Translated by: Gréta Kojsza
Eni stopped telling our story at the point we arrived to Biskek, to a guest-house, where a little international team of bikers got together. Days passed so fast and comfortable in the shadows of the terrace. To tell the truth, we’ve easily got cozy. We were happy with doing nothing and pleased with the fact that the landscape is not moving around us. After a few days of delicious meals, good chats and laughs, we’ve decided to go to the mountains. Some walking might do us good, as we haven’t done that for a long time now.
We spent a few days in Ala Arca National Park and managed to climb our first, 4000 meters record. We took the bikes to get to the mountains, left them at a safe place and set off. Changing to walking was such a great idea. We still love cycling (otherwise it would be unbearable to ride them each day), but we didn’t mind taking our stuff on our backs this time. We were off to the Mother Nature, far away from the capital. Somehow we never get bored of this... We got back to the guest-house full of with great memories and sore muscles.
The teammates changed in the guest-house and to tell the truth, we missed the old crew. We’ve got the news in the mountains that our expected package has arrived too. Laura and Daniel, an Italian couple are spending their second year in Biskik, who work for the United Nations. They were our contact, where we could make our package sent. They’re so gentle, we had a really nice talk by a sheer, Italian cappuccino, so more of our desires came true that afternoon. (To the East from Turkey, it’s a real challenge to find a normal, European coffee or Café and even if you manage to bump into one, you’re going to pay hard for it. Nope, I don’t mean diarrhea this time, but the financial aspect.)
We’ve got to know Claire and Rob before the hiking. The New-Zealand couple is on the way to Ireland, to a friend’s marriage and they’ve decided to take the bike. They’d like to work abroad for a while. We decided to leave Biskek together, so we met close to the Turkmen embassy, because the kiwis had to arrange their passports that Monday morning. We took a cart-road right next to a totally dried up channel. Well, the quality of the road wasn’t the best, but we didn’t mind going slower. We didn’t have to worry about the traffic. The destination was Lake Iszik-köl, to the Eastern-South from Biskek. We had plenty of time, so we could enjoy the nice weather, let alone the great conversations and each other’s company.
We found shelter in small, hidden place by the lake, where no one could bother us, except the mosquitos. That one day of lay-off was absolutely necessary that we took, because of the exhausting pace. Due to that attentive driver, we’ve decided to go in the destination of the mountains after the first 50 kilometers on the Southern coast. We did some shopping in Kara-Koo for the upcoming 5 days (we set up a little menu) and left the surfaced road behind us after 2 kilometers. Our first off-road experience has just happened to take place in Kyrgyzstan.
We camped on a brook-side in the middle of nowhere, got directions from a donkey’s back, were stared and hissed by the marmots. We saw yaks, wild horses, Kirgiz cowboys, climbed mountains, were lying in the grass and checking out sheep and cows grazing. We were cycling in enormous wind ahead, were pushing the bikes up on steep slopes where only a few tiny tracks showed the direction. We crossed ice-cold brooks too, so we spent some quite exciting days in the calm of the mountains, far away from the noise of rushing cars and crowds of tourists.
We headed to Kochkor to spend two, relaxing nights there, to enjoy hot showers and to plan our journey to South-Kyrgyzstan and to the Chinese borderline at the same time. Finally, we made up our minds and came up with a new plan in the end. After passing round Iszik-köl from the south, we’re going up to Kazakhstan and decided to enter China from there. In this way, we can save time, the track’s going to be easier too and we won’t have to pay for a taxi to take us on the passage where we wouldn’t be allowed to use bikes.
Our gasoline boiler gave up the game, so when it’s not raining cats and dogs, (though it has been raining a lot lately) we fired up to cook. We found a really nice place in Karakol where we had a rest and refilled our stocks. We truly recommend Nice Hostel to everyone. It is run by an amazing family, who put their hearts and souls to the wheel to create a tidy and cozy hostel in the city. We met several kind travelers here, and visited the famous animal fair of Karakol too.
Our stuffs are already packed, all the bags are on the bikes and we are leaving to Kazakhstan soon, where we’re going to spend a week or so and visit Sharyn Canyon We are around 110 kilometers away from the border right now.
We are looking forward to China. One thing is sure. Without the knowledge of Chinese, we’re going to have plenty of surprises. The Chinese don’t speak English or any other foreign languages we would understand. Cultural shock is guaranteed! We can spend 3 months in the country, but the planned distance almost reaches 5000 kilometers. We might going to use public transportation as well, just to have more time left to visit some interesting spots. We will try our best to keep in touch with you, dependent on our capacities and energy.