Sunday, 4 June 2017

Day 44

Today we headed away from the Afghanistan border that we had been following for the last three  days and then turned left to run north alongside the wooden post and barb wire border fence of China, which run for mile after mile but did have a few gaps in it where you could enter China illegally if you wanted to, though I am sure it would be a long walk to any civilisation.

It was more challenging terrain again today and although we only had 111 miles to the border, it was a long and tough ride again.
A couple of us stopped at the top of the first pass at an altitude of 4,667m, which was good training for when we go to Tibet.

Along the way there were several good photo stops including the frozen lake which was just melting snow and ice this tme of year.

There was also some interesting objects made from scrap parts of vehicles which helped to relive the boredom of the long straight roads. I also got my first photo of a Yak, which is a sort of cow like animal with long hair and dangerous looking horns.

Once we exited the Tajikistan border at an altitude of 4,200m, we then had about  12 miles of hard rutted mud to contend with before reaching the Kyrgyzstan border control. Thankfully it was all dry apart from a small river crossing and a few large puddles. Had it been raining it would have been a right mess and much harder to ride in, probably resulting in several offs for most people and extremely dirty bikes and kit for all.

The process of entering Kyrgyzstan was a long process and whilst Kevin and the fixers were inside the main customs building getting all the paper work sorted, we all stood around the bikes and a covered area. However, a bit of a storm brewed up and it got very cold and wet quite quickly causing many of us to add additional layers and waterproof gear. Pete boiled the kettle for coffee and tea which helped warm us up and pass the time away.

We then rode the 17 miles to our home stay accommodation at the altitude of 3,200m where we had food served to us whilst we sat in a traditional yurt, which made for a great experience.

The accommodation was basic, with just one outside drop hole toilet and no shower, but that is all part of the adventure.

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