Kyrgyzstan Bike- Packing Day 11: Two days in one
After a breakfast of chai, bread, butter, cream and keifer (soured milk – like Amasi), Yurt lady (we never did get her name), sends us off with a bag of bread and a plastic cup of homemade butter. We protest that it will melt, but she doesn’t understand, so we pack it anyway, triple wrapped in plastic bags, and determine to eat it asap.
The plan is to camp again tonight and meet Steve in Naryn tomorrow. To begin with the riding is great, along flowing dual tracks across open veld and we are making pretty good progress. Then we hit a heavily corrugated dirt road and for the next 10km we are in Hell. It’s impossible to escape the bumps and we are frazzled by the time we come to a fair-sized town at around 65km. We stop at the river on the outskirts to wash our clothes from yesterday. I jump in, cycle-kit and all and it is Heaven! We then proceed to town to buy fruit and check for signal. Sure enough we have connectivity, so we message Steve to let him know we’re safe and that we’ll see him tomorrow mid-morning. He’s online. We send photos back & forth, then head out of town on a smooth tar road. When we come to an intersection, two options present themselves – we can turn right on our track for 55km of tough riding, which will see us camping again as planned, OR we can continue on this smooth tar road for 40km direct to Naryn. It’s pretty enough, there’s minimal traffic and best of all, there’s a tail wind. It’s a no-brainer. We message Steve again – change of plan- see you tonight, around 18h00.
I tuck in behind Kati and we put our heads down and “trap”. It’s a long, gradual uphill for 30km and we find ourselves flagging in the heat – thank God for the tailwind or this would’ve been a whole lot tougher! Finally, we round a bend and the last 10 km downhill to town begins, but wouldn’t you know it, the wind is now slap, bang in our faces – good old Murphy!
We are thoroughly knackered when we arrive. After a happy reunion, Steve runs over the road for cold beer and I discover his leftover pizza from last night. I sprawl on the bed, while swigging from the bottle and wolfing down bites of pizza. Now if only someone could shower me and get me into clean clothes! But there are some things you can only do for yourself…
Once clean I am back on the bed and would happily go to sleep right away, but Kati is starving and keen to try the restaurant Steve has scouted, which is reputed to be expensive, but good.
I peruse the menu, which should have me ecstatic, but my appetite has completely deserted me. I order a chicken Caesar and a lentil soup, both of which are tasty, but which I pick at unenthusiastically, while Kati tucks with gusto into a fillet steak and Steve enjoys a T-bone. Man, I’ve been dreaming about good food for days and now here’s my chance and I have no interest – a sure sign of over- exertion. Best I just get some sleep.