Back home…

I’m back…
After 4 month, 17 countries, 2 sets of tyres, some technical problems and about 28000 km I’m back in Hannover. It was a great, difficult and wonderful time. I’m glad I rode this with Max, Chris and Jonas. Having said that we will not ride together again on a trip like this because our style of riding doesn’t really fit together. Actually, I think I prefer to have just one other rider with me, so I can share those great moments you come across. And there are many on a trip like this.
It took us 2 months to get to the Mongolian border and only 3 weeks to get back to Germany. The ride through Russia was fast but also tedious because of the many miles we / I did every day. The scenery is beautiful, the people are great and it won’t be the last time I visit this country. For example, are The Road of Bones, Magadan and St. Petersburg still on my bucket list.
We rode through many countries and they were all great in their own way. The most beautiful I found to be Kirgizstan, the most exiting Tajikistan and the toughest by far Mongolia. Everybody tells you how tough Mongolia is and they’re right, even though you can have it easier than us because we took that cut from north to south Mongolia. A route that even a Mongolian man described as one of the most difficult routes in Mongolia. But we did it (with a lot of complaining on my side)!
On a trip like this you suddenly realize how little you actually need. I certainly have missed my friends but otherwise I’ve only missed the comfort of always being able to have a hot shower. All those other gadgets are unnecessary and just a waste of space and time. And I still managed to take too much stuff with me and could have saved a fair amount of space and weight (around the 10 kilos I think). But for the first time it wasn’t that bad (I already have a new packing list).
Something else I know now is that I will not write a blog again while travelling. Even though I enjoyed writing it it’s just too time consuming, unless you have much more time on your hands – say 5-10 years or so 😉 like Andy and Alyssa (https://www.madornomad.com/) one of the great people we’ve met on the way.
But there were others too, like Frank a French man on a Royal Enfield and his friend Didier on his KLR, Christian a guy from Romania on his 850 GS or Kainbek the Ex-Police man from Kazakhstan who invited us in to his home. Unfortunately there so many others I can’t recall all their names. I just know that I will remember a lot of them for a very long time, if not even forever!

If you asked me what I would change if I did it again? Well not that much…
There are some countries I could have skipped to save time but otherwise the only and most important thing is time. I would take a lot more time and maybe more time!

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Latvia, Lithuania and Poland

04.09.2018
The last leg…
How many roads works can there be??? I counted 5, onl5 I can hear people say but they were rather long and put probably a good 2.5h on top of my travelling time. So, my day got even longer – I started about 07:30 and hit, after almost 1100km, Hannover around 20:15.
A boring ride but with sunshine and only some idiots on the road 🙂
So, this is it – I’ll write on last entry to this trip…

 

03.09.2018
life happens while you’re making plans 🙂
I did manage to get through Latvia and Lithuania but only a short portion of Poland. The border crossing took me about 1,5 hours because they did not want to work but as always very friendly with it. After one check I asked where to go next and he pointed to the gate. So I went but only to get send back because I needed to go to the next booth and not the gate. A blond Russian Officer opened her door and while broadly smiling waved a fist in my direction 😀 She then did her stuff and I could get finally out of Russia.
до свидания Russia –  at least until next time and there will be a next time!
Who wants to ride with me the road of bones to Magadan?

The Latvian border staff made me open all my bags and then let me go rather quickly and since there are no controls anymore between the other countries I could just drive into Lithuania ad Poland. I like the Schengen Area!
At the border into Latvia I met a Latvian man and since he could speak a little German we talked while we waited for the border staff to get into gear. I also met a Russian/German man and his family while waiting for the Russian border staff to get going.
Which reminds me to mention all the cool road name from Russia. We drove on the
Trans-Siberian Highway, the Volga Highway, the Ural Highway and the Baltic Highway. I find those names have a cool and adventures ring to them.
No I’m in a ton called Etk where I found a nice hotel with secure parking for my bike and breakfast for only €34. This is the first hotel for days which actually offers breakfast.
If there are no more surprises like very long road works I should be home tomorrow evening around 22:00…
A good thing cause I’m on my last pair of clean underwear 😀

 

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Russia – the road back home

02.0.2018
I had a good night’s sleep in that spacious bed, shame I woke up on my own 😀
It took me about 2 hours to get to the M9 which brings me directly to the border. It’s a good piece of road with some road works here and there. It might have something to do that it’s Sunday today but the road was really quiet. At some point a Police car overtook me and I did what everybody does when someone faster wants to overtake you, I drove on the hard shoulder. Normally the other driver puts shortly the four-way-flasher (hazard lights) on but the Police is much cooler and put the flashing lights (red and blue) on J
The closer I get to Latvia the more bikers are coming my way.
I’m really looking forward to ride through Latvia and Lithuania tomorrow. Both countries are not that large and so I’ll ride through both and some of Poland in one day. But I can always come back…

 

01.09.2018
Just when I wanted to turn in all the Truck stops disappeared on me. Like when you need to find somebody in a shop to ask some questions – sipp and their gone. Or as Dieter Nuhr once said: It’s like when you turn the light in your cellar on and all the cockroaches disappear 😀
Anyhow, I had to search for a Hotel which took me about 1.5 hours. At last I found an IBIS Hotel while I was searching for another one but after 12 hours on the bike I didn’t care. I would have taken the Hilton too, well if I could afford it.
Again I was lucky to have really nice weather with over 31 degrees Celsius. I must make notes while I ride! Every time I’m on the bike I have ideas for the blog but when I stop I already forgotten it – Not a word about age or I make sure I come and haunt you 😀

 

31.08.2018
After Chris told me via WhatsApp that the M7 is only a single lane road and the M5 is not I thought about it but decided against it. This morning though I thought about it again and let Russia make the decision for me J
Say what? 😀 I just waited for a sign to Moscow and took that road, which was the M5. What I hadn’t thought of was that I get really far south again and with that warm weather. Yes yes yes, I “had” to ride in 30 degrees today. A nice change to the rather wet and cool weather from the north!
It has its downsides as well:
1. I gave to ride 120 km more
2. The ride is more boring because of the two lanes which come and go – more going then coming though 😉
Today after almost 760 km I call it a day. I thought I could ride further but I had enough and either way I still have two more days in Russia anyway cause it is roughly 1600 km to the border with Latvia.
Max and Chris must be in Moscow by now. Hopefully they have a great time!

 

30.08.2018
I’m really starting to dislike time zones. Yesterday I went through 2 which OK cause it gave me more time to ride but I didn’t notice the last one and got up at 5 instead of 6.
The landscape keeps changing though for a while today I found it boring for the first time. Later it got great again. Part of the road was curvy and went through mountains.
Sunflower fields

While searching for a Hotel I got wet, hopefully everything is dry again tomorrow.

 

29.08.2018
I left Novosibirsk around 07:00 and after a long day and almost 1000 km I’m in Ishim. My back is telling me that this 12-hour ride was a little too long but I really enjoyed it.
I just can’t get enough of the Russian Country side. It’s like someone laid a road through the wilderness, not like Germany where everything looks tidy and smooth. Here in Russia I’d like to walk for hours with a dog, shame I don’t have one anymore…
The ride started with FF (ducking fog) but as soon as I put my rain gear on it disappeared.

 

28.07.2018
After a good night sleep everything looks better and brighter, except for the weather…
I still have mixed feelings about riding on my own now. In one way I’m a little sad but in another way, I’m really looking forward to it. But before I can do that I have to take my bike to BMW for a service and wait for its return which will be probably so late in the day that I have to stay another day in this hotel. And I don’t mind that at all because the staff is friendly and pretty to look at 😉
Now for some breakfast…
Brought my bike to BMW and luckily found some new rain gear for me. My old one (it’s actually new) seams to leak at the front up by my throat and so after about 1h of rain the water runs down to my chest. Not that nice really!
I thought it might be rain water from my helmet tripping into the rain gear but I don’t want to take any chances because the weather forecast doesn’t look that good. So now I’ve got a bright yellow one instead of my black and white (I preferred the black and white).
Vasily told me that my bike should be ready at 19:00 today so I will definitely leave tomorrow morning and not today.

 

27.08.2018
We’re back in Novosibirsk and we’re staying in the same hotel (Romana B&B). Today Max and Chris get their tyres and I will hopefully find some new rain gear. If not, I’m fucked because there is rain coming my way. Also need to repack my stuff and check my route home. I wonder why it’s so difficult for Garmin to make their Satnavs work better together with their software. If I plan a route and send to the Satnav it always recalculates everything and quite often fucks it up. I then have to tweak it on the Satnav again which can take some time. Usually that means I have to place in more waypoints so the route goes the way I wanted/did it in the first place. I find this very frustrating especially if you think how much those devices are!

Until now the road didn’t go strictly west but since yesterday I have to case my shadow agin…
Chris and Max left round 09:30 to get their tyres changed and to replace some of the brake pads. They both think that we’ll see each other after Moscow again but I don’t think so, as I managed before.
I’m gonna have a lazy day partly I didn’t sleep that well last night and cause I just feel like lazing around, now that they abundant me 😀
They still rode 350 km today and shuld reach Moscow in about 3 days. We’ll stay in contact via WhatsApp…

 

26.08.2018
No breakfast today 🙁
So we had an early and quick start in the day. There’s not much to write these today because all we do is riding. It rained last night including thunder and lightning but it was dry in the morning.
Again we ride in this vast country with its lush green colours, its soft hills with a lot of trees broken by corn fields. So far, I didn’t have time to take pictures and I’ve been enjoying to much the riding part – oops I guess I should have stopped…
It looks in a lot of laces like a mixture of Germany, Britain and Holland – I find.
We got three sim cards for our phone so we can stay easier in touch and after that hard work we went to McDonalds 😀 I’m usually not a big fan of fast-food but that burger was yummy 😉
A slight change of plan. Max and Chris are leaving today around launch time. This way they have more time to get to Moscow. I’ll leave early Wednesday morning and push on as long as I can. Maybe we meet after Moscow again. There again I’m not sure if that would make sense since we’d only ride maybe another 4/5 days together before we finally split up and everybody is riding home. We’ll see I guess…

 

25.08.2018
The light bulb in my room kept flashing for a while then stopped then flashed again, so I decided to take action…  After I unscrewed the light bulb I had a good night’s sleep 🙂
The sun is already out but the air is still crisp.
A long day again with over 740 km and lovely scenery. Tomorrow we should get to Novosibirsk where if things go not as plant we’ll split up because Max and Chris don’t want to wait for me. Max because he wants go home as fast as possible and Chris has a date in Riga. If the BMW dealer gets my bike ready before 15:00 on Tuesday they might wait but I doubt that.
There again that way I might be home earlier than them because they’re stopping in Moscow and I won’t to that on my own. I like sightseeing but not by myself. I’m weird, what can I say 🙂

 

24.08.2018
Fucking rain!
Because the train tracks run alongside the Lake Baikal and because it’s the main route for trains, every 5-10 minutes there is one or two going past here.
So much for a quite night 🙁 though I didn’t hear them in the night very often.
Yesterday around 16:00 it started to rain and hasn’t stop since. It’s not a heavy rain but it’s like a curtain. We’ll wait for a while but I don’t think it’s going to change anything. We should have been leaving yesterday!
Wonderful my rain gear is not waterproof! The first 5 hours we had rain. The last 3 hours sunshine. So a shitty start and a nice ending. The scenery was very nice. I just live to ride in Nice roads through woody areas.
We’re staying in a truck stop again, had some food and now we’re queuing for the only shower. All in all, still a nice day…

 

23.08.2018
Not sure if I really gonna take more photos, it’s nice here but not that beautiful. For breakfast we wanted pancakes because the place we were yesterday served them but decided to have something else.
We also had to change our room because we’re now staying another day. It’s okay to do so though I would have preferred to carry on. But we still have 4 days to get to Novosibirsk where I’ll get my tyres changed and bike serviced. Max and Chris gonna keep their tyres and take the new once with them. I could do the same but I don’t want to carry the extra weight.
Shame it’s a little cloudy today, the sun only peeks out there and then.
Just when Chris and Max went into their Sauna it started to rain. You could even hear some thunder but it never came closer or rained heavily. I just hope tomorrow it’s better weather even though the forecast says otherwise.
To honest I found this relaxing da bit boring and I think half a day would have sufficed.

