2009/06/03: Day Off in Jalal-Abad
We were staying with a Uzbeki family on a hilltop above Jalal-Abad. The day was spent doing laundry, going to the banya which is part of Jalal-Abad’s raison d’etre, and pedalling the km to town for internet. When we were in our room, Adina, our hostess, would bring periodically bring laden trays to our room, cheerfully announcing, “Cup of tea!”
Adina and baby Ayeesha
The next day, we pedalled to Osh. One can’t go directly, because going through a projection of Uzbekistan, the Fergana Valley, would mean yet another visa. We rode through rich farmland and bought apricots beside the road. The hills were grasslands with abundant poppies, and birds nested in the roadside banks at the crests of the hills. We like watching the birds, but we’d never make real birdwatchers because we don’t really give a hoot what they’re called.
2009/06/05 : Day Off in Osh
Here in Osh we are working on our Iranian visa applications, inquiring about road conditions to Sary Tash, and stocking up on camping food staples. The Pamir Highway begins here, and we expect to reach the Tajik border in about four days. After five months on the road, we have made it to the Pamirs! This will be our first experience at extended high elevation cycling.
Internet access will get sparse over the next few weeks. We’ll try to keep in touch with our kids using the cell phone (if possible), and we may ask Louise to make the odd post announcing that the parents are alive and have made it to location XYZ. We may even ask a dutiful offspring to update the Google map, which seems to be blocked from here -we assume because of disputed borders. We’ll catch up on the account of our journey when we can.