Tash Rabat, Kyrgystan
N 040 49.368 E 075 17.350 ->
Today: 33.8 °F ( +1 °C)
28 Apr 2017
27043 km

Yesterday we celebrated the last night with our China transit crowd. We spent the night 15 kilomters in a small valley at Tash Rabat lngt an old Silk Road Caravaneserai. This morning we swopped photos with each other before everyone headed off in their own direction. Now we are free again. But we will probably bump in to eachother again.

We went north and stopped in a small village to fill water, but didnt really get how the pump was working. But a man came running to help us. He invited us for tea, with bread, strawberry jam, apricot jam and butter all homemade of course. In a few minutes it all turned in to a lunch with fired potatoes and peppers. The wife was a school teacher and she could speak some English. There were really lovely and warm people and they wanted us to stay the night, but we felt like we needed to move on.

When we got closer to Naryn it started to snow heavily and completely unexpected. The road soon got all white and slippery and we decided to stay the night in Naryn at a Guest House we found in iOverlander. After checking in and opening a beer we saw our friends Anna & Henry and Josefin & David come rolling in at the same place. Surprise!

Naryn, Kyrgystan
N 041 25.734 E 076 01.290 ->
Today: 55.4 °F ( +13 °C)
29 Apr 2017
27164 km

Vi decided to stay one more day in Naryn, a small sleepy town with 38 000 inhabitants. The town looks like Sweden in the 50-ties and 60-ties. The Kirgiz people are very warm, nice and helpful. For example we were looking for a wifi router in a shop called Beeline, they could not help us but the shop assistant took us to a competitors shop to see it they had something suitable for us. In the evening we went out for dinner with Rahim. He had moved to our Guest House too today.

Naryn, Kyrgystan
N 041 25.734 E 076 01.290 ->
Today: 60.8 °F ( +16 °C)
30 Apr 2017
27164 km

Today we went to Lake Issyk-Kl and wild camped on the beach. Lake Issyk-Kl is the worlds second largest alpine lake after Lake Titikaka. The water is crystal clear and bright turquoise blue. The lake is at 1 600 meters, 170 kilometer long and 70 kilometers wide.

Due to the thermal activity the lake never freezes even in the very cold winters here. But this does not mean that it is like a lukewarm bathtub. When we checked the temperature it was only +12 C, but it is still early spring. For the Kirgiz the lake is a summer resort mecca.

Lake Issyk Kl, Kyrgystan
N 042 09.710 E 077 03.198 ->
Today: 60.8 °F ( +16 °C)
01 May 2017
27402 km

Took a walk in The Fairy Tale Canyon cool place that feels like a desert in the wild west. The canyon looked completely different from the surrounding mountains.

After that we continued east along Lake Issyk-Kl. Everywhere we see cattle roaming around freely; horses, cows and sheep. Not just here at Lake Issyk-Kl, all over Kyrgyztan . The Kyrgiz also use their horses for work and transportation.

The petrol is only 0,5 Euro per liter. That is great. It is also not very expensive to eat, drink and camp here. A simple and filling lunch is 1,5 Euro, 1 liter of beer in a shop is 1 Euro and to camp at a Guest House with hot shower, wifi, toilet and electricity is about 3 Euro.

Seven-Bulls, Kyrgyztan
N 042 19.256 E 078 15.001 ->
Today: 60.8 °F ( +16 °C)
02 May 2017
27539 km

Wild camped at a stream next to the rock formations Seven-Bulls. We took a long walk in the morning to get some exercise and to get warm again after the cool night. The temperature during the nights are usually only +3 C. This means we have only about +6 C in the car.

After that we continued to Karakol at the end of the lake. We checed in at a Guest House and took a long hot shower. Wonderful!

After that we went to the local market that was built from hundreds and hundreds old containers. In one of the shops they sold homemade beer out of tin buckets. We tried it but that was really not for us. It tasted mostly yeast.