 

22.08.2018
For a change I got woken by my alarm. Something that doesn’t happen too often.
We bought something for breakfast in the shop next door and left shortly after we had demolished everything. Since the scenery is so beautiful around here I’m looking forward to the ride to Lake Baikal. Max is also looking forward to the lake but for a different reason, he wants to eat some fish (Omul) who only lives in this lake.
The ride was nice and we already had some Omul. I don’t know if that is the normal way to serve it bur ours was smoked with no side dish. While I recalculated the route back home (just for me) Chris and Max were sun basing and had a very short dip in the lake. 15 seconds I’ve been told cause it’s rather nippy 😀
We decided to stay another day and relax since we are ahead of or schedule. Lake Baikal is the biggest sweet water lake in the world. Tomorrow I’ll try to take some more photos…

Lake Baikal

 

21.08.2018
Welcome back to Russia!
Nobody said that to us so I’m writing it 😉
With a fairly early start we managed to ride 354 Km and cross the border by 17:00. One of the faster ones with only 1.5 hours.
For the night we stopped in a “hotel” and for 1500 Rubel we have a kind of a wooden Ger with a double bed and a rather hard sofa.
The ride here was very nice with soft green hills and some twisty roads.
Vasily from BMW Novosibirsk contacted me to et me know that they’re closed on Monday, again. I wonder if they are ever open on a Monday?
While Max and Chris had something to eat we got invited by two Russians (Georg and Sergej) to have some Vodka with them. I declined the kind offer.
George was telling us that 30 years ago he had lived in Rostock and, if I understood him correctly, cycled home to Vladivostok when he finally had to leave. That’s a long way…

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Mongolia

20.08.2018
The apartment we rented is quite warm but nice and spacious. We all had a lay in today.
After breakfast we walked around town and did some sightseeing. There isn’t that much to see and the National Museum of History was the best. I didn’t know that the Empire of Chinggis Khaan was the largest in the world. Also, that Mongolia was involved in the second World War in helping Russia against the Nazis.
We went to Pizza Hut and later to a Restaurant run by an Austrian guy and his Mongolian wife.
And after walking around for quite a few kilometres today we managed, with the help of the Austrian guy, to find the Souvenir shop. We all bought some stuff there but not too much cause there is just not enough space on the bikes.
At the moment the guys are writing some postcards to send home and I’m sitting here taking note for the blog. Just three more weeks until we get home again, way too soon for me…

 

19.08.2018
Nice to sleep on a proper mattress again and being able to have actually a hot shower which has enough pressure and doesn’t change it or the temperature 🙂
Looking forward to breakfast now…
We also have the opportunity to take a car to the Chinggis Khaan Equestrian Statue. The Statue btw is 40 meters high and the visitors centre has 36 columns which representing the 36 khans from Chinggis Khaan to Ligdan Khaan.
Depends how long it takes to clean/fix Max’s bike – the radiator grill is blocked and so the bike overheads when he rides to aggressive.
The “Mechanics” from the Riverpoint Lodge damaged the wheel bearing so Chris had to change it again today luckily, he had another one with him.
As it turned out was the thermostat broken on Max’s bike, so he disabled it and now the bike doesn’t overhead anymore.
The ride to the statue was tedious. There is only one road (sometimes you could call it something else) and for about 20 km there’s a traffic jam by maniac drivers. Great! They overtake on both sides even when cars coming the other way and we’re in the middle of it. At some point I lost Max and Chris because thy overtake a lot faster and more aggressive than me. But as always, they waited for the old man and then we carried on together. Having said that I almost lost hem again…
After 1,5 hours we found our apartment which we have rented for 2 nights. It costs $101 for those two nights which is good and we’re right in the city centre. The guy who rents his flat to us had two friends with him. They are really nice and we could even park our bikes in a garage. Also, he made us coffee and we finally had some sheep’s head (Mongolian delicacy). I thought we had manged to miss it but nope 🙂 Today there’s no hot water so I had a rather quick shower – brrr
Max and Chris are on their way to KFC (they’re always hungry) and I’m blogging again. Can you find the error here? 😀 Jokes aside, I wanted to stay behind.
Unfortunately it seems that Chris gas lost a document from the Mongolian Customs. So tomorrow we’re first of to the German Embassy to check what he has to do to regain it because otherwise they won’t let him leave the country. I’m sure he is not the first or the last one with that problem because you get a lot of papers at the customs, some of you they take of you before you leave the customs area and others you have to carry with you until you leave the country. Welcome to the 18th  oops I mean the 21st century!

Chinggis Khaan Equestrian Statue – Entrance

Chinggis Khaan Equestrian Statue – Yes I was there 🙂

Chinggis Khaan Equestrian Statue

Chinggis Khaan Equestrian Statue

Chinggis Khaan Equestrian Statue

Chinggis Khaan Equestrian Statue

Chinggis Khaan Equestrian Statue – The whip is a sign of his power

Chinggis Khaan Equestrian Statue – welcome to Mongolia

 

18.08.2018
We’re at the River Point Lodge East from Ulaanbaatar which is run by an Austrian guy. A lot of travellers are staying here, mostly bikers.
The way to this place was okay for except that we had to fix Chris’s bike again. This time the right whelk baring was damaged after roughly 100000 km. Not bad for the old girl 🙂
We could not fix it properly but managed to get to the Lodge. Here it was fixed (at least we thought that) so we can carry on tomorrow to the Chinggis Khaan Equestrian Statue and then Ulaanbaatar where we’ll stay one or two nights. While trying to fix the bike being on the road we had stopped by a Ger and the owner had invited us in. We had to try some milky water, bread and some homemade chees. The milk tasted a bit like the traditional soup you get here and the chees was very hard but tasted pretty good.
I would have liked to stay here another day at the Lodge because a lot of interesting people are here but we don’t have another day to stay, so I have been told by my two friends. In one way I guess they have a point that we have to carry on but their decision is mainly based because they in a hurry to get home. But I’m not!
Anyway, Max needs to clean/fix his radiator grill which could take a while.
It was really nice to have some proper food again and some “normal” people to talk to.
We met some cool guys and shared our stories.
If you’re ever in Ulaanbaatar you should come here – Riverpoint Lodge. Careful with the name cause is also a Riverside Lodge not too far away from here!

 

17.08.2018
At night I tried to take some more pictures of the Milky Way. This time I think there better, well I hope so because it was the last chance to do so on this trip cause the light pollution is much too high on our way back.
The ride back to Dalanzadgad was a little shorter today because we could use the normal road again since t was mainly dry again.
We said goodbye to our really nice driver, got rooms for another night, our motorbike gear and also our bikes back. I just repacked my stuff and now I’m blogging…

Milky Way

Milky Way

 

16.08.2018
Last night we got a note saying that the driver wouldn’t be at the hotel at 08:00 and that we should go to the Information Centre. We did and now we’re leaving at 10:00
We were told that we get a car called White hummer. We’ll, it is actually a white hummer H3 🙂 A woman picked us up and switched with her husband at the petrol station. I can’t pronounce his name or even spell it.
The tarmac is nice except for some parts where the road is just half gone through the bad weather. It took us about 5 hours to get to the Ger Camp. The ride was here and there quite bumpy and we all agreed that American just can’t build cars 😉
Anyhow we’re gonna relax a bit and then take some camels to the sand dune.
Before dinner we took the car to some smaller dunes and after dinner we’ll go to the big one. At dinner we’ve met a Swiss guy. He bought two horses and rode two weeks through Mongolia. After the two weeks he sold them again. Crazy but a cool idea!
The big one is about 300 meters high and everybody is trying to get zup there for the view.
I’ve made it up in about 35 minutes and I’m quite proud of myself if I may say so 😉 Puffing and pounding but I’ve made it. The view was quite something since I’ve never been on a sand Dune before.

