We are on the edge. The thing we feared most is about to happen.
Paul was healthy this morning and so we decided to leave the friendly family that invited us for staying with them in Osh for two days to cure Paul completely.
Now, on the road again, Paul suddenly feels worse again. His temperature is rising again to 39*C and we are forced to stop at a riverside in the shadow of some low trees. Only two hours of riding and 20 km further Paul creeps in his sleepingbag and still freezes although it’s really hot today.
We are done, I think. Our dream of cycling to Shanghai is about to burst. Only four days left to enter China before our visa runs out and still 300 km before the border.
The only chance we have is hitch hiking again. But—where. Towards China or back to Osh. There is no hospital until we reach Kashgar, China, if we need one. In Osh, there is a hospital, now only 30 km away.
We decide to wait a few hours before we can make the choice for going back means ending our tour.
This hours were terror for me. Paul is kind of sleepy and every time I check his temperature I hope it sank, but it stays at 39*C. And then suuddenly Paul begins to cry. ” I don’t want it to be over, I want to go on, why, why now”.
My mood sinks to the bottom, I scream at Paul and say that it is our own fault, we should have watched out more for our health, I get so angry that I smash my sunglasses on a stone and scream:”it’s over, I don’t need this shit any more, the whole idea was stupid from the start, how could we even think we could really cycle to Shanghai.”
After a while of arguing an fighting, we calm down and try to solute the problem together again. I’ve never had such an intense moment with Paul on this whole trip. I start crying as well.
Now it is 17:00pm, Paul is slightly better and even has an appetite that he didn’t have the last week. Maybe a good sign? We decide to hitchhike on, we just can’t stop now, not before even having been to China.
Paul stays on his mattress while I pack the bikes, push them on the side of the road and sit down under a tree to wait for trucks who could take us.
I won’t give up now. Not if there is still a chance that we can make it.
The last two days are easy to be described. On the fifth of july we hitchhiked on to Osh and were luck again. Two shiny new trucks took us there. For the container was locked and we couldn’t put our bikes in other, we needed two split up on two trucks. We put our bikes in the drivers cabin and both had the luxury to sit on fully suspended seats for two hours. The trucker was a really nice and smart man, he knew a lot about history and although he didn’t speak a word of English, we had a great conversation.
When we arrived Paul was worse again and so we decided to pay a little lottery.
We thought that asking people if we can put up our tent in there garden would make them invite us to their house. We asked, the people said “no problem, you can put it down here”. Of course we were glad for having a place but sad our plan didn’t work out. And then, just when I opened the bag with the tent, Juldaibash, a friendly father of a huge family came towards us and asked us if we wouldn’t like to sleep at his home instead. Guess what we said.
We entered his garden and it was a paradise to us. Trees that threw shadows over park banks, a wine plant ranking in the center on a veranda, a kitchen in the garden were they already had begun with cooking. As if he knew our situation, je showed us the carpet we could sleep on, orders his daughters and wife to make our bed and bring us food. Again I wonder, how can people be so unbelievable open minded. I mean, we played the lottery, but this was like winning it twice in a row. After dinner Paul went to sleep and I watched a little TV with Juldaibash. By chance, there was a report about kyrgyzstans Culture on Tv. Although I didn’t understand a lot (it was all in Russian) I got an impression how rich in culture this land really is. We saw a lot already but only a small part of what it really has to offer. After that the Asian championship of freestyle wrestling was on. I went to bed, said goodnight and slept a long and deep sleep. No Mosquitos and a perfect temperature. I even had a real pillow.
The next day paul felt better. We left our bikes at the house and went to see the Osh’s market, which is famous for its diversity and beauty. And it really was impressing. We bought a new suspension spring for the broken bike of one of Juldaibash’s kids as a present for their invitation.
It was not as huge any more as it once was due to fightings in Osh about two years ago when many uzbekistan people fled the country. We could still see the “wounds” the flames had burned in the beautiful halls and streets of the market. What I noticed is that the people here don’t push you to by anything, they let you watch their offer quietly and then make a fair price that you can still bargain in the end. A really nice market.
In the evening we surprised them with the suspension spring and repaired the bike, the kids were so happy about ty and cycled the whole evening in circles in the garden. The wemen had cooked dinner for us, a huge plate with meat, rice, and salad. A typical Uzbekistan meal for Juldaibash and his family are Uzbekistanians. After dinner the whole family, about 15 people, get together for a family picture with us.
Next morning we get up early, say good buy one more time and guided by the proud bicycle owner we leave town.
A truck has just stopped to pick us up, direction: China.
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