Tajikistan

11.07.2010


Breakfast in Dushanbe

 

 

Little village on the way to the Pamirmountains

 

 

still ‚just‘ on 1000m above sea level – all these small mountains are quite sweaty with temperatures around 4o degrees

 

 

especially on these gravel roads

 

 

sometimes the gravel is that loose, that i have to push my bike…

 

 

done! After three hours of hard work and pushing only I reach the most difficult pass so far

 

 

no bridges…

 

 

Remains of the civil war

 

 

As well sometimes I see signs of areas cleared from landmines by NGOs

 

 

Another Pass – this time without any difficulties

 

 

View to Afghanistan

 

 

to the left Tajikistan – to the right Afghanistan

 

 

 

 

I am following the river that is the border to Afghanistan

 

 

slowly I get on higher elevation – the landscape wides

 

 

On lanes through the most remote parts of Tajikistan

 

 

I keep crossing rivers and streams – which is almost routine

 

 

ZorKul – the lake from afar – clouds and sun along the mountain ranges provide beautiful light games

 

 

The lanes are yet clearly visible

 

 

Again a beautiful mountain lake

 

 

My bed for this night

 

 

In the morning the streams are usually still frozen

 

 

A shepherd’s family invited me to a (second) breakfast and then gives me a few more bales dried quite sharp cheese – not really my taste, but an excellent source of protein

 

 

Here the climate is almost desert-like

 

 

Everywhere along the way there are the horns of the hunted Marco Polo sheeps

 

 

The lanes are increasingly blurred

 

 

To find this path over the ridge I pushed my bike a long distance cross-country – the lake served as a guide and I was really happy when I finally found it

 

 

The sun over 4000m is incredibly strong, the air extremely dry, so constantly the skin of my lips breaks – uncomfortable …

 

 

Some abandoned buildings – perhaps these are used only seasonal by shepherds

 

 

On the way to Kyrgyzstan – only a few hundred miles, then I reach China!

 

 

Russia & Kazakhstan

06.06.2010


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Update Chinese-Visa

For Your information: In Duschanbe it seems to be easy to get a 30 days single entry chinese tourist visa these days.
You need following documents:

-passport, which they will keep
-copy of passport
-one picture
-one handwritten application form
-copy of tajik visa
-official letter of your hotel in dushanbe (with letterhead, stamp, signature(!)) with your name, purpose and duration of stay

costs: 30 Dollar, you pay on the recieve day
duration: 3 working days
opening hours: Mo, We, Fr; 09.00 in the morning

The Kyrgyz embassy moved further south, but still you get the visa within one day for 100 Dollar, or pay just 50 and wait three working days as well.

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Dear readers,

 
firstly I apologize for not writing in English for such a long period of time. I am sorry.
 
Secondly, many greetings from Uzbekistan!
 
I am writing from Samarkand, one of the most beautiful cities along the old Silk Road.
 
During the last weeks I crossed a southern part of Russia, flat and dusty Kazakhstan, and lots of hot and sandy desert Kilometer here in Uzbekistan. Now 6200Km without any bigger problems lie behind me and it is just half a day left to the Tajik border.
 
So far everything is going well. I am very happy to enter soon the great Pamir region. Huge mountain ranges, glorious glaciers, rare Marco Polo sheeps, and maybe even some snow leopards are waiting for me!
 
Since I have made lots of ground I decided to carry on to China. Therefore I will need to apply for a visa, which is a little complicated. Either I will drive by overnight-bus to Tashkent, or I will try to apply in Dushanbe, to where I am cycling next. I did not decide yet and will wait for some more information in which town the procedure is easier.
Because pictures tell so much more than a written text, be invited to join me in some moments of my journey:

 

 


The Ukrainian border checkpoint, before we enter the little ship.


Our ferry boat to Russia.


While leaving Krim with the ferryboat we were meeting some Ukrainian cyclists heading to Sochi. One day we have been cycling together and had a great dinner in the night with lots of food, a camp fire, Russian beer and vodka.


One of the hundreds of car mechanics we see on the road.


A café.



my Cockpit.


We see lots of war memorials.


Wherever you look – grassland as far as you can see.


Sunrise in the step.


In the Step…


In the middle of nowhere – anywhere in the Russian step – Julia finds a little dog. He is following us for nearly ten kilometers, wanting water and food. Julia is giving him so and finally decides to take him with us. Now we are travelling with three!


The famous river Volga – in the last Russian city Astrakhan before entering Kazakhstan

Two boys from Dagestan, met in Astrakhan.

 

 

The Russian/ Kazakh border. We get through very easy, but cars or trucks probably have to wait for hours.

 

 

Mobile Russian high tech machine to even x-ray a whole car.

 

 

An adventurous crossing of one of the many side arms of Volga.

 

 

Our dog got a comfortable box.

 

 

Here everything is founded on oil or gas.

 

 

A typical farmers house.

 

 

Not much traffic on the lonely road…

 

 

my bike

 

 

During the hottest hours of the day we try to rest in shadow – here aunder a bridge crossing a railway line.

 

 

In Kazakhstan we see the first camels!

 

 

After he once ran in front of my bike and I drove over him with both of my wheels he is still alive!

 

 

Campsite in dusty Kazakhstan.

 

 

Two motorcyclists riding to Mongolia – met in Kazakhstan. -> www.bike2horizon.com

 

 

The last Kazakh bit to Uzbekistan! 90 Km of gravel or mud.

 

 

Again a famous Asian river – the Amudarja in front of Nukus, Uzbekistan.

 

 

It seems to be extremely muddy, but still children are taking a bath with great fun.

 

See you,
Jens

 

 

West-Ukraine

19.04.2010

 
Hello,

 
greetings from Odessa, the famous harbor city at the Ukrainian black sea coast! After 1900Km we reached yesterday afternoon the city and stay a day here to rest. We are faster than expected and have still lots of time until our visa for Russia starts at first of May. So we follow slowly the black sea coast across the Krim, as you see on the map displayed below.
 
Still the nights are freezing cold but during the day we can feel spring beginning. The first trees become green and cherry trees are flowering. Typical for April clouds, sunshine and rain change quickly, but we are lucky and it is raining mostly during the night.
 

 


Our route through Ukraine

 

Members of a bicycle forum of Lviv accompanied us out of city – many thanks for the well chosen roads!

 

One of the most famous castles in Ukraine – south of Lviv

 

Ukrainian side rails..

 

Chuckhole slalom…

 

 

It is heavily raining during the night – but next morning sun wakes us up

 

Many of the cars here we would found in a museum in Germany

 

Beautiful colors between heavy rain clouds and sunshine

 

A little village store…

 

We follow the Dnister, the border river to Moldavia. It is quiet hilly.

 

Driving on Mudroads…

 

The first green leaves…

 


 


 

Following a valley, heavy tailwind is pushing us the last 150Km to Odessa

 

See you, with pictures from Eastern Ukraine and Krim!
Jens