 

Khongoryn Els – A nice contrast

sand pattern

Khongoryn Els

Khongoryn Els

Khongoryn Els

Khongoryn Els

Khongoryn Els – let’s go it’s only 300 meters high and in some places 70% steep

Khongoryn Els – back down

 

15.08.2018
Hat not such a good night so I send Max and Chris on their own to that Canyon. I stayed in bed, put the please do not disturb sign on my door and tried to sleep a few more hours. Well, I managed a few more minutes. Now I need to rearrange my stuff for our trip to the sand dune.
According to Christof and Maximilian the canyon was okay so I didn’t mint that I missed it. Altogether we had a lazy day but we managed to put our luggage in a spare room and our bikes are in the hotels garage.
Looking forward to the sand dune. Our ride their will take longer though because of the rain we have to take a longer route.I’m also looking forward to being driven there 🙂

 

14.08.2018
This must have been the hardest bed I had to sleep on so far but I slept quit well on the wooden board with a thick carpet on top. Can you guess what we didn’t have this morning or last night? Correct a shower…
But that doesn’t matter we’ll get as far as Dalanzadgad today and their we’ll take a proper hotel again. Yesterday we had to ride through Ulaanbaatar to get to the road which takes us south. It looked okay but all I want to do there is go to the Hard Rock Cafe to get a T-Shirt and see the Chinggis Khaan Equestrian Statue outside of Ulaanbaatar.
When we stopped for a break we managed to find a really nice Restaurant which surfed actually something else than that traditional Mongolian food which is a welcoming change.
Not so nice was the sight of lots of animal skins pinned to the just outside of a petrol station.
The ride to Dalanzadgad is on mostly good tarmac but partly quite windy. The scenery looks most of the time the same just the temperature is rising as further south we get. It’s been a while since we had 33 degrees Celsius. Dalanzadgad is a little town in the south of Mongolia and not that far of the border to China, roughly 250 km. While walking around we found the Tourist Information (a first) and after two phone calls I arranged a car with driver to take us to that big sand dune Khongoryn Els. A night in Ger Camp is also included and that all for about 60€ per person.
In the south you’ll find more tourism than in the north and Edeka seems to be delivering a fair amount of food to here. I the shops you’ll find mainly alcohol and sweets (really big bags of it). So, we bought some German food for us, went to a Hotel room (Max and Chris’s) and ate 🙂

Germany (Edeka) is everywhere

Guten

 

Erdene Zuu Monastery

Erdene Zuu Monastery

Erdene Zuu Monastery

Erdene Zuu Monastery

Erdene Zuu Monastery

 

13.08.2018
Late start cause the Restaurant didn’t open until 09:00 on a Sunday. Max is not feeling well again. All tarmac but we have to pay 500 Mnt Maut.
The roads are good with some surprises (holes, cut out tarmac)
So far sunny with lots of white puffy clouds.
The rest of the day was good. When stopped and laid in the shad of our bikes a van stopped and gave us a water melon. Just like that. Maybe my faith can be restored!?
What is still enjoying is that they have to touch everything. As I found out did someone not only touch my helmet and camera he also changed my settings, which is really enjoying because I can not go back and film those moments again. I hope he gets the shits!
Anyhow we’re staying in a Ger Camp again. We even get food tonight, tomorrow and a hot (we’ll warm) shower.
Oh, we are in Hahorin right next to the Erdene Zuu Monastery which we’ll look at tomorrow.
At the Ger Camp we met three older men Klaus (Marketing) , Peter (Cook) and Eckberd and Wife Lisa and another Lisa (a nurse from Fürth). Klaus, Peter and Eckberd are working here through the SES (Senior Experts Service) as a kind of support worker to teach other what they know. It’s voluntary work and I think I’ll take a look at it when I’m 55 cause it sound great. They also have a new program for people over 35.
Shame we couldn’t talk any longer to any of them. In particular I would have liked to talk to Lisa a bit more because she seems to travel a lot and seemed rather interesting…
Maybe we’ll come as far as Ulaanbaatar tomorrow…

 

12.08.2018
Wow, we had a proper Breakfast for ages, even with Toast.
I wonder why they don’t have running water in the toilets all the time??
The Monastery was, how should I say, okay I guess. Nothing special and I fear that the rest of those coming attractions are on the same level.
Tomorrow we should get to Dalanzadgad.
I can’t get over this people here! Not only that a lot of them just sit at the side of the road and do their business, no they also just through their empty plastic bottles out of the car window.
I know they are not all like that but you do see that a lot…

 

11.08.2018
Max and me have stomach problems (we both had a bad night), we think it’s from yesterday’s lunch. After breakfast Christof went shopping and found German Liver sausage and dark bred – yeah Chris for President 😀
Later we’ll go to a Garage and fix our bikes and then just relaxing. Tomorrow, hopefully with better weather, we’ll ride to that Monastery. I’m still not sure how much further I’ll ride but one thing I know, I’ll never ever ride in a group again. As human beings we fit well together but our kind of riding is just too different. It’s not the guys fault except that they don’t stick to what we agreed on when we met (riding not too fast and taking enough breaks). But I guess if I could ride faster I would do that too.
It’s just that I enjoy riding in a group but the way it’s been working for weeks and weeks by now I’m mostly riding on my own… Well we all learn and I learned my lesson here!

No pics here cause it’s just flooded roads…

A friend just told me that I don’t sound too happy on my blog. Well it’s a rollercoaster ride for me and its tough to ride here because we didn’t take the normal route most people do. If you ride all day on really bad roads with painful knees and every so often you also get wet then you’re not a happy chocolate frog. My blog resembles exactly that, the way I feel right there and then. It doesn’t mean I’m unhappy all the time 😉
Some of the other countries were partly difficult but Mongolia is more difficult than I ever thought. The weird thing is that everybody who has done a ride like this is saying that too.
But all over I’m very happy to be here and I’m grateful that I have the opportunity to do a ride like that!
Thanks Dell for pointing it out to me 🙂
I’ll try and sound more positive in future…

 

10.08.2018
I took some pics at night which turned out quite nice (for a first try I think they ok).
Max woke up with back pain so we rode a little slower. Now we know why everybody is taking the Northern route through the mountains and not the original South route. There is a river which after the rain from the last few days is almost impossible to cross.
Of course, some little pick waits with his tractor for you and wants 150.000 Mnt (52€).
We took another route north. Boy we should have not left that road yesterday. So for a route that should have taken us three days we’re gonna need three or four.
I decided to go the direct route to Ulaanbaatar. I have enough of this beautiful country with its ignorant and uneducated people. Through this difficult and intensive riding, I have seen more and experienced more than what I have seen in three holidays, so I decided for now to skip some of the south of Mongolia.
Fell hard again and this time my right mirror broke off. Other things are just bend I’ll see to them tomorrow.
First some food!
This road is making me crazy and my keens are hurting like mad. I just want the day to end! For some reason we have to get to Bayanhkongor. I would have preferred to stop and camp or at least take a break but this seems to not possible. After a chat with Max and Christof we decide to take the road to Ulaanbaatar because its tarmacked and visit a Monastery.
Max has quite bad Backpain and doesn’t want to carry on over this shit roads and neither do Chris or I.

No way past this puddle

In the last few days there are always clouds in the evening that are usually followed by rain

Our Milky Way

Our Milky Way

Our Milky Way

 

09.08.2018
After a noisy night and some weird dreams I had a slow start. Somehow is my stuff getting more or my cloth is having babies because it doesn’t want to fit in my bags anymore 🙂
Anyway, we bought some supplies, mainly water, filled up with petrol and headed for Bayanhkongor.
We rode on really nice tarmac for the first 150 km or so, then the road split and we should have taken a right but we stayed on tarmac. About 20 km in Chris’s rack system broke again.
After a little debate we drove back and got caught in rain. At the moment we’re at a small service station and taking a break.
Every time when you think it’s getting better Mongolia Buttfucks you 🙂
I guess we’re at the rim of the Gobi Desert because we had some sand parts but they weren’t large. Maybe I’m getting better in riding it, well that is what I hope cause there’s more to come.
My knees hurt today quite a bit but it can’t be just my age because Max is complaining too.
We’re camping in the middle of nowhere. For the last five hours we haven’t seen a soul. OK we saw a herd of camels 🙂
In whatever direction you look you can only see the horizon. There is nothing blocking your view…

Nobody anywhere, just some Camels

A wide country

 

08.08.2018
Today is just relaxing and blogging for me. Chris and Max are going to get their bikes welded. Chris his Rack System and Max his mirrors cause they both fell off.
Tomorrow we’re riding to Bayankhongor which is about 390 km away. After this we’re going further south to visit a few sights (Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park – Khongoryn Els sand dunes are said to sing when the wind blows, the ice field of Yolyn Am Caynon and and the “Flaming Cliffs” of Bayanzag) and ride through a small part of the Gobi desert.
Some Gobi facts:
– Second largest desert in the world
– Size: 2.3 million km² (still crowing)
– Extreme dry
– Embodies Dunes, Mountains and Salt lakes
– Temperatures vary from -40 to 50 Degrees Celsius which makes her the coldest desert in the world
In short: a fun place to be 😀

 

07.08.2018
The road, like a lot of roads on our map, was marked as prepared for Tarmac. I guess they fell behind like on so many roads 😀  The 150km to Altai were mostly easy to ride, some sandy parts (yuck) but otherwise ok.
If was really happy when we finally reached the main southern route because it’s tarmacked – Yippie Ki Yay
Most cars you see around are SUVs (Land Cruiser, Lexus, etc.) with V6 or V8 engines. I’m not sure how many rich people are living in Mongolia but there must be a few. Most people are riding small motorbikes or old cars. We reached Altai (the town not the region).
It still strikes me how little education people have here. Our rooms cost 75000 Mnt (Mongolian Tenge) which is about 26€ per night and so I gave her 150000 Mnt because we’re staying two nights. She took the calculator to verify this. I know it’s not her fault in a way but it’s still shocking!
Since we had no shower for the last 6 days we took a nice hotel. Even Max wanted a single room 🙂  And I washed myself twice, just to make sure I was clean again 😀

The main road to Altai

 

06.08.2018
Just talked to Ben and Allyson because they’re leaving soon. Ben gave me his details and we try and catch up in Ulaanbaatar in a few weeks’ time.
After 3 small streams and another rain shower with some hailstones we’re in Ogton.
There are two road going out. On to the west one to the south. Normally we would take the west road to Altai but with this shit weather we want as fast as possible out if this mountain region and the south road is 10 km shorter. We went for the Western route still because the weather looked better that way. And we were right 🙂
The new rack mounting system from Chris’s bike broke so he has to ride a little slower now. Tomorrow we should get to Altai where we should be able to get it welded. And hopefully we’ll be able to finally have a shower again because it’s been six days now without one.
We camped at a really nice spot not too far away from the road to Altai. A father with his son came by on a horse. I put the child on my bike what he, going by his facial expression, really enjoyed.
We tried to start a fire bit the pieces of wood was too wet and there are hardly any trees around. Just on the top of the hills are some but mainly the land is “just” filled with green hills.

Father and son on a short visit

Making the beamer looking good 🙂

It’s getting late

Another sun set

 

05.08.2018
Nikki, I did not forget your birthday, I just had no cell service for the last 4 days.
Happy birthday my favourite godchild.

The morning looked okay and not long after we had started to ride we met a Mongolian with his family in two cars. He congratulated us that we had come this far because we had taken one of Mongolia’s most difficult roads (don’t call us fools, if we had known, we wouldn’t have chosen this road). He ought to know, he lives here!
Now we’re at a place where we have to cross a river (the last one) over three islands to reach the other side. Max and Chris are talking about if it might be possible to cross the river further north but we all doubt that it’s going to be a better one because between the hills is the same amount of water but in less space (so its deeper). Just to make sure they rode about 2 km further north to check the crossing and I stayed behind with the luggage and wait for their return. Of course, there was no better way but we still doubt that we’ll make it. It’s just so deep and the current is quite strong too. Max took a look further upstream and found a “easier” way.
All together we crossed 2 rivers with 3 or 4 of their arms today and some bog land. Because it had rained the last two days the rivers carried more water than normally and we had to go through knee deep water. The last crossing took us about 1.5 hours. FUCK YEAH we did it!!!
Each bike we walked through the rivers without their luggage which we had to carry over before so, every crossing meant several times though that deep and rather cold water. Next time I buy Sealskin socks so a least my feed would stay dry.
I don’t remember ever being this exhausted. When we finally reached the Ger Camp I was getting cold and my hands started to feel like I had them put in snow. While Max and Chris cooked I laid in my sleeping bag trying to get warm again.
Earlier on Max had met an Australian (Ben) while looking for a way to cross the last river. Ben and his wife Allyson are also staying at the Ger Camp. He works in the mining industry (safety) and has been almost 7 years in Mongolia. Through him we managed to put our boots next to a fireplace because our “house” has none. Hopefully they mostly try tomorrow.

