Too Asuu Tunnel to Otmuk 68km
Otmuk to Oitel 120km
I'm pretty please with my efforts yesterday. With food and water I'm hauling 65kg up over pretty big mountains. I'm weighing in myself at about 67kg.
We climb up from our campsite, 300m to the tunnel entrance, and are reminded we are at altitude. We've worked out cycling order and lights for the 3km tunnel.....but then are not permitted to enter. Apparently a vehicle broke down in the tunnel recently, and the passengers died of poisoning from the fumes. We need to hitch a ride, but with three loaded bikes and two trailers it's a big ask to all get a ride together. I flag down a truck, and throw Nick and his bike aboard. Roman and I wait almost an hour before we manage a ride. Roman is a little impatient. They have a lot if kms to go, in a much more limited time than me. Eventually we got a ride. Our truck was pretty flash. A Chinese driver heading to Tajikistan, with all the mod cons, including bunk beds in the cab. The tunnel was indeed very fumey and we were glad not to be cycling through it.
13km of amazing smooth downhill, into an incredibly green valley, surrounded by snowy mountain peaks. Huge WOW factor. The boys were a bit slow. Romans trailer bounces around above 40kph, where as I'm hitting 70kph, passing trucks.
In the valley is another stunning river. Kayak mates.....this place is worth a visit. There are heaps of Yurts, insulated round tents, and lots if very beautiful horses.....and I'm not a horsie sort of guy. Many yurts were selling mares milk and mares cheese balls. After getting very ill in Kazakhstan from fermented mares milk, I gave it a miss.
We stopped for lunch. Choices included meat, meat and potatoes, or meat and rice. And the meat had huge globs of fat attached. Stripped as much fat off as possible, and washed it all down with hot, sweet Chai.
Three cyclists stopped for a chat, going in the opposite direction. Two of them, Belgiums, I had eaten pizza with in Vientiane, Laos, six months ago. A small world.
The boys were keen to cover some kms, so I sent them off. I was happy to take my time and enjoy the scenery. I found a campsite near a river and ate bread and marmite. I can't believe that I've finally found a place ( other than the Hanmer Springs Consol in Park Village Kathmandu) that makes good bread, and then I run out of Marmite.
Next morning I'm up early, and climbing. After 13km I catch the boys. They've spent the night with a local family, and are eating breakfast. We climb the 20k to the summit of our second pass together. 3175m. And then it's over 50km downhill. In any other country this would be a National Park. The scenery is stunning, and the downhill amazing....so much so that photos wouldn't do it justice.....and I was going too fast and enjoying the descent so much..
We stopped for lunch. Was it goat or sheep? Once again hot sweet Chai washed the fat down, and then continued downhill, to camp under a bridge over the end of a hydro reservoir. An amazing day, in amazing Kyrgyzstan.