback wandered over to us and asked us if we wanted a drink, so of course we said yes and followed him down the hill.



He took us to a little teepee thing on the side of the road and gave us what looked like milk, but it was fizzy. I couldn't see any cows around though so asked him where it came from and he pointed at his horse. So fizzy horse milk? dah, dah, harasho (yes, yes, good) Fizz in milk is wrong to begin with but coming from a horse just didn't sit right. It tasted like piss but he gave us two bottles and we accepted them so we didn't offend him



We pushed on with the bad taste in our mouth.









This stretch of road is a bottleneck of adventurers. Lots of cyclists and way more people on motorbikes than we were used to seeing.

Some aussies from Queensland and an englishman



We made some russian friends who we'll stay with when we go to Moscow.



My clutch has been behaving since the episode in Bukhara and hasn't played up. It's holding all gears and takes off in first without any dramas. Bukhara was hot whereas the mountains have been cold so it's got me convinced it's something to do with the oil getting too hot and losing it's viscosity. I'm not a mechanic whizz on these things. I've used Motul 10W-40 in the past and since Turkey have Motul 15W-50

I bought some Castrol 10W-40 from the famous Dima biker and changed the oil. The oil looked and felt ok.



We've decided we can't miss Tajikistan when we're so close so after $85 each and a quick drop off at the embassy we have the visa for Tajikistan and GBAO region.

There are few roads to choose from going north to south in Kyrgyzstan because of the mountains so we took the road we knew would be fast and high-tailed back to Osh. We didn't stop for any photos and could hook into the corners so what took us two and a bit days to do the first time we now did in one day.

Today we go to the Pamir Highway.
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:27 PM   #117
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Thanks everyone for following along

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Originally Posted by littlelionmonster View Post
Great report! Enjoy the tiger. I just finished up a trip thru northern Canada and had zero issues with her. Not quite as intense as what you're doing though.

Looking forward to the rest of your adventure.
Loving the tiger There isn't any other bike I would have chosen for this trip. It's taken me everywhere I've wanted to go effortlessly.

The clutch seems to have sorted itself out but I've ordered a spare as a just in case.
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:38 PM   #118
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Thanks everyone for following along


Mate, keep posting and we'll keep reading! It's awesome!
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:16 PM   #119
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Very jealous! A very similar route from Oz to Europe is in the works for me! Have an excellent and safe rest of your trip. Thanks for posting the great pictures.
You'll love it mate! When the time comes and you need info feel free to drop me a line. I've left a lot of the detail out of this report because it's been done to death by others but if there is anything I can help with I'll be happy too.
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:11 PM   #120
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Craig!!!

You're back to Camel Land I see!!!!...and the 'odd stretch' of feche-feche lol

Well done so far on your travels....keep at it!!

Safe onward riding.....






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