Sunny skies, cash money from the ATM, a good mood, early in the morning and I had a very funny chat at the gas station with some guys who were pulling my leg. Especially Ahmed who was shooting at me with a shovel when talking about Afghanistan and Donbass.
What could possibly go wrong today?
A 6, maybe a 7 hour ride before I arrive in Osh. I probably could go for a walk in town tonight.
I was on a tight schedule for the first hour, until I got to cross the Naryn river. The bridge was under repair, and only a 1 meter wide concrete patch was covering the 100 meter span. Left and right was a horizontal wooden construction for a future concrete pour.
So at least you the illusion of a wide lane. No problems if at the end of the bridge there wouldn't have been a dirt pile in the shape of a hump to stop the traffic from coming over. Impossible to cross at first sight. And it was. The belly pan got stuck in the dirt and the rear wheel dug it self in, while the front wheel dangled in the air. Four things to do: unload the bike's paniers, cry for help, make some local people push and hope for the best. It worked. I reloaded the paniers, payed the guys, took a deep breath and of I went for the last 500 m of tarmac road. Naryn and Osh are connected with 200 km tarmac roads and 250km of track crossing twice a 3000 m mountainpass. I was about to start the latter. Apart from this, the views are breathtaking up here.
In track conditions i am averaging <40 km/h, so at least 7 hours before the road gets better. But these calculations are always after thoughts, because one hopes that soon the road will be better. After talking to a local, my hopes were quickly scattered and thus I prepared for the worst and hope for the best. It is painstakingly slow to see the distance disappear on the counter. You ride up to 3000 , then downhill to 1200 meter again, to find out you still have 200km like this in front of you. But roads where dry upon now, so I kept on schedule. That was about to change while the second mountain pass was full of mud due to melting snow. I fell like 5 times, and mostly I was able to pick up the bike by myself. Only this time when the wheels were laying down higher as the frame. I remember myself shouting : "Don't fall this side" but it was already to late
Impossible to pick it up on my own. Especially in the mud.
Fortunately I got down in the middle of a narrow road. So being an obstacle, the first ones to arrive had to help me out. It took about 20 minutes when two blokes in mini van arrived. Already I had unlocked the paniers and all the other luggage to lighten the motorbike.
The three of us still had to make a huge effort to get the rubber side down again. After all we are at 3000 meter above sea level. Anyways, I made it. And doing this 40 km of slippery mud roads made me gain some experience to drive the muddy roads.
One rule "Never shut down the throttle, keep the traction going", otherwise you drop the 350 kg bike.
At about 8:00 PM, I finally struck some decent road. My smiley face returned, but only for a brief moment. The last 100 km ended in a down pouring thunderstorm with flooded roads in Jalal Abad.
It was way past sunset and pitch black when I made to Osh. Exhausted.