I’m currently in Bishkek which is the capital of Kyrgyzstan. I’ve now been in the city since last Tuesday and although I’ve got a lot of things done, I’ve also had some time drinking coffee and eating some nice food!
It took me a week to cycle between Osh and Bishkek and there was some incredible scenery. A lot of long distant cyclists say that they enjoy Kyrgyzstan the most out of all the countries they’ve visited. I can understand why. Good roads, mountains and rivers. Much greener than Tajikistan and less crazy altitude. I did enjoy the week but for me, I think it had been a very long time since I took more than one full day off the bike (flying home for my Chinese visa was the last time!), so you may be able to tell from the video, my body and legs were getting tired having come off the Pamir highway and straight into another long stretch. 4 days off the bike later, a new Mongolian visa in the passport, a drone on its way home and a bike serviced; I’m looking forward to getting back on the bike tomorrow and starting my next section to Beijing.
It will take me a week now to get into China. I’ll head North back into Kazakhstan, through the city of Almaty and then turning East again, cross the border into China. This section is one I have had to do some thinking about. I have spoken to many other cyclists who have also cycled through Xinjiang (an autonomous region of China, in the NW of the country) and understand what I am going to come up against. One thing I know is, I will not be allowed to cycled the entire distance. Rest assured, if I’m allowed to cycle I will, but I will be fully conforming to the authorities so if there is a section the police want to give me a lift through, so be it. I’ll be taking the most direct route between the two border crossings and heading into Mongolia. Then up to the capital, Ulaanbaatar, before turning the wheels South and heading for Beijing. I have booked a flight to take me to San Diego at the end of October, so I have a deadline now (I did get a flexible ticket, just in case!).
As mentioned above, I have sent my drone home, sad times. This is because of Xinjiang and a necessary decision. The plan at the moment is I’ll be meeting my sister, Polly, in San Diego, and she’ll bring me the drone for my cycle across the US. Disappointed not to have the drone for my time in Mongolia; the Mongolian Steppe is exactly what a drone is there for, but oh well.
As ever, thanks for the support.