Day 55 – KYRGYZSTAN: Archali to Tash Bashat


Distance / 距離: 78.49km
Time / 時間: 6h 33m
Average speed / 平均速度: 11.9km/h
Distance to date / 今日までの積算距離: 2387km

Low hills around Archali settlement, Kyrgyzstan

Downhill? Despite the fact that the river I was following was flowing in the same direction as I was cycling, I spent most of the day slogging it up an incredulously steep road that went up and down to avoid the many bluffs that the river had carved into the valley. The river had gone from meyandering wide river to a narrow deep gorge, forcing the road sometimes 150m or so up from the river.

Just before the Kichi-Narin river goes into gorge-mode - past Oruk-Tam, Kyrgyzstan

It was here in this gorge that I really began to sense the change in season. The trees had a definite tinge of yellow to them. Tajikistan with its 4600m passes came to mind. With this little wee adventure over the last week, my arrival in Tajikistan is sure to be much later than I had expected. Hopefully this won’t mean too many hassles with snowy roads…

Back to the present, today’s breakfast was dry pasta. Lunch was…well, lunch wasn’t, actually. At around 11am, I was invited in for tea and a small snack by a farming family, but apart from that and the last quater of the jar of Nutella, nothing. I’m not sure what has got me to Tash Bashat, but I think it was the rumour of a well stocked store. Tash Bashat would become the first place that I could buy food in about 6 days of travel.

The family (plus extras) that invited me in - near Oruk-Tam, Kyrgyzstan

Actually, I lie. In Eki-Naryn, a small town about 5km before Tash Bashat, I was able to buy some potatoes from a farmer who happened to be digging them up just as I was passing by. After some bartering, he agreed to sell eight medium sized potatoes to me for ten som. He originally wanted fourty.

Take my picture! - Eki-Naryn, Kyrgyzstan

Unfortuately Tash Bahshat did not have the cheese and butter that I so dearly wanted to go with my spuds, but at the small store I was able to buy some cheap fizzy cordial, three eggs, six carrots, and some chocolate. The chocolate by the way just wasn’t worth it. Cocoa flavoured lard is how I would describe it. Another Kyrgyzstan taste disaster.

Armed with these ingredients plus a fruit tomato that I was given by a woman as I passed, I made the most delicious vegetable soup/gruel I have ever tasted. Seasoning was thanks to that great Kazakhstan soup mix that I still have a mass stock of. For the first time in seven days, I ate my fill. An immense sense of satisfaction is floating around my head right now. Maybe I can manage this backcountry cycling thing after all…


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