Trying to dry our boots

Ben and his wife Allyson get their car tyres blessed with milk

The part from Tsahkir to almost Uliastai is one of the most difficult roads of Mongolia. You should not ride this on your own!

 

04.08.2018
This morning the weather looked good just some clouds in the sky but boy did that change later. Because we’re at about 2400 meters the sun is, when she is shining, quite strong early on. The roads had already dried up from the downpour from yesterday and so it was okay to ride.
Right now, I am laying in my tent again and listen to the storm. It’s even worse than yesterday. My tent is moving quite a lot and I hope that the pegs stay in the ground.
The way here wasn’t easy, we rode alongside a river and had to cross him or one of its side arms many times. In one of them I dropped my bike (everybody did today) and in another one we had to pull me a few meters back so could get out (the beamer is just to heavy). On top of that we had to ride over a mountain pass accompanied by rain and hailstones. The way down was rather slippery but not as bad as when we reached the bottom cause there it turned to soap. All together we did today only 45 km today.
I know this will be a story to tell but right now I’d prefer not to having to do it. Our cloths are so wet that they won’t get dry in the next few days. In my boots you could go for a swim.
Mam, can I have the wet cloth incl. some not so stinky socks for tomorrow please…
Some stats for the road from Tsahkir to Uliastai:
– 16 river crossings in 4 days
– 2 rivers crossings took us over 1 hour each
– twice rain
– twice rain with hailstones
– two thunderstorms at night
– 6 days no shower
– 4 days no cell service
– 3 days riding with dump/wet cloth

Chris takes a break

A river to cross

One more please my feet are not cold and wet enough yet

 

03.8.2018
Not a great night cause somebody had a party and guess who was attending? Yep, Max and Chris got invited by our hotel room neighbour. Weird that nobody thought of me…
I never understood that alcohol mentality and the need to get drunk but I guess I can’t understand everything… Anyway, because they had a little too much Vodka I have to wait until they had enough sleep. So much for getting up at 07:00 😀
The Mongolian family gave them bananas, blueberries, a zucchini, tomatoes and eggs. Oh, and some strong Vodka. The girl is living with her German boyfriend in London and the father is the trainer from the national Mongolian swimming team. There is a lake close by and in some German film from 1978 somebody tried to swim across the lake but didn’t manage because it was too cold. So, the father did it anyway and local people put a statue up for him.
The weather is looking nice and according to the weather forecast there should be no more rain. I like that and hopefully most of the road has dried up.
We left around 11:00 I think. The first part of the ride was on tarmac again but soon we turned of on to a small unpaved road. After a while the road disappeared in to the river we follow for the next three days. I got stuck several times and the pressure point of my clutch seemed to be moving. I thought BMW had sorted that out but I was wrong. After a lot of swearing on my part I got through. Unfortunately, was the river so deep that the water run into my left boot. We took a short break, had some food and dried tour socks in the sun. The next river crossings were actually okay and I started to have some fun.
Now I’m laying in my tent and listen to the rain that caught us. There was even some thunder and lightning while we put our tents up and got wet because we weren’t fast enough. Since our last hotel had no shower we had one now, a little cold though and with cloth our on. To be honest I would have preferred a warm one! On occasions like this I’m happy I’ve got a two-man tent so you’ve got enough space for everything.
Oh, this part of Mongolia looks like Scotland and it’s wet too. Those damn this Brits are everywhere 😀
The usual visitors came by and said hello. We agreed to have a late start so we have a chance to try our stuff in the sun.

Rocky road

Not just the hills from Scotland are here, also the weather

 

02.08.2018
Got up an hour early at 06:00 and sorted my stuff which was good cause I saw Christian again before he left. He is going to ride 400 km today, 250 of those are off-road. Good luck!
We talked about the route he is taking today and why he is travelling on his own. He has gone through what I’m going through at the moment. I think his experience was worse than mine but the result is the same.
I was already finished with everything by the time Max and Chris got up. We had Omelette which took about 45 minutes. Did I mention that the Mongolian people are not the fastest!?
A lot of them are quite ignorant too. But as Volker Pispers has always said: An asshole is nothing more than an asshole.
If you never heard of him he is one of the best cabaret artist Germany has to over and sadly taking brake at the moment after 33 years of showbiz but his last show (Bis neulich 2015) you can find on that video channel.
This has nothing to do with ethnic or religion cause there is an race called assholes and they are everywhere!
Anyway we left around 10:00 I believe and after a short 3 hour ride we reached our destination for today. The town Tariat is very close to an old Volcano Chris wanted to visit. The ride was nice except for some rain.
Another hotel without a shower, running hot water, (cold is available) and the toilet outside. That the toilet is outside is not so bad because there are just holes in the ground with a little wooden house over it and a hole in the floor. I will not post a picture because it’s disgusting but the “sitting” position is natural and better then our westernised way. Anyway when you step out of the hotel there is always….how shall I put it?….a foul stench in the air 🙂
Max and Chris did some adjustment work on Max’s bike and now they’re off to ride to the Khorgo Uul Volcano. I decided to stay behind to do some blogging. I hope their having fun!
I woke up through the sound of the rain. Not sure how long I slept but not to long after Max and Chris came back from their Volcano visit. It was OK they said but nothing majorly impressive. The roads to the volcano and a close by cave where partly quite slippery (wonder where I read that before), so slippery that Chris dropped his bike. They also had to cross a small river. I’m glade I stayed behind. I had  guessed that it’s nothing overly impressive because so far those “extractions” where not that great.
The next two days we probably going to camp cause we talking a very small road. Not sure why because the detour on much better roads would only be 100 km more.

A sacred place

 

01.8.2018
It has been raining almost all night and from 5 or so everybody went to the toilet. Some make noises like pics. Oh, guess whose room is right next to it and the door has to be shut with force otherwise it won’t stay closed. Great, wonderful, splendid… Careful some sentences could contain traces of sarcasm…
Anyhow I got up and started slowly to pack my stuff because it’s only 6:15 am. The rain should make some of those sandy road parts easier to ride on but also make other road surfaces a bit slippery.
Sounds almost like a LP from Bon Jovi (can anybody guess which one?)
Lets see what the day brings us…
Well the day didn’t bring a lot cause we stayed in the hotel for another day. It rained so much that we didn’t want to go. Yesterday when we walked through town we met a Romanian biker (Christian).  He gave us some important information about the route ahead of us and told us a great story.
He drove to Magadan the road of bones. On the way there he had some problems with it fork seals. He got in contact with some Russian biker club and they not just let him stay at their club for free, they also organized the seals from Vladivostok via plane and picked them up at 2 in the morning. He was not allowed to pay for anything and the guy from Vladivostok, who bought the seals from the local BMW, Dealer went to the Airport to find people who flew close to where the club was. If that is not helpful then I do not know!
It a short version of his story but the message is the same – They are nice people everywhere!
There is an Italian couple in staying in our hotel. They ride with a 1200 GSA, I used to own a big girl like that too. The really nice but I forgot again to ask for their names.

Funny food (It was really surved like this)

 

31.07.2018
At 10:30 we left our camping spot because we were still tiered when we woke at 08:00 am. But we still managed 120 km, partly because we slept so late, partly cause of the bad roads. As we got to Tosontsengel it started to drizzle so we stopped there. It’s a fairly big town for Mongolian standard.
The hotel is okay and after 3 days of no running hot water I REALLY enjoyed a warm shower! We also needed to wash our cloth 😉
Problem was you can feel a small electric current when the boiler is on. So I think I skip the shower tomorrow 😉  Also the view from the toilet is quite good because it has a normal windows with no curtain or something similar. You can see them and they can watch you. No comment!
After some food and some shopping for tomorrow we’re relaxing.

Mongolia – (Takhilt Nuur lake)

 

30.07.2018
The beds where Christof and Max have slept in were quite uncomfortable, my wooden board was okay but as always too short. I talked to Chris and Max and offered them that they could carry on their own but they didn’t want that.
The first 150 km go quickly by cause the road is paved but after that it’s back on sandy something. Shame that my knees still hurt from yesterday otherwise I could have enjoyed the ride more. Except for some deep sandy parts, it was okay today.
Today we have an earlier stop and going to camp right by a lake. Just as we set up camp we have to first three visitors. A guy on a motorbike with two young children comes past to say hello and just after dinner another guy with his partner turns up, says hello and offers us fermented horse milk. Chris and Max take a sip but I decline because of my lactose problem. They offer us the whole bottle but since we don’t want to buy it (I guess) they say goodbye and take off again.
As I was typing this I could a herd of horses galloping by. When I took a look, I could see them going to the lake for a drink. Shame I didn’t have enough time to get my camera ready. That is one of the things I’ll will not forget!

Mongolia – visitors at the lake (Takhilt Nuur)

 

29.07.2018
After a windy night – slept okay but woke often, I have an early start because my shit phone keeps changing the time on me. There are quite e few eagles around which I try to take a video of – we’ll how it turn out.
Because we’re camping next to a hill the sun doesn’t reach as so early. So, I take my chair place it in the sun and close my eyes. Wonderful!

What a fucking whore day!
Right now I hate everything. I’m can’t even say how beautiful the countryside was because I couldn’t take my eyes on second of the fucking “road”.  The speed my friends are traveling in is just too high for me and so I fell twice. The second time quite hard. It’s my fault of course but doesn’t make me feel any better.
On top of that I’ve been eaten alive again by those fucking Mosquitos and I seem to be allergic to them cause most bites swell up quite bad.
So FUCK OFF you fucking fuck day!!!!!
I’m seriously thinking about to carry on by myself so I can ride without the group pressure. And all of that in the country which was / is the main goal of this trip. Not good…
On the way to the hotel we’re having such strong wind that we have to ride at a 70 degree angle. The “hotel” is a dump and I’m using my sleeping bag to sleep in. I’ll talk to my friends tomorrow…

Mongolia

Mongolia

Mongolia

 

28.07.2018
Since we only stayed 1 km away from the border we had a late start. While packing we meet two more bikers from Hungary which must have arrived late last night.
At the border we waited in line but when the two Hungarian bikers drove straight to the front we simply followed 🙂 A good thing as it turns out cause a very nice lorry driver lets us go first.
Again a rather large ( 20 km ) no-man’s-land we have to ride though. The Mongolian border takes even less time and in about 2,5 hours we in Mongolia. Finally here!
The road to Ölgii is mostly tarmacked and nice to ride.
After Ölgii there’s some off-road to ride and a little late we turn off the road to find a camp spot. We manage to find a nice slightly stony spot right by little rocky hill. After we set up our camp and start to cook two guys on a small motorbike (you see them a lot here) come to us. They polite, sit with us and keep looking through some binoculars into the distance.  We offer them some of our Vodka coke mix which they seem to like too 😉 Then one leaves and after a while you can see a herd of wild horses coming towards us. The guy who left with the bike behind them. As soon the horses are with s they catch on, out a saddle on and start riding it. The repeat this with another horse which doesn’t like it at all. Then thy leave us, one on a horse, one on the bike. That is something you do not see every day!

