It is an adventure itself to ride in a truck like this.
The two trucks who picked us up yesterday and loaded our bikes on top of a US army base shipment were Kamaz. This Russian truck is a working machine and not made for comfort. But the truckers, which go thousands of kilometers in them developed a sixth sense to make them comfortable as good as possible.
We split up again, I drove in the front-truck and Paul behind.
When the engine started roaring and the wheels began turning I felt like sitting in a rocking chair and even the driver did as if he was riding a horse:”hya, hya.
As we got faster (and by that I mean a neglectable acceleration) the Kamaz got more quiet and seemed to accept his destiny to carry loads of wood through the mountains to Afghanistan.
The trucker of course didn’t speak English but still we communicated fluently, at least that’s what I think:0)
Driving such a truck is real work. The trucker was pulling handles and pushing buttons ive never seen before and he was sweating as if he powered the maschine himself.
In between he looked at me, grinned and for example said “dwa”. With this he wanted to show me that he was about to win the fight against the steep mountain, switching from first to the second gear. He also introduced me to my tasks.
1. Keep the driver awake
2. Choose the musik, which in my case was difficult. I didn’t now anything of the cassettes he had in the truck
3. Wave to beautiful women on the side of the road.
4. And most dangerous task: going up a hill with such a truck means going steady and not stopping under any circumstances. Stopping would often mean rolling back to a less ascending part an then starting over new. The most important task was thus to keep the road free and that means jumping out of the driving truck running in front of it and cleaning the road from stones, cows, and other obstacles. Because of going up the hill with only 10 km/h I had plenty of time to do so an got more an more trained in convincing lazy donkeys to rather have their nap at the side of the road.
When of got dark he offered me his mattress. I was a little afraid of pulling of my shoes after a whole day in the heat, I explained to him and he began laughing as loud as the trick was roaring. No problem he made me understand. He is used to worse scenarios. I slept well until he woke me up. Time for him to have dinner and go to bed. The two trucks drove up to a cafe were I invited the both for dinner. After that we drove on a few hundred meters to a place he knew we could easily build up our tent. The two truckers drove their trucks to a kind of a truck-castle arround our tent and explained this security- measurement with drunks who like to play tricks on truckers at night. Like this we were also save from passing cars.
It was a short night.
We were woken up at about 4:00am. They had met another trucker going to the same US-camp in Afghanistan and so decided to drive on in a colonna for it is saver with three trucks.
I woke up with the sunrise and a most beautiful view over mountains. Clear view on the high-plateau at Sary-tash and in the background the highest and most impressive mountains I’ve ever seen in my whole . Here we will wait for a courier to bring us new flash-cards. We couldn’t have chosen a better place. See for yourself
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