(02.06.2012)I am I’ll. No serious stuff but at least that bad that I have been puking all night and riding was impossible today. I was already wondering when it would hit one of us. We were lucky with food until now, also because we choose it very carful. But now it hit me.
It must have been something I ate, a handshake on the street, a fruit from a tree. I don’t know. But luckily I feel much better today and it seems to be only a short term thing.
The day we left at the cristal clear river (29.6.2012) we had to ride our second serious pass. 3100m high and steep as hell. 12% accent made us sweat even if temperatures around us were near zero. The weather was snowy and rainy so we canceled the plan of having lunch at the pass. Instead we put on all our clothes, happy to not have declared them unnecessary and still carrying them with us. The only thing we had thrown away was our gloves. Our fingers where nearly frozen when we reached the warmer areas of the valley. Driving down from the pass is like having winter, spring and summer in only a few hours. In the 60 km of decent until we reached Toktogul, we had snow, blossoming cherry-trees and ripe apples, from arround zero to 40*C.
When we unwrapped ourselves from the winter clothes we still had the cold saved in it and nearly got a heat shock when the sun suddenly burned on our t-shirts again.
We needed bread, and we got bread. A funny coincidence. We knew that there wouldn’t be a shop until Toktogul, so we sadly had to pass the beautiful national park for sleeping there without food after such a exhausting day wouldn’t end in having a good time. Short before The pass, six Muslim men stepped out of their car in front of us and gave us bread as present. As if they knew what we needed. They also invited us to sleep at their place in Jalal-abad, a city we will pass in the next days.
So we stays in the national park at a most beautiful place next to a noisy mountain river.
As the two men came up to us next morning it was to late to notice. They were from the environmental police and said, that making fire was not allowed here. They pointed at our camel shit cooker and said that if we would have put stones arround it, it would have been no problem.
A little disturbed by the unlogical argumentation of the policemen I tried to work arround a fee, that the both obviously wanted from us. It didn’t work. So, finally we had to pay our first bribe. The two first wanted to have 20 euro’s, then 400 Som ( kyrgys money, about 6 EUR) and then took the handshake of Paul which included only 240 Som without arguing any further. We didn’t get any recipe or else. Also the variability of the fee showed us that “negotiating about fees” is quit common here. As a thank you the two gave us fruits, apricots. Kind of strange to first want money and then give presents.
After they had left we tried building the “handbrakes on our bikes”, which shall enable us to brake and fix the steer in one movement when stopping to ride. Because a turning steer and a loose brake is one of the most reasons why our fully packed bikes tip over frequently.
We succeeded, each in his own way to built these from the rubbish of the street.
Then we left to Toktogul. We didn’t spend long there for the people seemed a little to attend to the prices of our equipment and got angry as we denied selling it to them. They did as if they would take a burden of our shoulders by offering us 1000 dollar for all of our equipment. Of course we had to deny and honestly were pissed by their unfriendly demand. We bought the most important food and took of as quick as possible.
The landscape changed from rough rocks to smooth hills overgrown with green grass, it looked a little like teletubby-country. At the side of the road fish as big as the little kids who sold it, was offered. To much for us to eat. We found a camping place that was quite hot and in opposite to the others we have had the last days, it was rocky an uncomfortable.
Maybe that was the reason why we both woke up at 6:00 AM and stood up before it was getting hot. Then we began on our next pass, only1600m high but starting from 900 it was quite a challenge to manage this one in the heat of the midday. Wet from sweat we arrived at the top only one hour later.
before descending we changed Paul’s broken brakes to make sure he would get down safely. Then a 60 km descend, this time with strong winds against us blowing up the hot valley, awaited us. As we arrived at a huge river and found a half-island which looked perfect to us, we decided to stop there. It was only 16:00 pm an so we had time to chill and prepare dinner.
I felt so tired and weak at once that Paul did most of it. Then we noticed that the river we had chosen was not a river, but a reservoir which was slowly filling up and was threatening our little island to sink. Luckily it stopped at the mark which Paul and I had set as maximum-before escape-level. As you know already, for me it was a horrible night, hardly any sleep and stomache cramps until the morning. I stop up just to decide that sleeping long, until 13:00pm , was best for me. Paul did everything he could to make me comfortable.He build a tarp over the tent to sink the heat, fed me bread and tea and quietly sat next to me when I needed sleep. Thanks brother.
Now I feel much better and tomorrow we will hopefully leave this island again an drive on to our destination.
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