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Old 08-13-2014, 10:49 PM   #1531
rtwpaul OP
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Originally Posted by kevinsinvegas View Post

Looks like you have been riding a lot of dirt. Anything my weestrom would struggle with?

eerrrr yea, almost all of it, not enough ground clearance and too much weight
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Old 08-14-2014, 12:55 AM   #1532
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after five days in Bishkek it was time to bounce...the road out of town is like playing chicken for about 100K then the mountains are ahead of you



it was late afternoon and i left with an Australian rider called Dave who'd i'd been in contact with on HU, we planned to get around 200K + out of town and then wild camp, due to traffic we only made about 150 and the sun was starting to set, the climb to the top of the first pass was twists and turns as you would expect and the high temps of the valley topping out at about 110 degrees were none existent at the top, up here it was maybe 55





we came out of the last tunnel and the wind was howling and the temperature was dropping quick, we checked to see if anyone had a waypoint for somewhere to stay, day found one that said ski chalet, we rode and looked for it



we found a sign that pointed down a dirt road so we took it






the place looked abandoned so we looked around for a good spot to pitch our tents out of sight and out of the wind, we found a few promising areas and then looked at the chalets, of course they were all locked, but the doorways were a perfect fit for a tent, the very last one with the best view of the valley had a key in the door, the lights were on...we knocked and shouted hello...nothing

how would anyone know we were here? we tried the lights outside, they worked...it was a little eery but we started to grab our stuff, the sun was setting behind the hills and a mangy old dogs walked towards the entrance, it seemed strange but he was looking at something...

i walked around the last building and a guy was standing there...he saw me and froze, i offered my hand, he wouldn't take it, i tried other gestures to say hello and he just stared at me not blinking, i'm not the smallest guy in the room by any means and i must have out weighed him by a good 75lbs and was an easy 6-8 inches taller, then Dave walked around the corner...he's six foot eight!!!

the guy reached for something in his pocket, i thought at first a gun but it was a black radio, he said a couple of words into it and Dave offered his hand, he very sheepishly shook it

we gestured for him to follow us around the building, he looked terrified, still not speaking, we showed him the bikes he smiled, his eyes were glazed over, either high or drunk or both, then we showed him the open door and asked could we put our stuff inside, he smiled and said money, Dave turned his back and grabbed a 500 Som bill, he took it and then seemed to want more...as experienced travelers you never have a wallet full of cash, he took what Dave had left and smiled, all of it added up to maybe $15...he smiled and gave us the thumbs up and walked away

i gave him a minute to walk around the corner and then i followed him to see where he would go, and he vanished

i came back to tell Dave, we went inside and then seconds later a knock at the door and now there were two of them, they were smiling, we did a little google translate on the phone and they were happy and all they wanted was a photo with Dave



we had a an uneasy sleep there, it didn't seem right but we could lock ourselves in, in the morning we were woken by dogs howling. I went to turn a light on in the morning and there was no power....i couldn't wait to split...when we left the first guy came out to shake hands goodbye...it was all kind of surreal

the morning view down the valley

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Old 08-14-2014, 01:17 AM   #1533
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I have just discovered this today. Subscribed.

and we are back from 2 weeks in Tajikistan. Bartang valley was very dry and very nice.

Cristian / Bob
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Old 08-14-2014, 03:17 AM   #1534
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I have just discovered this today. Subscribed.

and we are back from 2 weeks in Tajikistan. Bartang valley was very dry and very nice.

Cristian / Bob
good to hear i'm heading there tomorrow, can you PM me where you found gas along the way
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Old 08-14-2014, 06:56 AM   #1535
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What was your thinking, being an American in a foreign country, with entering the chalet in a seemingly deserted complex? Back here that could lead you to at least a few hours at the police station, or maybe worse?

Your description also raised the question of whether or not the two guys, not withstanding the picture you took of them, were legitimate property managers?

Great report as usual.
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Old 08-14-2014, 07:13 AM   #1536
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maybe it wasn't as bad as i made it sound...definitely not as bad as you make it sound

the guys were property security and lived on site and were in a cabin with a door we didn't knock on, we grabbed our stuff and were getting on our bikes to leave and they said no, they offered us a place to stay and asked for a little money and then they asked me if i would take a photo of them with Dave, they wanted to see how they looked with him, we also spent quiet a long time talking with them afterwards and in the morning...

don't make this sound like a B&E

so they were the ones making the offers and here they were so friendly even offering us food and drink to keep us warm
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Old 08-14-2014, 12:12 PM   #1537
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Hello Paul--when do you expect to be in Eastern Europe?
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Old 08-14-2014, 03:22 PM   #1538
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtwpaul View Post
maybe it wasn't as bad as i made it sound...definitely not as bad as you make it sound

the guys were property security and lived on site and were in a cabin with a door we didn't knock on, we grabbed our stuff and were getting on our bikes to leave and they said no, they offered us a place to stay and asked for a little money and then they asked me if i would take a photo of them with Dave, they wanted to see how they looked with him, we also spent quiet a long time talking with them afterwards and in the morning...

don't make this sound like a B&E

so they were the ones making the offers and here they were so friendly even offering us food and drink to keep us warm

Looks like a ski station - very flat terrain judging from the chair lift - were you at the bottom and the lift a transfer?

What were the silver items in background of the pic of Dave and your hosts? Gondola cars?

Really been enjoying this report. Thanks again. Pics have been awesome.
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Old 08-14-2014, 05:49 PM   #1539
rtwpaul OP
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Originally Posted by h2o_snow View Post
Looks like a ski station - very flat terrain judging from the chair lift - were you at the bottom and the lift a transfer?

What were the silver items in background of the pic of Dave and your hosts? Gondola cars?

Really been enjoying this report. Thanks again. Pics have been awesome.
we were at the top it was just one lift, silver things were the tracks to the snow plow i think
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Old 08-14-2014, 05:59 PM   #1540
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Hello Paul--when do you expect to be in Eastern Europe?
first country i will hit will be Bulgaria coming in from Turkey, time frame not sure a few weeks or so i guess
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Old 08-15-2014, 08:45 AM   #1541
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first country i will hit will be Bulgaria coming in from Turkey, time frame not sure a few weeks or so i guess
I will be in Bulgaria and neighboring countries between Sep 3 and Oct 9, it would be pretty cool to meet you.
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Old 08-15-2014, 09:02 AM   #1542
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Heck Paul, Great experience and great photos. Enjoying every word. Thanks for all the work to keep us up to date.
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Old 08-16-2014, 09:09 AM   #1543
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Paul, I forgot to ask and never did see if you went through Tuva and if
you were treated to any of their "Tuvan Throat Music"?
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Old 08-17-2014, 01:26 AM   #1544
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I love all the photos and the RR how I wish I could also do the RTW one day. Be safe!!
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Old 08-17-2014, 07:30 AM   #1545
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