Mongolia – Altai Region

Mongolia – Altai Region

Mongolia – Altai Region

Mongolia – Altai Region

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Russia – Altai Region and Novosibirsk

27.07.2018
Now we’re 20 Km away from the Mongolian border. The roads to here were really nice except for a few road works. Just like in the last place we had stopped for some food there was no electricity. So, no running water which means also no shower. Great! Oh, and NO INTERNET ;(
Okay, we found a shop and met 3 Germans (Roland – Darmstadt, Jakob and Tina – Munich) who travel with 2 lorries. They’re going to Mongolia as well but do the travel the north Route. Roland is going on towards China. Jakob and Tina are going back through Russia home.
We had something to eat and after the electricity came back on we could even take a hot shower.
Now it’s relaxing, blogging and watching offline movies time 😉
Since the border has opening times from 09:00 – 16:00 we’ll have a late start tomorrow…

Altai Region

Altai Region

Altai Region

 

26.07.2018
We started a little late because Max had some trouble (Steering bearings) with his bike again.
The ride towards Mongolia was fast and mostly straight forward. We stayed in a small town but I can’t remember the name of it 😀
Our hotel is owned by the Ex-wife from boss of the Restaurant/Hotel where we ate. The hotel boss and the barman where singing to way too loud music but the barman had actually a really good voice!
The Restaurant / Hotel also had a pool where an old Russian with his much younger Botox lipped girlfriend relaxed. She also tried to sing – well, I hope she doesn’t give up her daytime job. Whatever that might be…
Just before we found our hotel we (Chris and I) got our tyres changed at a small garage. Now we all have knobblies 🙂

 

25.07.2018
These days are mainly full of maintenance. We changed the tyres on Max’s bike and left, rather late, for Barnaul. The garage where Chris and Max had worked in the last few days belong to Vladimir and Alexander. They call the place Remzona54, unfortunately they have no website. It took Max and me about 3h to get to Andrews place just outside of Barnaul where I picked up my tyres.
We met Chris, who left in the morning to Barnaul because he picked up and installed his new pannier system., in our “hotel” for the night.

Remzona54 -Vladimir and Alexander

Remzona54

 

24.07.2018
Boy did I sleep well last night. This room is much quieter than the other one and the bed is much more comfortable too.
Max and Chris finished the important work on their bikes yesterday so today is just the oil changed left to do and maybe a new Chain-Kit for Max’s bike. I’m waiting for a message from BMW that my bike it ready and hopefully that Max’s Chain-Kit is there too. But in any case, we are leaving tomorrow towards Barnaul (again) where we’ll pick up our tyres and the new Rack-System for Chris. It would be great if Max could get his Chain-Kit today because then we could leave early in the morning a maybe go further then Barnaul cause from Barnaul it’s another 800 Km to the Mongolian border.
We all want to carry on cause that stop here was nice but also has wastes enough time of ours and as pretty the woman are we need to e strong and fulfill our mission. The mission to bring peace to the world… No hang on, that’s not it. Now I remember (got to stop watching those Hollywood Movies), we just want to ride to Mongolia and back 😀
Maybe not as heroic but at least doable 😉

 

23.07.2018
Chris and Max are going to fix their bikes. Both of them need to replace the baring from the steering column. It’s probably going to take them all day and maybe some hours tomorrow.
Jonas is picking his bike up from the BMW Dealer and from their rides straight towards Ulaanbaatar. First he wanted to take the south route through Mongolia but when we talked about it last night we convinced him to go through Russia because it should be faster and he is coming back next year to Mongolia anyway.  So now we will not see him again, well at least until we all meet again in November in Germany.
And for me, well I just finished my Blog for Kazakhstan and repacked all my stuff.
Now I shall watch some videos from people who can rider better than me 😉
While looking for parts we went to FBR (For bike and rider – http://www.fbrmoto.ru) a great shop with knowledgeable staff and a friendly customer service. Through them Max and Chris got in contact with a private garage right under the shop itself. The guys were kind enough to let them use their garage and tools.

Bike repair

Bike repair

 

 

22.07.2018
A lazy (rainy) day…
Yesterday evening I got a message from Vasily saying that the mechanic knows about the throttle/engine problem and so I’m confident that thy can fix it. It’s a real shame though that this problem is common enough that the mechanic knows it.
For me it’s good that it’s a common problem so it can, hopefully, easily being fixed but in any other aspect it’s atrocious and really dangerous!
Anyhow, it has been raining almost all night and still is. So our day is going to be really lazy one 😉
For the last few time when we stayed in a hotel I seemed to get rather often the small ugly rooms and so I decided today to ask for a bigger one. The reason for this is that I want to get away from the people next door and I want to repack all my language. Maybe I’ll send a package home to save some more space…
The girl at the reception told me that she would ring me when I could get another room. When she did I went down and there she told me that I have to wait until 7 pm. WTF? Why did I have to come down in the first place? Well, as long as she is pretty 😀
Jonas’s bike won’t be ready until Monday which gives him now even less time to reach Ulaanbaatar. Maybe he’ll leave his bike somewhere else instead!?
Normally we could walk around Novosibirsk all day but it started to rain in the night and hasn’t stopped since. According to the weather forecast it’s going to be like that until we leave on Wednesday.

 

21.07.2018
After a short night and an according to the menu an English breakfast (I didn’t think you could fuck it up but they manged) we brought my bike to BMW. Vasily, my contact at BMW Novosibirsk, was nice but to me he seemed not quite to be on the task. Not sure why…
Anyway thy are going to service my bike, put new fork seals in and try to fix the problem with the jerky throttle and the sudden engine dying. Keep your fingers crossed!
We also got some spare parts for Chris and Max so they can repair their bikes.
Jonas joint us again because his bike is at the BMW Dealer as well. If he is in lick his bike is ready this afternoon and he can carry on to Mongolia.
We walked a bit around in Novosibirsk and the town is quite nice. We hadn’t expected that. To be honest I’m not sure what we had expected but not such a nice town. I can tell you what we had expected – a lot of beautiful women. And boy are there a lot of them around!
In the evening we went to a Korea Restaurant and there we got to watch North Korea TV. A celebration of the political group which has existed now for 70 years. When the girls there realized that we were German they turned German subtitles on. At first it was quite funny how the commentator spoke and what was said according to the German subtitles but when you think about it, it’s not funny at all because it sounds just like the shit that was put on German TV in the 1940’s (can you guess who I’m talking about?).

 

20.07.2018
What a day…
We wanted to start early but overslept because we had lost another hour and hadn’t noticed.
The ride to Barnaul was okay but the car and lorry drivers are just crazy. At least the road was good 🙂
In Barnaul we payed for the ordered tyres from http://www.motorezina.ru/ and Max took his with him so they can be fixed in Novosibirsk on his bike. Chris’s and my new tyres are staying with Andrew in Barnaul. On the way to Mongolia we’re going to collect them.
This paying and collecting took us three hours 🙁
The rest of our drive to Novosibirsk was okay and accompanied with rain. Around 19:42 pm we reached our hotel.

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Kazakhstan – East

19.07.2018
Even though we left at 7 am it took us until 5:00 pm to get to our hotel. The roads were okay but the border crossing took us 3 hours, so far the longest. It was not the processing itself they just made everybody wait for almost 2 hours.

 

18.07.2018
I’m feeling a bit better today, still not great but the ride must go on 😉
The roads are really bad today and there is a constant strong wind who occasional tries to blow you of the road. All of this and then the fucking idiot drivers are just too much for us. We really don’t like it here at all. The people are so ignorant that I could just hit them all the time!
On top of that we have another hotel without showers and this time no way to charge our phones. The hotel is a meeting point for truckers and busses. This should normally be a good sign but it wasn’t.
They seem to greet each other with horning and the bus drivers also horn when they want their passengers to get back into the bus. Unfortunately, this doesn’t stop late at night.
I do know the difference between missing education and missing intelligence. There are many people who use a calculator for the simplest mathematical tasks and that is okay because they haven’t been educated but when people drive for example really close to you and overtake in places you can’t see if there is other traffic coming its missing intelligence! To top that they are soooo ignorant that it’s almost unbearable for me. Another thing is that they want to help too much. If we stop somewhere there is usually a small group forming around us and asked questions, which is fine. If we have a question it’s where its usually hoes wrong. I understand that they want us to experience their county in the nicest way possible but if you so no to a suggestion they starting to insist and that is not nice or helpful, its fucking root!
Of course I know that it’s their way of life and since I’m a guest in their country I have to respect it BUT I do not have to like it!!! I’m REALLY looking forward to leaving this country
BTW, I’m not the only one who thinks like that, we all do by now.
Which is a shame because the country is pretty (not as beautiful as Kyrgyzstan) and there are some people who are not like that but unfortunately most are.

 

17.07.2018
The day started out okay. Every one of us felt a little tight today. The people around here a friendly but whenever we stop somewhere we are getting a lot of attention. Normally we don’t mind but when strangers are insisting that you do something because they think it’s right or better than the friendliness turns to being root. If someone offers there help and I accept it’s okay but if I don’t want help, maybe because I’m 48 and can cross the street on my own (stupid example), I get pissed off. Anyhow, we drove almost 550Km today and just before we wanted to turn in I had a little accident. My bike just shut down three time today and the third time I fell. I was driving very slowly behind a car because the roads are shit and when I wanted to switch from third to second gear, the bike shut off. Because my focus was on the car in front of me I hadn’t noticed it this time and when I engaged the clutch again the rear wheel locked, I skidded, lost control and fell. Luckily there was no car or lorry behind me, if it had someone else would have to write this blog from now on because the way they drive I would have ended up under the vehicle behind me.
Chris took some picture and later that evening I wrote an Email to the BMW Dealer…
And to top thinks up I have diarrhea. It’s been there for a while but now it really hit me. Welcome to Kazakhstan…

 

16.07.2018
Almaty is a nice city but I find there isn’t that much to see. We went with some Cable Cars up to a sightseeing spot, to the National Independence Memorial and to a Church which we didn’t find in the end
When you reach the top of the hill with the Cable Car you do have a nice view over Almaty. From up here the City looks better…
Once thing I found that a lot of service people don’t seem to like their Job because they seem unwilling to do their job or just don’t like it.
Today we went to a Burger King – two days of Junk Food in a row 😀
Max, Chris and Jonas are going to the German Döner Haus (it’s really called that) 😀  I stay behind because I do not feel too well.

