This Is another summary.
We had a great evening with Marcus, potatoes with beef and each two beers. We listened to German music, which Marcus had on his iPod. Really funny to listen to this typical German music in the middle of Kazachstan, a little après ski style( eine neue Liebe ist wie ein neues leben, nananananana)
In the morning we went for another swim. After managing to get our bikes out of the sandbank again we said good by to Marcus, bought some prepaid cards and searched for an ATM. A young guy offered us to show us where to find one. He drove in front of us with his car and led us there. After that he offered us to show us a good market to buy stuff. He was really friendly and even helped me while shopping. He spoke a little English so he could translate for me. I already thought that he might want something for it so I offered him some fruit as present. He didn’t want it. Then he showed us the way back to the road to Shimkent. As we wanted to say good by he did what I feared all the time. he asked or money. We said no and offered him fruit again. He said no and so we drove off. He really was pissed about that but drove off as well. Again someone was so friendly and helpful, again he only did it for the money, not for the favor.
But at least he accepted our “no” and didn’t get aggressive.
The rest of the day was quite standard, tailwinds, good roads and heat. In the evening we found a perfect “bed”. Someone had thrown away a lot of little leafs from any plant. This leafs where soft as a mattress. We slept perfectly wel.
The last three weeks it has always been the same. We wake up at about 07:30 by the heat of the day. This is not even that early but we also go to bed quite late. The sun is up here until about 10:00pm and temperatures are around 30*C until 11:00pm. Sleeping early is impossible so we often fall asleep late, at about 01:00AM. Waking up after a full cycling day with only six hours of sleep is quite annoying, but in this case we have to manage. We found out that we have to have a long lunch-break with a little nap to get our sleep-pensum. That’s what I am doping right now:0).
Te next mornings we had started building a weapon for hunting. It’s a quite simple idea. We pump air in a plastic bottle with a bicycle valve. On top of the bottle we put a tent post in which we put an arrow made from tape and a nail. In between bottle and post we put the trigger.
As we test the weapon by shooting strait up in the air we notice that it is by far strong enough to kill a small animal like a bird or a rabbit from a distance of about 30 meters. Shooting on an apple drills a clear hole through it and the arrow even sticks in the ground behind the apple. The advantage of this weapon is that we carry the materials for it with us anyway:
An air pump, a bicycle valve, a tent post, a water bottle, and a trigger made from screws and a tent-hook.
If we ever catch something with it we will surely be proud:0).
As our breakfast was still not digested completely a group of truck drivers, who obviously had been passing us by a few times before, blocked our way. “stop” the biggest and strongest one said with a grin from one ear to the other.
” Come sit here and have lunch with us”. He pointed his finger under the truck in between the wheels of the trailer.
There they had put a blanket with everything on it you might want to eat as a world traveling biker: sausages, fish, bread sweets, cookies, fruit and water. A complete pick nick.
What a surprise. We leaned our bikes against the trucks. A funny picture for we knew- what our bikes are for us, the trucks are for them, it looked a little as if ours bikes would want to say:” look at me, I am a truck as well”.
Before sitting down we of course had to shake everyone’s hand. And here you don’t just shake hands with one, but with two hands, also everyone introduced himself and doing that with about 8 truckers takes quite a while.
We talk about the roads, traveling, families, tires, trucks and bicycles, all the stuff that we have in common and that is the reason why truckers are our companions on this trip. A extraordinary meeting of people from Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Kazachstan and
Kyrgyzstan. The roads connect all of us.
” I am full, but it’s so tasty, spaceba, spaceba, spaceba”, Paul says to the truckers as he stands up. The truckers pack the rest of their food – which by the way is not much – give
us some water for the way and wish us a save travel. We on our behalf try to give them coffee and tee as present but they deny it by moving their hands behind their back and saying “nada”. It’s impossible to give them a present:0)
The landscape has changed a little here. The agriculture has switched from camel-milk to rice. There are a lot of little fields that are flooded with water, connected by artificial canals. On the side of one of this canals we find a place to sleep. The water has a perfect temperature so we cool us down and do our laundry while sitting in water. Like this you don’t have any problems with Mosquitos, the heat, the sun or the weight of your own body. You float in perfectly save and cool space which relaxed me completely after a hot cycling day.
The evening is as usual. Cooking and talking about the trip, our future, ideas we have and about family.
The next morning we have another swim after packing everything. We put on all our clothes first so we have wet and cool clothes for riding. It turned out to be a big mistake this time.
Millions of sandflies, which obviously like the smell and the humidity of our clothes come after us. Because we have tailwinds again this little beasts can follow us easily on our bikes and we can only get rid of them by speeding up to about 40km/h.
That works well until Paul gets another broken tire. The fifth on our trip. We don’t repair it for there is no chance to do this while the sandflies are around. We pump it up every time it’s getting to flat to ride. Eventually the sandflies are satisfied or to tired to follow us any longer and we have a short lunchbreak. We fill up our water bottles at a local water pump and have a quick shop at a magazine.
The following days are going to be described roughly.
-We find a place to sleep in a desert like area with no Mosquitos or sandflies,
-we try building our weapon to perfection but fail,
-we meet some rich oil company guys which warn us. Shimkent is known to be Gangster-city
-we find a place to sleep at a little lake with sandy beach.
- I have a swimm with Paul’s gopro camera, which is actually made for swimming but wasn’t closed properly. A fight between Paul and me follows that stops again after the camera starts working again when dried out.
The next day we spend in the shadow of a little forrest building stuff on our bikes and trying to make our weapon work.
- we nearly left the most important stuff we have on this tour buried in the sand. Our passport and our emergency money (dollar). Luckily we didn’t get far before we noticed our mistake. About 500 meter. I ran back barefoot over the sand. I noticed to late that the sand was so burning hot that it was impossible to walk on. By the time I noticed there was no shady sand near me any more. I had to dig a hole in it to cool my feet. Paul had to bring me my shoes, it was like walking over glowing coles. Luckily I only have a few blisters from it. We found our precious treasure untouched.
We didn’t make allot of kilometers, only 30.
But we had a nice dinner with three guys in a bar who invited us.
Then we looked for a place to spend the night. We found a shadow place so we slept long today. We woke up by the horns of the truckers who have allready developed an extra sence to spot us in the bushes. They blow the horn as if they where to say.:”stand up you lazy bastards, the sun is shining and you ought to be cycling. When we stood up there was music all around. It was played on telephones right next to our tent. Not one telephone and one song but at least three. There were a few boys around our tent who obviously wanted to make us get up with that annoying low quality chaotic music. Grrrr. They succeeded and as we left the tent they fled in all directions. I know that we smell sometimes an coming out of a hot tent doesn’t make us look better, but is it really that bad?
We fixed the fifth flat tire again for the sticker had broken in the heat, wrote some emails and this blogpost. Now it’s half past one and we are finally ready to satisfy our cycling-addiction again. Today we will reach some mountains hopefully and will end the nearly 3000 km of flat wasteland-cycling. It was interesting in the beginning but now I have seen enough of it. I want mountains, rivers, forrests and serpentine roads. Let’s go for it.
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