Karakol, Kyrgyztan
N 042 28.649 E 078 23.072 ->
Today: 64.4 °F ( +18 °C)
03 May 2017
27577 km

Here in the former eastern bloc countries there are car fixing ramps here and there along the roads. We have noticed some noise from the silencer area and took a look at the problem. One of the suspentions was loose. The problem was solved in a couple of minutes.

Today we have been driving along the northern side of Lake Issey-Kl, this is really a picture perfect place. Whatever direction we turn our heads it looks like a beautiful postcard.

In the afternoon we got stuck in a radar control. We were driving 63 km/h on a 40 km/h road. But it was a 4-lane road, smooth as a kitchen floor and almost no traffic at all. Conditions like this makes it hard to drive only 40 km/h. Bert shook the hand of the policeman, admitted his mistake, got out of the car to show him our route on the map we have on the hood. The policeman softened and said; go on, and pointed his arm in the direction of Bishkek - and we didnt get a ticket!

Balykshy, Kyrgyztan
N 042 27.550 E 076 11.765 ->
Today: 77 °F ( +25 °C)
04 May 2017
27846 km

There are so many radar controls here, 12 on the stretch between Lake Issey-Kl and Bishkek that is only about 200 kilometers. We kept driving slow all the way. We really do not whant ot giive them an opportunity to stop us for speeding. Then they maybe try to frame us for other things too.

It was great to arrive in sunny and warm Bishkek. We have spent a lot of weeks now n high altitude were it has been cool or even freezing cold some times. But now we are on 800 meters and it is nice and warm. Lovely!

Bishkek, Kyrgyztan
N 042 50.624 E 074 37.423 ->
Today: 75.2 °F ( +24 °C)
05 May 2017
28028 km

It was great meeting the 3 monkeys again; Lukas, Moritz and Jonas. We have so looking forward to this. We met they guys in Goa 6 months ago when we were staying at the beach in Agonda.

We have been in contact since then to see if our road would cross again somewhere in the Stan countries. They arrived in the same Guest House as us in the afternoon. In the evening we went out for a meal and some beers.

Bishkek, Kyrgyztan
N 042 50.624 E 074 37.423 ->
Today: 86 °F ( +30 °C)
06 May 2017
28028 km

The lads invited us to a great brunch this morning in the garden. After that we set off on to town with Lukas and Moritz as guides. They have been in Bishkek twice before on this trip and they knew their way around town.

It was interesting to go shopping with them. They practically are cooking for themselves all the time. We dont do that. We only settle for easy cooking when we need to. But this meant that we arrived home with foods we would not have bought on our own like; fresh cheese with raisins, meat and sausages.

Bishkek, Kyrgyztan
N 042 50.624 E 074 37.423 ->
Today: 77 °F ( +25 °C)
07 May 2017
28028 km

This morning we took said bye-bye to the lads, who are going to Kazakhstan and Mongolia. Then we spent the day planning the route for the next few weeks.

Via the Caravanistan site we contacted an Uzbeiki agent who make the LOI for (Letter of invitation) that we need before we even can apply for the visa Uzbekistan.

We also needed to apply for visa to Azerbaijan. But since the new rules in January 2017 we could do this on-line quick, easy and no with no stupid questions and also pay on-line. Wow, we wish all the countries would do like this. See and learn! That would save us tons of time, hassle and money.

Bishkek, Kyrgyztan
N 042 50.624 E 074 37.423 ->
Today: 68 °F ( +20 °C)
08 May 2017
28028 km

Already today we got the visa for Azerbaijan, but only Catharinas visa. Guess we have to wait for a day or two before we start asking for Berts.

Within a few days we plan to travel the Pamir Highway. The highway starts in Osh in Kyrgyztan and ends in Dushanbe in Tajikistan. The route is 1 300 kilometers, mostly on 3 000 meters or higher. Some of the passes are as high as 4 600 meters. The Pamir Highway and the Karakorum Highway is some of the coolest high altitude roads to travel in the world.

Our friends the 3 monkeys were there about two weeks ago in their big, strong, 4-weeldrive truck. It was a struggle for them. Check out the film clip. After seeing this we decied at least to get a showel and keep our fingers crossed for better weather and road conditions...