Almaty (cable car ride)

Almaty

Almaty

 

15.07.2018
The night was rather windy and Alexei and his friend Alja talked a lot and not too quiet but at some point, I fell asleep. I the morning at six they started again 🙁 Not to misunderstand, they were very nice and friendly!
Anyway, I got up at 08:00 and started to pack and get ready for a short ride to Almaty on wonderful tarmac.
After we found our Hotel, no Air-conditioning 🙁 we got ready to find some place to eat (We found a KFC and it was very nice! ) and later to meet Alexei and his daughter (Rita). She tried to translate a bit and that way exercising her English.
We went for something to drink and parted after a bout 1.5hours. I gave Rita my website URL and told Alexei to leave a comment so I have his email address.
Max, Chris and Jonas (Jonas joint us again after a lot of long riding and as always more luck than brains 😀 ) again in Almaty.

 

14.07.2018
A slept quite well but I don’t know how many time I got bitten again. Those fucking bastard Mosquitos, would please somebody kill them all!!! Oh, and please a slow agonizing death for every one, if that is possible.
Max and me got driven around Kaimbek’s land on a tractor. It was a nice but pretty uncomfortable ride.
Kaimbek was not well in the morning and so we left on our own to the Kaptschagai Lake. When we searched for a camping spot by the lake we met Alexei and Alja from Almaty. He offered his house to us but we had already booked a hotel. Just before that Chris through up again. His stomach seems to react quite strong to some local food. We think it’s something in those dumplings (Mante) he can’t take.
After the camp was set up we sat down in our chairs and enjoyed the view. Nobody had noticed the sheep behind us but as sudden as they had appeared they disappeared again – you only notice because suddenly the munching sound is gone 😀
A “cool” guy tried to drive on the beach with his 4 wheel car (not SUV) and got stuck. The girls in the car had to get out and push 😀

Kapshagay Reservoir (a nice spot to camp)

 

13.07.2018
Today a Kazakhstan special
After ok breakfast we drove to the Charyn Canyon. They say it’s like a small Grant Canyon but since I haven’t the one in the USA I can’t say if it’s correct. The Canyon is nice but unfortunately you can’t drive through it anymore. You must walk a partly very steep and slippery walk. At the bottom you can rent Jurts but we didn’t want that. As the weather started to change we opt for a quick exit. In the next town we stopped for something to eat and met Kaimbek an ex Policeman. He insisted to pay for our dinner and now we’re staying at his home. He wanted that we stay for 2 or 3 days but unfortunately, we don’t have enough time.
Kaimbek called for a translator and Diyara turned up. A very nice young Uyghur woman who speaks quite good English. After a little break we drove to Kaimbek’s garden. Well garden is a bit of an understatement. It’s rather large:)
To him and his friends it’s very important that they are called Uyghurs and not Kazakhs.
His wife made fresh Mante (kind of dumplings filled with green cabbage and meet) and Puret (two layers of dough filled with green cabbage. We had some fresh apples from his garden and apricot compote.
The conversation is mostly difficult but also quite fun.
Suddenly at 12:00pm another dinner appeared on the table. Just before they had killed a sheep, I’m not sure if it was for us and just a coincident. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten that much 😉
The night was windy and rainy but I still slept well.
For breakfast we got last night’s dinner and Chai.
Dog called Rambo
It’s amazing that a stranger invites us to his home, feeds and treats us like friends. He says in a couple of years he want to travel through Europe and visits us. I would be glade to repay his generosity. Kaimbek wares a neck brace and mimicked that his mind is in good health but his body isn’t. Because Diyara wasn’t with us last night, there was a lot of mimicking and gesturing.

Kaimbek (on the right) and a friend

Kaimkek’s wife

Kaimbek is growing vineyards, Apricot- and Apple trees

They use some really old stuff (but it’s still working)

Dinner

Last but not least the dog called Rambo

Charyn Canyon

Charyn Canyon

Charyn Canyon

Charyn Canyon

Charyn Canyon

Charyn Canyon

Charyn Canyon

Charyn Canyon

Charyn Canyon

Charyn Canyon – A Monty Python Special? (Rübennase) 😀

 

12.07.18
For the last couple of days I’ve been feeling down in the morning. I know why but I can’t change my situation at the moment.
But over the morning I get better and with that amazing view while riding through Kyrgyzstan I have to smile again.
So far Kyrgyzstan ist the most beautiful country I have ever visited!
Come and see it for you self. You won’t be disappointed.

We stopped in a small town just before getting to Karakol and bought two grilled chickens. One we ate on the spot the other we took with us for later with the intention to camp. But couldn’t find a good spot so we carried on to the Kyrgyzstan Kazakhstan border. There we met two other riders, one from Serbia, one from a Slowenia.
This was son far the fastest border crossing we ever had. It took us about 35 minutes to get through both sides.
At the end the Chief (or whatever you call him) sled me to take his son on the back of my bike to the barrier. Which I of course did, friendly as we grouts are 😀
Just after the crossing it started to rain.
In the next town we found a small guest house. One room for the three of us.
Max and Chris are off to by some beer and I’m eating the rest of the cookies we bought. See for yourself…
Oh, the two bikers from the border are in the guest house too…

Yeah, that’s what I call a road

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Kyrgyzstan

11.087,2018
Must not forget to wish Katrien happy birthday today. Well, if she is not as busy for a change here you go: Happy Birthday Trinchen!
I slept well, haven’t seen the other two yet. Had a weird but pleasant dream again of a woman from a long time (about 3 decades) ago. I wonder if I ever forget her (some of my friends will know who I mean). Today we’ll go to the Skazka canyon and then relax.
We found a Taxi and asked him to take us to a ATM and then to the Skazka Canyon.
The Bank was, how should I phrase this, a new experience for us. We stood in line as we German always do but it seemed that everybody was going past us. Well they have another system I guess but anyway after an hour we all had money and could carry on towards Skazka Canyon.
The Canyon was okay, nothing special and if I had missed it, it would been okay too 🙂
Here are some impressions…

Skazka Canyon

Skazka Canyon

Skazka Canyon

Skazka Canyon

Skazka Canyon

Skazka Canyon

Skazka Canyon

Skazka Canyon

Skazka Canyon

 

10.07.2018
The Jurt Camp was a little noisy because an older group of Italians had some fun. Otherwise a good night and, I believe, the first toilet of that kind (it’s mainly just a hole in the ground) that didn’t stink.
Today was pretty uneventful, nice 🙂
We had some good off-road parts and then finally nice and smooth tarmac for a change. Boy was I happy!
While searching for a hotel we found another really nice one rather close to the Karakol Lake. The rooms are actually more apartments on two levels and that for $23 a night.
My beamer has some problems now too. A rattling sound at the front left, also the left simmer ring is leaking and when riding really slow she doesn’t always accepts the throttle as well as she did before. Since Max and Chris need some parts I wrote the BMW Dealer in Novosibirsk who replayed very fast. Much better than the one in Almaty!

Songköl Lake

Sunset at Songköl Lake (Jurt Camp)

Sunset at Songköl Lake (Jurt Camp)

This Sun beam tried to tickle my nose in th morning

 

09.07.2018
A bad day for Max!
First he had to brake so hard that he lost control and went to the ground because a horse decided to walk in front of him (No worries mom, he didn’t hurt himself). Since 99% of the animals run around freely (nice for them, dangerous for us) you have to be very careful approaching them. And they are everywhere! Sometimes even on mountain passes when there is not enough space to get two cars past each other.
When we got petrol, Chris noticed a nail in Max’s back tyre. The repair took about 1,5 hours, a good time for doing it in the field.
We spend the night in a Jurt Camp, something we all wanted to do.

And the tyre went pfffff

And the tyre went pfffff

 

08.07.2018
Yesterday was long and the off-road sections took their toll on us. So, we had a late start again. When I write late I mean about 09:00 am. For a few people I know is this still early 😀
Today again all off-road with a good amount of gorgeous scenery for us. Today we went up to 3200 meters again and at times you climb up or down more than 12% slopes.
Again we managed to find a nice camping spot fairly well hidden from the road. That was at least what we thought because later that evening, the sun had gone down, a man appeared and sat at the top of the hill about 20 meters above us. He just sat and looked, then started to talk to us. We weren’t sure if he was upset or drunk. After 10 minutes, we wanted to go to bed, Max went up to him and “talked” for a while with him. It turned out he just wanted t tell us something but we still don’t have a clue 🙂
Max said his goodbye and the man finally disappeared. He went so fast gone that we weren’t sure where he went… What a weird incounter.

A little posing is ok 😀

 

07.07.2018
Isn’t it great when a Taxi driver doesn’t know where he has to go? We drove first in the right direction then he turned around because he was convinced MuzToo was in die other direction. Well my mobile said differently.  After 10 Minutes I told him to stop and said goodbye. Jonas and me looked for another Taxi but they didn’t they way either and of course did not trust our satnav 😀
Finally one Taxi driver had his own satnav and so we could, after about 30 minutes, move towards our first destination of the day.
When we got to MuzToo the gates was locked and nobody was there. Wonderful, splendid 😀  Jonas called the boss and after another 45 min. the mechanic come. He had done the oil change but he had not cleaned the air filter but he cleaned it then. So, after 1 hour I could finally leave. I met Chris and Max at a Petrol Station so they didn’t have to come with me.
But after a few km Chris’s bike stopped to work because the Petrol Pump wasn’t working anymore. A car with a French family stopped and the man, as it turned out was an ex motorbike mechanic, tried to solve the problem with us.
Since the Petrol pump was dead Chris connected the two Petrol pipes with an 8mm nut and so the Petrol could flow directly to the carburettor. Sometimes old technic is the best!
For the night we found a Hotel in town and because of language barriers we got a room with 2 double beds.
Luckily, neither Max or Chris aren’t snoring 😀

 

06.07.2018
The Bazar was interesting but way too large to see it all. Especially today because it’s a bank holiday and they closed at 12:00 pm.
After the Bazar we drove to a view point where you have to walk/climb many many stairs up to it. The view was very nice even though it was slightly hazy.
Jonas went to MuzToo again to get his bike fixed and also order some parts from eBay. We bought some screws and nuts for his pannier rack and a sim card for me.
Now Chris and Max are going to the Pool and I’ll shall lay in the shade and work on my Blog.

Osh Bazar

Osh Bazar – Shooooooeeeesss 😀

Osh Bazar – hmmm

Fancy a screw?

