Breakfast in Dushanbe
Little village on the way to the Pamirmountains
still ‚just‘ on 1000m above sea level – all these small mountains are quite sweaty with temperatures around 4o degrees
especially on these gravel roads
sometimes the gravel is that loose, that i have to push my bike…
done! After three hours of hard work and pushing only I reach the most difficult pass so far
Remains of the civil war
As well sometimes I see signs of areas cleared from landmines by NGOs
Another Pass – this time without any difficulties
View to Afghanistan
to the left Tajikistan – to the right Afghanistan
I am following the river that is the border to Afghanistan
slowly I get on higher elevation – the landscape wides
On lanes through the most remote parts of Tajikistan
I keep crossing rivers and streams – which is almost routine
ZorKul – the lake from afar – clouds and sun along the mountain ranges provide beautiful light games
The lanes are yet clearly visible
Again a beautiful mountain lake
My bed for this night
In the morning the streams are usually still frozen
A shepherd’s family invited me to a (second) breakfast and then gives me a few more bales dried quite sharp cheese – not really my taste, but an excellent source of protein
Here the climate is almost desert-like
Everywhere along the way there are the horns of the hunted Marco Polo sheeps
The lanes are increasingly blurred
To find this path over the ridge I pushed my bike a long distance cross-country – the lake served as a guide and I was really happy when I finally found it
The sun over 4000m is incredibly strong, the air extremely dry, so constantly the skin of my lips breaks – uncomfortable …
Some abandoned buildings – perhaps these are used only seasonal by shepherds
On the way to Kyrgyzstan – only a few hundred miles, then I reach China!
Russia & Kazakhstan
For Your information: In Duschanbe it seems to be easy to get a 30 days single entry chinese tourist visa these days.
You need following documents:
-passport, which they will keep
-copy of passport
-one handwritten application form
-copy of tajik visa
-official letter of your hotel in dushanbe (with letterhead, stamp, signature(!)) with your name, purpose and duration of stay
costs: 30 Dollar, you pay on the recieve day
duration: 3 working days
opening hours: Mo, We, Fr; 09.00 in the morning
The Kyrgyz embassy moved further south, but still you get the visa within one day for 100 Dollar, or pay just 50 and wait three working days as well.
firstly I apologize for not writing in English for such a long period of time. I am sorry.
Secondly, many greetings from Uzbekistan!
I am writing from Samarkand, one of the most beautiful cities along the old Silk Road.
During the last weeks I crossed a southern part of Russia, flat and dusty Kazakhstan, and lots of hot and sandy desert Kilometer here in Uzbekistan. Now 6200Km without any bigger problems lie behind me and it is just half a day left to the Tajik border.
So far everything is going well. I am very happy to enter soon the great Pamir region. Huge mountain ranges, glorious glaciers, rare Marco Polo sheeps, and maybe even some snow leopards are waiting for me!
Since I have made lots of ground I decided to carry on to China. Therefore I will need to apply for a visa, which is a little complicated. Either I will drive by overnight-bus to Tashkent, or I will try to apply in Dushanbe, to where I am cycling next. I did not decide yet and will wait for some more information in which town the procedure is easier.
Because pictures tell so much more than a written text, be invited to join me in some moments of my journey:
The Ukrainian border checkpoint, before we enter the little ship.
Our ferry boat to Russia.
While leaving Krim with the ferryboat we were meeting some Ukrainian cyclists heading to Sochi. One day we have been cycling together and had a great dinner in the night with lots of food, a camp fire, Russian beer and vodka.
One of the hundreds of car mechanics we see on the road.
We see lots of war memorials.
Wherever you look – grassland as far as you can see.
Sunrise in the step.
In the Step…
In the middle of nowhere – anywhere in the Russian step – Julia finds a little dog. He is following us for nearly ten kilometers, wanting water and food. Julia is giving him so and finally decides to take him with us. Now we are travelling with three!
The famous river Volga – in the last Russian city Astrakhan before entering Kazakhstan
Two boys from Dagestan, met in Astrakhan.
The Russian/ Kazakh border. We get through very easy, but cars or trucks probably have to wait for hours.
Mobile Russian high tech machine to even x-ray a whole car.
An adventurous crossing of one of the many side arms of Volga.
Our dog got a comfortable box.
Here everything is founded on oil or gas.
A typical farmers house.
Not much traffic on the lonely road…
During the hottest hours of the day we try to rest in shadow – here aunder a bridge crossing a railway line.
In Kazakhstan we see the first camels!
After he once ran in front of my bike and I drove over him with both of my wheels he is still alive!
Campsite in dusty Kazakhstan.
Two motorcyclists riding to Mongolia – met in Kazakhstan. -> www.bike2horizon.com
The last Kazakh bit to Uzbekistan! 90 Km of gravel or mud.
Again a famous Asian river – the Amudarja in front of Nukus, Uzbekistan.
It seems to be extremely muddy, but still children are taking a bath with great fun.
greetings from Odessa, the famous harbor city at the Ukrainian black sea coast! After 1900Km we reached yesterday afternoon the city and stay a day here to rest. We are faster than expected and have still lots of time until our visa for Russia starts at first of May. So we follow slowly the black sea coast across the Krim, as you see on the map displayed below.
Still the nights are freezing cold but during the day we can feel spring beginning. The first trees become green and cherry trees are flowering. Typical for April clouds, sunshine and rain change quickly, but we are lucky and it is raining mostly during the night.
Our route through Ukraine
Members of a bicycle forum of Lviv accompanied us out of city – many thanks for the well chosen roads!
One of the most famous castles in Ukraine – south of Lviv
Ukrainian side rails..
It is heavily raining during the night – but next morning sun wakes us up
Many of the cars here we would found in a museum in Germany
Beautiful colors between heavy rain clouds and sunshine
A little village store…
We follow the Dnister, the border river to Moldavia. It is quiet hilly.
Driving on Mudroads…
The first green leaves…
Following a valley, heavy tailwind is pushing us the last 150Km to Odessa
See you, with pictures from Eastern Ukraine and Krim!