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Old 04-08-2013, 02:47 PM   #46
levain
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:06 PM   #47
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Please keep sending!

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Old 04-09-2013, 08:14 AM   #48
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A little late to the party but Im here! Great report and as a fellow Honda Transalp owner Im loving the pics of the Tranny
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:09 AM   #49
eustachius OP
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I went to Dushanbe where I got myself some fresh dollars from the Orienbank. The ATMs in town would refuse my Mastercard. Stayed two nights at the Hotel Vakhsh, 25$/night. Transalp safely parked behind the hotel. During the night powerful cars racing up and down the main avenue, leisure activity of the classe aisée. The police were watching.
I was ready for the mountains and went north-east on a newly paved road for 20 kilometres, then broken asphalt and potholes - as usual. After 140 kms I turned right onto the M41 and the road and the surrounding landscape became spectacular. I spent a night in Tavildara and two nights in Kalaikhum, which is situated on the Pyanj River (I'm not sure about the spelling), the border to Afghanistan. From there I carried on to Khorog, always on the M41. You can't get lost on this route. From Khorog I was headed for Ishkahim and Layangar, along the Vakhan Valley, the spectacular peaks of the Hindu Kush to the south.
North of the Kargush Pass I hit the Pamir Highway again.
I hope my pictures will show some of the beauty of this region. It was one of the highlights of my trip.

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I met a lot of friendly people along this road. Across Pyanj river, Afghanistan, people on mules and sometimes mopeds.


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Looking south towards the Hindu Kush.

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It's hard and rocky 'piste', but not difficult when dry.

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Before the Kargush Pass.

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On the Pamir Highway again.

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I got some fuel here before I continued on to Murgab. The Transalp never showed any signs that it couldn't deal with the low octane.

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This was my B&B in Murgab. Basic, but great hospitality.

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You guess it!

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The bazaar of Murgab.

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On the way to the Akbaytal Pass. Together, with my tools and his dexterity we fixed the problem. His chain had got too long. We took out one link.

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This was the highest I would get on the trip. Quite a moment. I had a Snickers to celebrate.

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I can't get enough of those fast tracks. It's like a drug.

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Along the Chinese border fence.

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Karakul Lake. I decided to stay at a homestay. It was cold, but sunny and dry.

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The owner of the homestay. His wife cooked me a nice meal - Chinese noodles and yaak, and eggs and plenty of green tea.

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Border to Kyrgyztan.

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A common picture of ride reports of the area.

eustachius screwed with this post 04-09-2013 at 01:16 PM
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Old 04-09-2013, 12:38 PM   #50
Wildman
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Simply fantastic journey, report and pics so far, eustachius. Really enjoying it.
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:05 PM   #51
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Amazing.....
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:36 PM   #52
Ruan
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Awesome...
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Old 04-10-2013, 02:19 AM   #53
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Rr -

In all the pictures there is one bike and rider but truth is that every person in the world that does adventure riding is right there with you...thank you for sharing and most of all thank you for the embracing the spirit of adventure and the unknown for those of us that may not get the chance to do a trip like this..

Tifua
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Old 04-10-2013, 02:36 AM   #54
eustachius OP
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Grateful thanks to all of you for following my report and for your positive replies. If some of my pictures can be an inspiration to some of you, I will be very glad. While writing this report I relive this trip to some extent.

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This was my first encounter between the Tajik and Kyrgyz border.

eustachius screwed with this post 04-10-2013 at 07:00 AM
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Old 04-10-2013, 03:15 AM   #55
Blacknblue
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Wow. I love the way I get the feel for the people in real life situations.
The subjects you chose were as incredible as the scenery. Thanks!
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Old 04-10-2013, 04:40 AM   #56
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Most excellent. Many thanks for sharing :)
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Old 04-10-2013, 07:50 AM   #57
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Fascinating ride, report and pics!! And it's easily missed, so I'm going to sticky it for a while to give others a chance to enjoy it too. Thanks for taking us along and sharing all those pics
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:08 AM   #58
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The Kyzyl-Art Pass is the border between Tajikistan and Kyrgyztan. The Tajik border post is on the southern slope. When I was there two years ago, it was just some shacks and containers, but by now, modern buildings should accomodate the customs. A lot of construction work was going on then.
The official wanted to see the receipt for my immigration document. I had paid 20$ on entering Tajikistan, but nobody gave me a receipt, I was sure about that. We were discussing the matter in a friendly way, he offered me some tea and cigarettes and in the end I paid a 15$ 'fine', without getting a receipt, of course.
Some 100 metres further on there was the luggage check. A lazy sniffer dog smelled my bags. Tajikistan is an important transit country for drugs from Afghanistan to Russia and Europe.
I went over the pass and then, some 15 or 20 kms north, it's the Kyrgyz border post. Customs officials were very friendly and they seemed to know what they were doing. Everything looked professional. I really don't remember about insurance for the Transalp, maybe yes.
I went on to Sary Tash. I left the snow-peaked mountains behind.