 

05.07.2018
Last night was cold and felt a little dump too. Because nobody had slept well last night we just wanted to get started and reach Osh. Well, as so often in the last days the bike from Jonas made our day interesting again.
In one of the many bends on the road to Osh he wanted to change a gear don and the bike just died.
Sometimes I believe that guy has more luck then brains because this happened just by a little farmhouse. The Farmer agreed to charge Jonas’s bike for 30 minutes. Max noticed that a rather important nut (it hold a baring for the steering column) was missing. Without this nut he couldn’t carry on riding. For $100 the Farmer offered to take the bike to MuzToo Central Asia Travel Company in Osh.
The guy there a quite famous for being helpful and good at repairing. You can also stay there overnight and / or book a motorbike tour. I you in the area check them out http://muztoo.ch/ – No, I do not get anything for that.
Because we had to stay in some “wonderful” guest houses we decided to find a nice Hotel in Osh and stay there for two days. Tomorrow we’ll go the Bazar in Osh which is the biggest one on Central Asia.

Everybody needs a rest at some point

Everybody needs a rest at some point

MuzToo – Alissa and Andy (https://www.madornomad.com/) with the mechanic

MuzToo – Welcome back Jonas

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Tajikistan

04.07.2018
It was supposed to be an early start but Max’s bike didn’t fancy that at all and refused to start. Also, the bikes looked like they were covered with Royal Icing this this morning 🙂
After hours of searching Max finally found the problem, just a lose cable but well hidden.
When we took of the sun had come out but it was still only about 15 degrees Celsius and it should get a lot colder later on. Poor Christof felt rather ill and later even through up when we had stopped for a little break to take some pictures.
But before that we reached Karakul and the beautiful Karakul Lake. The blue of the lake looked kind of unreal and absolutely beautiful! We should have spent the night here and not in Murghab.
After a few hours of riding we reached with 4655 meters the highest point of our journey. By then it had started to rain a little and by the time we hit the border it had started to snow. Because our visor would steam up we had to ride with them open and so the snow and the hail stones hit us in the face. It felt like hundredths of little needles pocking you in the face.
The first lot Tajikistan border police were rather unfriendly but the second guy made up for it. The no-man’s-land between Tajikistan and Kirgizstan is quite large and before we could ride into Kirgizstan we had to ride down a muddy and very slippery “road” from 4300 meters to the actual border of Kirgizstan at roughly 3700 meters and this accompanied with hail stones, snow, rain and wind. Not too pleasant as anybody can imagine.
The Kirgizstan border police were very friendly and joked a lot with us. Nice!
After another hour of riding, the rain had stopped by then, we finally reached the small town of Nookat were we found a little guest house with WIFI but no shower 🙁

Karakul Lake

Karakul Lake

 

03.07.2018
Three of us had the same issue in the night. We woke up with a very dry mouth and shortness of breath. I guess we’re not used to the altitude yet.
We had a very productive day because we managed to fix everything. Max fixed his light, Jonas’s Battery got refilled and Chrisof and me change the wheel Baring and resealed the cylinder head gasket. And hey after deleting all errors from my bikes system, my foot brake is working again.
Just when we were about to finish the work on Christof’s bike Murghab got hit by a small sand storm and after that with heal stones. Something which is unusual for this time of the year.
Because Max had from the beginning problems with his soft bags from Enduristan he got kind of a rack system build while we were on the road. Today it got modified.
A Polish biker stayed in the same place as we are. He had an accident because some kids run in front of his bike and while he tried to miss them lost control and hit the road. Luckily, he is just limping and otherwise okay. We also had kids run in front of our bikes but so far nothing has happened.

Small Sandstorm (Murghab)

Container Market

Updated Pannier Rack

 

02.07.2018
Not a good start for me today cause I dropped my bike while manoeuvring it on the camping spot 🙁
All of us had a cool but good night.
Later in the day I discovered that my foot brake isn’t working anymore. Shit! But so far we managed to fix everything.
Chris is going to change on of his wheel Barings and seal his cylinder head gasket. We’ll try and get a mew battery for Jonas and Max has to fix his headlight.
Oh, there is no electricity until 07:00 pm when the generator is being started 😀

 

01.07.2018
We left our, let’s call it B&B, around 08:30 am and drove down that stony and winding road. Frank is going to stay another day for his friend Didier.
We found a great camping spot with a stunning view right by a stream. After a not so tasty meal we went early to bed because as soon as the sun goes down it’s getting pretty cold at 3700 meters.

 

30.06.2018
Frank started a little earlier then we cause Jonas’s batterie was dead this morning. Luckily, we found a place to refill the batteries water and could carry on. This incited lasted 1,5 hours. Just before the hot spring we caught up with Frank. The road to the hot springs (Bibi Fatima) is a left turn of the main road and is about 7 km long. With this road you’re climbing up another 450 m to 3155 meters.
Here we are staying one night and then carry on towards Murghab which we won’t reach tomorrow. So some more camping.
I stayed behind to catch up on Blogging and other stuff while everybody else is going to the hot springs.
Next time there will probably be no blog!
I wonder why people in here are putting so much oil their food? Apart from that our westernized stomachs have a fait bit of problems with that I can’t see the benefit. Alex darling, do you know why?
When we walked to a Restaurant a car pulled up and gave me business card from a hostel in Murghab. He also mentioned that everything was very good – like food, rooms etc. When we asked for wifi he smiled and just said problem 😀

 

29.06.2018
It’s been an interesting day…
Yesterday we decided to stay two nights in Ischkoschim so we had enough time to get the two bikes fixed. Chris, Jonas and Max went to a car repair shop and I stayed behind to write my blog and rewrite my packing and tool list. Shame there is no wifi again. After about 3.5 hours Jonas come back and we went to get some bred and sausage. The sausage turned out to be smoked Tofu which nobody liked. I normally do but this was, let’s say different 😀  The bread was nice though.
Almost two hours later Chris and Max finally come back too.
The bikes are fixed for now but Max and me believe that it’s only a question of time before they break again. I checked my air filter and because a Torx bit fell behind a cover I had to take almost the complete side fairing off. Jonas had to do some more work at his bike and the rest of us helped Frank to fix his Royal Enfield. Now his bike is as good as new. I wonder for how long 😉
Frank is going to ride with us to the hot springs (Bibi Fatima) tomorrow. We’ll carry on the day after and he’ll wait for his friend Didier. The road there, about 80 km, we’ll be quite challenging because the roads are getting really bad and there will also be patches off deep sand. Did mention that I hate sand?

 

28.06.2018
To be honest I don’t know why the Pamir Lodge was suggested in a Forum because it’s nothing special. My window has no curtains, there is no toilet paper and they put the laundry wet in front of your room without any notice. The only thing is that you meet other travellers, some by motorbike, bicycle or even on foot.
Our day started late at about 09:00 am. After about 78 km Christof noticed another problem on Jonas’s bike. The rack System had broken on both sides. Luckily there was somebody who could weld close by. No this is not what you read before it’s another day in our journey.  The botch job took 2.5 hours but we could finally carry on (we, not Columbus) towards Ischkoschim. On the way there, Christof’s rack system broke again.
If anybody who reads this blog I thinking to do a journey like this DON’T EVER TAKE EFFING HARD CASES!!! User soft bags!
But we finally made it and now we’re in the Hanis’ Guest House with other travellers we had met on the road. There is Frank from France on a Royal Enfield, Didier French man living in Australia on a KLR and Andy and Alissa (https://www.madornomad.com/) from Windsor on XT 500.
They’re all really friendly and we share what we know. It’s also interesting how everybody is travelling and what they take. I took definitely too much stuff. I have to size down!
But even Andy, who has travelled a lot, said to me that every time he goes on a journey it’s different.
Btw today are Max and I one month on the road!

 

27.06.2018
A pretty uneventful day. The roads were getting better and so we made it fairly quickly to Khorugh.
Because our first meal wasn’t rather small we went for a second meal, this time Indian. With a full stomach we went to watch the football game in an open-air cinema. In the close distance were the mountains with the setting sun and I’m not sure what was better. Well, since the Germans lost I go for the view 😉
The cinema was, with 25 people or so, about a quarter full. That “high” number inkl. about 10 Germans who had to watch South Korea winning with 0:2  When I suggested that it’s just a game some people got even more upset. Oops 😀

Watching the World Cup (Open Air Cinema)

Watching the World Cup (Open Air Cinema)

 

26.06.2018
In the night somebody drove a 40-ton truck close to where we stayed the night. When I woke from the noise I just laid there and hoped that they see us.
The owner and some other men greeted us in the morning, waving friendly from some distance.
Again beautiful scenery and bad roads.
Just before we made one of our stops we saw a woman being taken, what looked like, against her will into a car. We were all stunned but also not sure if we really saw it.
We actually made that stop because Christofs panier racks had to be welded and while I was waiting some men come to talk to me. They always asked the same though. Where are you from, do you speak Russian, how much was you bike and how much petrol does it need. One man told me that there was a German School behind us. There was also a Russian and English teaching School but they all hadn’t much do to. I guess the children have to work and help their parents.
At our stop for the night, we camped in a small town, there were some lovely kids. So far they were all well behaved, friendly and had great interested in who we are and what we are doing.
Some hours before we had bought some noodles and meat. The “butcher” tried to sell us more bones then meat and worked with a knife and an axed on an old piece of tree.
Later that night I laid in my tent and listened to the borer river between Tajikistan and Afghanistan making his way through the canyon. Afghanistan is only 50 meters away. This feels quite amazing!

Chris at work

Local kids always come and watch

 

25.06.2018
We left Dushanbe at 07:30 am to make most of the cooler morning air. At first the road was good but then it turned to an off-road session on partly small winding mountain roads.
Our route was taking us over a mountain pass and because there is nothing around we camped at 2500 meters. In the evening it’s getting quite cool there and after some hot food we all went straight to bed. We had bought some meat in tins and some piece which tasted okay and reminded all of us of dog food 😀
The man who owns the filed which we camped on come by to say hello and as most people told us the German phrases he still new. So: Vier Frauen singen and Der Rabe sitzt oben. He was stationed in Russia and was moved, like so many, to some other places. For his 86 years of age he is really fit and basically told us off for not speaking Russian. And rightly so, we should have learned some phrases but google offline translator makes you lazy…
The scenery is almost breath taking!

Camping at 3700 meters

Camping at 3700 meters

A stream slowed down

 

24.06.2018
Since there isn’t that much to see in Dushanbe we had a lazy day. We walked to the largest and highest Flag in the world. The Flag itself is 30×60 meters in size and 165 meters high. When you look at the flag it seems it’s moving in slow motion. It’s impressive!
Max took his bike to the bike house and got his bike checked. It’s fine! 🙂
So tomorrow we’ll hit the beginning of the Pamir Highway.