Bishkek, Kyrgyztan
N 042 50.624 E 074 37.423 ->
Today: 80.6 °F ( +27 °C)
09 May 2017
28028 km

This morning the Uzbeki agent e-mailed us about LOI. We have to present booking confirmations for all the night we plan to stay in Uzbekistan. On top of that we have to get written confirmations from our employees of where we work and what we do translated in to English and in a document with the official company letterhead. What the hell do they need that for? Stupid fucking rules!

After lunch we started our journey south towards Osh. We are slowly climbing up the mountains again. It will get a little cooler the days to come and then very cold for a few days.

Wild Camp, Kyrgyztan
N 041 45.960 E 073 03.534 ->
Today: 80.6 °F ( +27 °C)
10 May 2017
28353 km

Yesterday we got halfway to Osh. Today we covered the rest. Arriving at TES Guest House late afternoon we found the German and Austrian overlander couples we met in Pakistan. They had been at the border to check the road conditions for Pamir Highway. They had been advised not to go in a 2-weel drive vehicle that is impossible they were told by the border police and the tourist guides they met. And they decided not to go. Oh shit, what are we going to do now? We started to look for alternative routes and border crossings. But finally decided to sleep on it and make a decision tomorrow morning.

At the Guest House they had wifi so that we could check the status of our LOI application for Uzbekistan. All the paperwork seemed to be in order and we could now pay the 2 x 70 Euro. Now we have to wait for 7-10 days for this to be processed. Berts visa to Azerbaijan also had arrived. Great, now they are done.

Osh, Kyrgyztan
N 040 31.337 E 072 48.172 ->
Today: 64.4 °F ( +18 °C)
11 May 2017
28686 km

This morning we decided to go the Pamir Highway after all. We have traveld such bad roads before with our Saab and gotten away with it. Maybe we are a little crazy, but the worst thing that can happen is that we have to turn around, get a new visa for Tajikistan and find another route.

We packed all our stuff and went the 250 kilometers up to the border town Saray-Tash. We bought petrol and lots of take away food for us to eat tomorrow. If we get in trouble it is great to not to have to waste time cooking food. It is better to concentrate on digging and clearing the road from rocks, mud or snow.

We wild camped in Saray-Mogol, at 3 100 meters at the foot of Peak Lenin, with Josefin & David that we transited China with. We decided to meet here to cross the border togheter tomorrow.

Wild Camp, Saray-Mogol, Kyrgyztan
N 039 39.462 E 072 53.146 ->
Today: 64.4 °F ( +18 °C)
12 May 2017
28342 km

Today we had two high pass, a lot of bad road and maybe a tough border crossing in to Tajikistan to cover. We needed to get an early start to get a maximum of daylight and to drive as far as possible before the roads get too slippery and muddy.

When we arrived at the Kyrgys border the guards were still fast to sleep and we had to wake them up. It took one hour to exit Kyrgyzstan. They tried to scam us for 10 US dollar exit fee. But they didnt get any money.

Already after 10 kilometers we run in to problems. Luckily we had our 4-weel drive friends with us. If we put on the snow chains we could have made it by ourselves. But it was easier for them to just tow us for a few meters. Then the road continued like this to and up over the Kyzyl-Art, 4 282 meters. But the Saab managed to make it on its own all the way. See film clip.

To pass the border in to Tajikistan went smoother than expected. We have heard many stories about corrupted border guards demanding money, souvenirs and even tablets to let people cross the border. We paid 25 Euro tax for our car as expected. But the 3 Euro disinfection fee and the 3 Euro for quarantine was definitely a scam. Irritating, but at least we crossed the border in only one hour.

After that we continued to Lake Kara-Kul, a lake that formed al long time ago after a meteorite went down there. We stopped for a brake and to cook some food. Then we continued towards the next high pass Ak-Baital, 4 655 meters. Shitty road all the way there and over the pass, with a bit of rain or snow it would have been really bar for us. But we were lucky, it was dry.

All day we have traveled on 4 200 meters plateau with high passes and our Saab has made an excellent job on these bad roads. All together we have met only 7-8 cars.