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This is not the pik Lenina, but it's not very far.

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I changed 100$ to Kyrgyz som in this 'shop' in Sary Tash, filled up and continued on to Osh. The mountains become very green, it's so different to the Pamirs, and there are lots of people herding their livestock.

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Osh is a busy town that offers you many amenities. Fresh vegetables and draught beer is a scarcity in the Pamirs. I was enjoying this Greek salad in a relaxed beer-garden in the park along the Ak-Buura River. Next came 2 gigantic shashlik and another beer or two. I was feeling great, everything was running smooth and more mountain roads were lying ahead.

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From Osh, where I stayed for 2 nights, I coninued to Jalal-Abad on a rather busy road. I was glad when I could leave the asphalt behind and go north-east to the Kaldama Pass. I was following a river, there were yurts and people who were offering me warm mare milk. Not my favourite drink.
It was easy to find good places to camp out.

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Looking back into the valley from where I had come.

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I met those French bikers on their tandem with trailer. They were on their way from Peking to Bretagne, amazing. We spent some hours together in a yurt. Locals invited us to have tea and bread with them.

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Between Kazarman (one of the very few places I was glad to leave behind) and Naryn I stopped in a little village to buy food and drinks. On a normal riding day I have breakfast and supper and little snacks between. And I drink lots of tea. This bottle of vodka was just for 'disinfection'.
It's mostly women who run these little shops.

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I was not sick after the vodka.

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I had the same model of Benz and Volkswagen, many years back. They are very common in Kyrgyztan, especially the Audi 100, which is used as taxi.

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Another means of transport, also very common.

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On the way to the Song-Köl, pastures, cows, yurts, rivers, blue sky in the morning.

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Always keep a watchful eye on the road.

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I wanted to camp up at the Song-Köl, but it was too cold and very often during my stay in this country it started to rain in the afternoon. So I decided to get out of the wind and cold and I went down to Sary Bulak. I camped near a river, hidden away from the road.

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The next day I went on to Kochkor and the Ysyk-Köl. I stayed on the southern shore.

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Looking south.

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Camp at the Ysyk-Köl. The water is fine, I go for a short swim and wash. I forgot to buy some beer for the evening, deep regret!

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I share some cookies with the locals.

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My Honda parked next to Valentin's side-car. Valentin runs the Yak-Tours in Karakul. He rents rooms in a typical wooden Russian house, with beautiful flowers in the garden. Karakul is a good place to relax and get prepared for some trekking in the mountains. I went up into the mountains with Valentin. There are hot springs right next to a freezing mountain river.

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The old wooden church in Karakul.



Courtyard of a family we visited on the way to the mountains.

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Ice cream, yummy!

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The rider was having a couple of drinks in the shop.

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Valentin, a former moto-cross champion and a great afficionado of motos.

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This is Valentin's right hand. I was sitting in the side-car. We were going up the mountains.

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Minor problem quickly solved.

I had planned to go from Karakul to San-Tash, cross the border to Kazakhstan there and continue to the Sharyn Canyon. Too bad this border was closed.
I consequently had to go around the lake on the northern side to Cholpon-Ata, Balykchy and on to Bishkek. I wanted to avoid Bishkek, but things turned out nicely again because I met some travel companions on the road.

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It's fertile land on the northern side of the lake, but farmers complain that they lack modern machines to exploit their farmland.

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Some work, others medidate. There was a very relaxed atmosphere along this lake. The season had not yet begun, but there were signs of an expanding tourist industry. Almaty is just across the border.

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Soon they will have mopeds and make a lot of noise to impress the girls.

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New York.

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These two gentlemen are Ruedi and Adrian. They were heading east to cross the Kazakh border at San Tash (the one that was closed) when I met them in Balykchy. They are Swiss on two BMWs GS1200 and had already been to India, Pakistan and China on this trip. They wanted to go to Mongolia so we decided to team up as long as we felt like it.

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Ruedi waiting at the Kazakh border.

eustachius screwed with this post 04-12-2013 at 03:19 AM
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:22 AM   #59
eustachius OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB View Post
Fascinating ride, report and pics!! And it's easily missed, so I'm going to sticky it for a while to give others a chance to enjoy it too. Thanks for taking us along and sharing all those pics
Thank you, GB. Very kind of you. I hadn't expected so much positive feedback.
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:26 AM   #60
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yeah, boss.... whatta ride!.... i'm here 'til the end....
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