16 May 2018
On to Bishkek
We slept well and set out for Bishkek. About three hundred kilometers are still in front of us and two mountain crossings we did not expect.
Although the road is in fair condition, the approach to the first pass is endless and stretches to over three thousand meters in altitude. The pass is snow-covered, and now a storm is blowing, it is cloudy and snowing.
Our movement is slow; slowly decending we drive through a broad high valley.
We refuel with our last Kyrgyz money, which the robbers left us.
From here on the road turns left and winds up another pass.
The road is busy, and many vehicles are stopped at the roadside due to a breakdown or puncture. Our Korean tires on the BMW (Shinko tires!) have proved durable not only the Pamir Highway terrific but also make their mark here in Kyrgyzstan.
As we reach the pass , another kilometer long dark tunnel awaits us.
Out of the hellhole comes a mad noise like twenty turbines. Exhaust fans located inside the road tunnel try to blow out the dust and the exhaust gases, but that does not seem to work well.
In front of the entrance, a traffic light turns red, it means we have to drive in, so we go. When we escape the trapped exhaust fumes at the other end, I’m half dead and deaf.
Thereafter the road winds down in countless crazy serpentines in a deep valley, at least the road is quite okay.
In this respect, nothing can compare to the Pamir.
Here and there are now a few rain clouds again but they pass, and finally we find before us for the first time in many days is a vast flat countryside.
The last sixty kilometers to Bishkek we drive with increasing traffic density on a flat road, always in sight of high mountains to our right.
In Bishkek, our GPS equipment finds the Grand Hotel, which is not as posh as it sounds but offers a lovely room with a garden. There we sit under a parasol and write our reports.
We also find a Korean restaurant on the other side of the road andYousong is blissful. So am I.
Tomorrow we will continue to Almaty in Kazakhstan.