Days 101 – 103 : suffering in the dust

25 Aug

Our map showed us a nice, national road that would lead us to Naryn via the mountains, in central Kyrgysztan. We thought it was all good, and were excited to leave the flat Fergana valley we were in for the last week. Locals told us that the road was no good and that we shouldn’t go there, but we skipped their warnings. Kyrgysztan is all about mountains, and we wanted to get in as soon as we could! After getting lost for an hour or two (there are no signs of any kind, and Google Maps is not very useful here), we got on the right track, and hitch hiked a truck for a few kilometers to catch up the time lost in the afternoon. Speed, wind and bumps at the back of the truck was all good! They left us at the end of the road, and we got back on the bike on a decent path made of rocks and hard sand.6k ride in a truck

It got hilly and exciting, as we entered a new area, completely lost in time. We crossed small villages and laid back people in the street, stopping us to offer their plov and water. Many kids were playing in the street among the cows and donkeys, running after us, and requesting high fives.

We got to the next village that was shown on our map before the sunset, and where shown the way to the next destination, Kugart, a small town we had no clue about. The asphalt was already long gone, but we didn’t expect the road to become that bad  : the track evolved to a way that was just made by the wheels of the few cars that passed there recently, where we had to guess what way to follow. We found our first nomads on the top of a hill and were happy to be offered some refreshing watermelon and a cup of Kumizz, the local drink made out of horse milk. Energetic indeed, but damn hard to digest!

Kumizz do I like you?

It’s nomad ‘s time

After struggling and pushing our bikes for about 20 km, we finally reached the other side of the mountain and started downhill for about the same distance. We found a guy with a car, who lead us as he was going to the same town. Arrived in Kugart, we stopped in the shop of the village, got offered vodka by the drunks, and then got offered to sleep in a house nearby! We did not refuse of course, and spent the evening with the father of 10 kids, 3 of his daughters and one of his boys.  Many drinks later with the men (we had to celebrate our 5000km!), we went to sleep on carpets and blankets in a big room…the Kyrgyz way. 

5OO1 km celebrating time with vodka…what else 🙂

When we woke up the next morning, the elder of the family (our host) had already few vodka shots and it has been really hard to make him understand that we had to leave. After pushing real hard, we managed to escape and started cycling to Jallal Abad, on the west, where we would find the only decent road in the region, linking Osh to Bishkek.

100/100 gold 

Bye bye Kougart, Welcome back to the asphalt

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