 

23.06.2018
On our way to Dushanbe 🙂 I know it’s LA but who cares 😀
The way out of Samarkand was easy and quick. It took us about 1h to get to the border and roughly 2h to get into Tajikistan. One of the stress less crossings we had so far.
At the border me met a Spanish guy (Rico) on a 1200 GS Adv. After a few stops (too many?) he decided to ride alone to Dushanbe but since he is taking the same route we might see him again. The tunnel of death wasn’t or isn’t any more worth mentioning. I’ve had to drive through worse once in Norway.
As soon as we got into Tajikistan it got hilly and green. It also didn’t take long to get to nice winding mountain roads.

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Uzbekistan

In Uzbekistan we spend more time than in any other country so far and we visited the 3 main Cities – Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand along the Silk Road. I really enjoyed travelling through Uzbekistan. The people were so friendly, helpful and kind that I’m sure I’ll be back at some time…

 

22.06.2018
After a long and expensive call with the GoDaddy hotline my blog is reachable again. YEAH 🙂
We are all feeling the heat and poor Chris is having stomach trouble. So, we went for a short and slow walk around town. Max needed some copper rings for his bike and after 10 minutes talking to some guys one of them drove us to a place where we could by such things. Well that is a least what we thought. While driving there we almost hat an accident 🙁
He took us to the biggest Tourist site (Bukhara Registan) 😀  I guess they didn’t understand at all 😀

Samarkand – Registan

Samarkand – Registan

Samarkand – grue green energy

Samarkand – Registan

Samarkand – Registan

Samarkand – Local Craftsman at work

Samarkand – Registan

Samarkand – Registan

Samarkand – Registan

Samarkand – everybody is trying to sell you something

 

21.06.2018
And it doesn’t get any cooler – at 09:00 am 30 degrees.
The ride out of Bukhara was uneventful until we hit the main road.
After a little stop Chris and Janos got flagged down by the Policemen. Chris though he meant the Taxi behind them and carried on but he hadn’t the Taxi 🙂 The Policemen followed them in the Taxi and stopped them after a view Miles. Apparently, they had driven over a red light, problem is there was no traffic light. Straight away they spoke about a $42 fine. Because Max and I drove a little further at the front they hadn’t stopped us.
Nervously they inspected Chris’s helmet camera and took the sd-card out because those fuckers don’t want to be filmed, of course. A third guy in a civil car pulled up and Chris asked if he was also a cop. He answered yes but couldn’t produce his ID when Chris asked for it but responded with fuck fuck.
After a little negotiating the fine had risen to $50. Chris lost his temper because it’s not fun to stand in the bright sun light (36 degrees) with motorcycle gear. He asked for the no form the Germany Embassy and searched for it on his mobile. The Policemen whispered for a moment and then let them go with a warning to be more careful next time.
Oh, the third “Policmen” saluted Chris with Heil Hitler and left :/  What a fucking uneducated prick!
I’m beginning to wonder if there is any Country we are going through that hasn’t got corrupt Policemen…

When we stopped by the main road a young guy come along and asked us many questions. He was well educated especially in history. That makes a nice change and I’m sure he’ll make his way.
On our second stop of the day, we all felt a bit tired, and old guy on a bicycle come along and stated chatting to us. We didn’t understand a word he said but that didn’t stop him. He refused food I offered him but just before he left took a sip of water out of my bottle. Something I hadn’t offerd 😀

The scenery has changed now from a sandy dessert / steppe look to a more hilly and green look.
Our hotel is cool again and we can park bikes inside again. Also, this is the first hotel where you get more than just tea and coffee for drinking at breakfast. They have orange juice –wow 😀
After a nice shower we went to a local shashlik restaurant where I would think not many tourists go. Nice food!
I still can’t log on to my blog. After a chat with a GoDaddy assistant I managed to get a login but I don’t have the password anymore cause over the GoDaddy site I don’t need it. I tried to reset the password but the reset page is just white again. WTF

Bukhara – Chris our German Touri 🙂

Bukhara – Uri Geller was hear too

Bukhara – Shashlik Restaurant (great Lamb)

Bukhara

Bukhara – how many locks do you need?

Bukhara

Stairs

The view after those 186 stairs

Bukhara – Tree

Bukhara

Bukhara – everywhere are little shops

Bukhara – That’s a big one

Bukhara – Souvenirs souvenirs (Bill Ramsey’s shop?)

 

20.06.2018
Bukhara is a very nice town though a fair bit more touristy and bigger then Khiva. I still prefer Khiva but Bukhara is very nice too. Maybe because of the fact that in Khiva are hardly any tourist because most do not go this far north.
Our host is celebrating tonight and invited us. So around 07:00 pm we’ll get some traditional food – Plov. He is with the police and apparently also a very good cook. The whole family is helping to prepare the food.

Making PLov

Plov

 

19.06.2018
Today we had the hottest ride so far. In 39 degrees Celsius you just want to find some shade. But there isn’t a lot of that around. Here and there you can find a little place who sells and sometime even cooks you some food. The place we found just sold water to us. When I asked for food she just wanted the money for the water. Even some truckers got food. That lady, I’m sorry to say, wasn’t even too stupid to put 25000 SOM in the calculator (so I knew what I had to pay). She managed to type 2500 SOM in and didn’t understand when I gave her just that much 😀
For 455 Km there are no petrol stations so we all filled up our canisters and I found out that my one is leaking. So tanks Rotopax!
Max did it again, he found a great hotel in Bukhara. Right in the centre of this very nice City.
In the evening I had one of the best Lamb Shashlik I’ve ever eaten. I believe I could eat my way through Uzbekistan 😉

This is what 40 degrees heat can do to your stuff

 

18.06.2018
After a late (09:00 am) and interesting breakfast we went for a walk around Khiva.
My friends do like their beer but I think 4.1 litre per person is too much 😀  Some guy asked us, what we thought, to take a picture of him and his children but he wanted to take a picture of us with his children. Weird 😀
We climb up 186 flights of stairs and had a good view over Khiva. Because it’s so hot we went back to the hotel. Tonight, we going to get taken to a Restaurant to eat fresh fish. So tomorrow we’re all going to be fine or ill. Our host drove us there and while doing so he drove over several red lights. He just laughed when we made a remarks because his brother work at the police and so nobody is given him a ticket 😀
Apparently the fish from Khiva is the best from all Uzbekistan and gets sold all over the country and I believe him.
This was definitely the best fish I have ever eaten!
I can recommend the B&B Zarfabek in Khiva!

 

17.06.2018
I woke up just before the alarm went off. For breakfast we had again eggs with sausage and some peaches. The ride to Khiva was short and good. At 10:00 am it was already 30 degrees Celsius and when we arrived in Khiva it had risen to 38.
Except for two places there was no shade on the road. You ride for miles and there is nothing just steppe.
Because we have some tough days behind us we’re treating ourselves to a nice hotel within the City walls where we’re going to stay for two days.
Oh, the guys from Estonia we had met a couple of days ago are actually from Israel, only the bikes are from Estonia. I guess we are going to see them all the time cause they’re on a similar schedule.
No Football for us tonight but that’s okay –  well for Jonas and me…

Waving people everywhere

 

16.06.2018
I don’t think I have ever slept on bed this hard but I slept quite well. The breakfast was not that good and took ages just like the food last night.
Frank, the French guy, was putting hi tyre back on his bike. I helped him because he had problems with it.
The Aral Lake Memorial is okay but not that impressive. The Story behind it is very interesting.
Something nobody told us is that there are no ATMs in Uzbekistan, you can only change money at a bank if one is open.
At the end we had to change Dollar at the Bazar 😉 We met a young local guy (Amir) who spoke German and overt us to help.
Max found a great camp spot again. While we put our camp up a local “cowboy” come past with his cows. He waved friendly and carried on.
Again there was no cell service – nice! But also no shade…

 

15.06.2018
The days started with coffee and hot chocolate.
Chris and Jonas had problems with their panniers we stopped for repairs. The repairs took almost 4 hours bur we made it to Yelabad were a lot of bikers meet.
We made while we repaired 5 guys, to French (Frank, ?), two from Estonia (?, ?), one from Poland (?) on a bicycle and another German (Max).
Because of the repairs we didn’t make it to the Aral Lake Memorial, so tomorrow we’ll ride there and maybe all the way to Khiva.

Bike Repairs

Bike Repairs

Bike Repairs

 

14.06.2018
My feet are itching so much that I can’t stand it. So I did what you shouldn’t do – I scratched. Now they just burn which I can take a lot better. Shouldn’t have done that!
The last 80 Km to the border were horrible and great at the same time but I was definitely out of my comfort zone for a while.
Bumps, potholes, sand, mutt and dust so you can’t see the mentioned obstacles.
The border crossing took about 2h. I talked to a guy with gold teeth who shouted to a border guard to let us jump the line, which he did. The border police were very helpful again. But because we were quite late and couldn’t reach a hotel we camped in the middle of nowhere. Chris cooked pasta with sausage and a very nice Italian sauce.

Dusty and bumpy roads

Dusty and bumpy roads

Uzbekistan Border

Uzbekistan Border

Money money money (50€)

Camp

Bike silhouette

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Kazakhstan – West

13.06.2018
Hey hey, Kazakhstan also got corrupt Policemen. A little fat prick took 25€ of us because we had stopped by the side of the road which wasn’t allowed. Everybody else stops were ever they want but if a tourist does it he can pay. Of course, again no report was written. Max had to give him 10000 Tenge (which is about 25€) with a handshake like from a bad movie…
Anyway we managed to find a nice place to stay, had some food and went for a walk. Except for that prick Policemen we had a nice day.
Shame that I got bitten about 20 times just on my feet and at the moment they have a slight resemblance with a Pizza 😀
One thing I forgot to mention is that quite often when we eat at a place they start to play European music from the 80’s and 90’s 🙂 It’s really sweet but I just don’t like Modern Talking 😀 😀
Tomorrow we should reach Uzbekistan were we will ride the Aral lake Memorial.

A short stop

Very straight roads

 

12.06.2018
Because of our rather late bed time we got up at eight and tried to post a package to Germany. Unfortunately, the post office was closed because of some bank holiday.
Luckily the Lady from the Hotel is so nice to post it tomorrow for me.

The border crossing to Kazakhstan didn’t take too long. A very friendly border Policemen welcomed us, shock everybody’s hand and told us his name. So far, the friendliest!
Because we are in the Volga Delta there are flies everywhere and hundreds of them. All those anti fly sprays don’t work btw. What does help little is Vanilla extract which you can get at the Chemist.
The “road” after the border is in a terrible state. For the first 30 Km we had to swerve all over the place to miss at least the really big potholes. After an hour of driving it finally got better.
Since it was too far to the next bigger town we decided to camp. When we wanted to by some food we discovered that it was actually a little Restaurant. The lady cooked us some fresh local food and now we’re camping about 1000 meter away from the Caspian Sea. How cool is that?
Oh, did I mention we drove to KAZAKHSTAN!!! 😀

The road to our camp spot

Camp

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