Osh (Kyrgyzstan), 11.10.2013
Walking down to the river for the morning bath we were greeted by an army of oversize mosquitoes hungry for some fresh tourist blood. The bath was cold and refreshing, the mountain river felt so good after days of dust, camping shower and escaping strange locals. After breakfast we packed, and it was time to say goodbye to Diana and Nico, the German couple we met up here and not only hauled us out of the mud lake, but also revealed to be very fine people. Their trip is longer then ours and their car will take them to roads we won’t be able to drive on. Maybe we’ll meet again in Russia or Mongolia at the end of the year. Good luck guys!
Driving back to the main road we crossed an old soviet border post. “Graniza SSSR” it reads on what remains of the concrete wall. The desert is also littered with bunkers in this valley. We took a shortcut to the main road, but few meters before reaching the highway we had to cross a river. The fist part was easy, but the second one impossible. The water was too deep and fast and the powerless Evoque didn’t inspire enough confidence to us to risk it. So we drove back to the border post, took the main track and reached the highway half an hour later. Driving on a known road is kind of boring after weeks of constant discovery on every meter. But the tar road felt so comfortable compared to the stone tracks of the last days. We took many short video clips of the spectacular mountains, to be uploaded ASAP (check here and here).
We made it over the Ak Baital pass, where we filled a tank of diesel mostly into the car and the rest on my boots and pants. At the Karakol lake police checkpoint we met a group of motor bikers, mostly Russians but including also an Indian couple we chatted with. The ground was littered with bullets, no idea what the soldiers do around here in their spare time.
As we drove on towards the border with Kirgizstan the diesel smell on my pants got quite disturbing, but even more annoying was the low power of the car. Every Lada would have performed better up here. It is unbelievable a brand like Range Rover can’t build cars for driving 4000m high! Every Toyota can do it, so can the motor bikes we meet up here, like Rosanna and Fabrizio’s. We reached the border before lunchtime, made it in just half an hour out of Tajikistan, in another half hour to the Kirgiz border post on the other side of the Kyzyl Art pass, and spent just 20 mins with the Kirgiz officials. A quick lunch at our camp site of some days ago saved us from starvation. And then we drove back to Osh, through the mountains that last week amazed us so much and are still beautiful, but compared to the Pamirs… well. The car drove me mad with its low power. At some point I had to stay behind a Daewoo Tico (!?!?), unable to overtake in second gear, ridiculous. We stopped several times at 3000m and lower, turning off the engine, hoping it would get its power back. No chance, we drove until in front of the hotel in Osh at Tico power levels. I was completely pissed off. And of course, after 5 mins in front of the hotel the engine came back at full speed. Great.
The rest of the day didn’t have many highlights. Shower, shaving, super slow Internet, dinner downtown. This time we got a “normal” room in the same soviet hotel like last time, we spare you the details. Tomorrow we need to get out of here immediately.
Trip data for the day
– Km driven: 432
– Hrs on the road: approx 9h
– Diesel l/100km: 7,9