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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys
This summer I took a little trip from Almaty in Kazakhstan to Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan and back, then continuing via the Altai region of Russia to Ulaan Baatar in Mongolia.

Since my RTW trip around the turn of the Millennium, only having undertaken short bike rides here and there (some described at Since 2002 TBSdotCom ) this 7 week trip was longer in distance, harder in terrain and in many ways more adventurous and definitely more eventful than most.

And yes there was a cliff in Kyrgyzstan and a particular wet area in Mongolia involved.

Below are some pictures to give you a taste of what I saw and did. More to come…


Kazakhstan



A bit of audience participation: of this motley crew can you spot the bent copper (a.k.a Corrupt policeman for non-UK-English speakers)? Clue: He’s wearing a hat and it ain’t blue. The picture is also significant because the Robin-van-Persie-look-alike between the 2 be-hatted gents is called Maarten. Maarten is singularly responsible for getting me out of deep sh!t in my “cliff incident” (More of that later). I owe you big time, buddy!


Kyrgyzstan



Horses going for a swim.




Local men, dressed to impress.




Young local women, dressed to impress.




Horse murderball(!?) (American Football on horses with a headless goat as a “ball”)!




Get the kids into biking early.




Horse against machine. Horse wins.


Tajikistan



Pamir views




Pamir Highway after being thrown out of Tajikistan because the authorities were in the process starting a shooting war with their own population and didn’t want witnesses.


Mongolia



Smiling girl while I try to take picture of an eagle




Admiring some exceptional views




The whole of Mongolia is one big wild-campsite




Lean on me




A happy Mongolia drunk. A rare occurance. Most drunks (who also seem to love engaging foreign motorcyclists in conversations…) in central Asia/ Russia/ Mongolia were a lot less happy and showed it…




Ernie joins the trip ;)

More coming soon!

Chris
 

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Should know better
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Wow! Some amazing pics there - what an adventure. :thumbup:
 

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Fab... Keep it coming
 

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OVALTEENY !!!
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Fantastic pics
 

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SHW'MAE BUTT
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Please stop this is mine and Shazzys future holiday trip, once daughter is in uni.
 

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Fantastic, makes me want to go out even more:thumbright:... can't wait for teh next installment
 

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Wing Commander
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Wow! I have some photos of Lewisham I can share:D
 

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When you mentioned unwelcoming drunks I thought you were riding around the Gurnos in Merthyr, but the pics are jaw dropping:thumbright:
 

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Wow, what a trip... and some lovely photos too. Please put some forward for the XRV calendar.


Young local women, dressed to impress.
I'm impressed.



Smiling girl while I try to take picture of an eagle
A variation on, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

"The money shot happens when you're lining the camera for some other picture", perhaps?

More coming soon!

Chris
Looking forward to that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Gents
Many thanks for all your positive comments. I appreciate them.

You won't be surprised to learn that this summer's brand of choice for the Stans and Mongolia was Honda. My counting of Africa Twins went well into double figures and combined with a couple of Trannies like mine, Honda won the day easily. European brands and other Japs were down in the cheap seats. :toothy1:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Instalment 1: It’s as far from me to you as it is from you to me.

I tagged along with a group of Dutch guys and a couple of Brits sharing a container to get my bike to Central Asia. This saved the ball (and ar$e) ache of riding across 1000s of miles of nothing to get to where the fun starts. I never was an iron butt rider type who likes enduring miles for the sake of it. The older I get, the more I seem to like smelling the flowers.

In contrast to the worrying that took place in the run up to, and during the shipping of the container from Rotterdam in the Netherlands to Almaty in Kazakhstan everything actually went really smoothly. I had ridden my bike from the UK to Ad’s, the organiser of the container shipping from the Dutch biker’s site AllRoadManiacs - Forumindex , in Holland and he was kind enough to crate it and transport it to the Dutch shipping company warehouse (Company | Mainport Rotterdam ) for me. The Agent in Almaty ( www.moryldi.com ) was very efficient too and there were no “hidden extras” in terms of costs upon arrival.

Almaty seemed like a fun city with lots rich people (it has one of only 2 Bentley car dealerships in the entire ex-Soviet Union (there other is in Moscow). The people seemed pleasant enough, but not speaking a word of Kazakh or Russian wasn’t good. The girls are pretty too, but I was too jetlagged to be in the mood to take many pictures of Floraova and Faunaova.

Here’s a few pics:


Just like it says on the tin. The second heaviest pallet in the container. In my (meagre) defence all my riding gear, camping stuff etc as well as a spare tyre were in the box too. The weight is inclusive of the pallet itself.



Despite the bike being freshly spray painted matt black (Halfords own brand), this is the shiniest the bike has ever been (or ever will be). Started first push of the button.


The war memorial to the dead from the Great Patriotic War in Almaty was very impressive. It’s also a popular locations for wedding photos.


Many Kazakhs died in 1941. Locals say that it was only the arrival of the Kazakh army divisions at the siege of Moscow that persuaded the Germans to p!ss off back where they came from.


Melons anyone? (Illegal?) street sellers outside the hotel.


Do apricots give you the sh!ts or constipation?


Bent coppers are the scum of the earth,the world over. In my less than empirical study of police corruption, 100% of Kazakhstan police are corrupt. I didn’t once get stopped by any coppers in Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan nor Russia. The fat pig in the picture was trying to pull a cunning stunt to extract money for alleged speeding, but he got no money from any of us.

After riding in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan for 2 weeks I returned to Almaty and then continued towards Semey and Russia. Riding through a town that was so unforgettable (I recall it had lots of casinos) I got pulled over by another fat cnutstable. The “dialog” went something like this:

Copper: Random bollox probably along the likes of give me money, you were speeding.

Brighty: What? Do you speak English?

Copper: more bollox, straf straf.

Brighty: niet.

Copper: more bollocks, dollar dollar

Brighty: niet

(Other copper sitting in crap looking police car 10 yards away waves me over to him.)

Brighty waves to other copper to come to him, saying: It’s as far from me to you as it is from you to me. And you need the exercise you fat pig.

Copper: more bollox, euro, euro

Brighty: niet. Excuse me, what’s that number on your badge. B151. I’m just going to give my friend the chief of police in Almaty a call (Brighty gets his phone out and pretends to call: He couldn’t, the phone battery was flat).

Copper then wanders off to pester another car driver.

Brighty rides off.

Conveniently English wasn’t taught when plod uno y dos were at skool…. :joker:

Many hours later and after dark (I rode 750km that day: what was that about not doing iron butts… I had had enough of crap Kazakh roads that just go on for ever and needed to leave the country) on the way into Semeh, I see a Star-Wars-like light sabre waving at me (all the plod have these sticks and at night they do Ewan McG impressions). This time the following thought process went through my head: There’s no benefit from me stopping to engage this plod in intellectual chit chat, so I’ll just ride by without stopping.

Nobody drove after me, nobody shot me.
 

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Chris,

This ride sounds like an adventure & a half, stunning inspirational photos, brilliant brief ride report, get some more pics on to be shared.

Thanks for sharing.
 

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Instalment 1: It’s as far from me to you as it is from you to me.

SNIP

Nobody drove after me, nobody shot me.


S - C - R -A - P - E




(That's the sound of me pulling up a chair awaiting the next instalment)
 

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Nice one Brighty, looking forward to more installments. Is that the same 'alp you tooled up to Squires on the other year? It certainly gets around!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Chris,

This ride sounds like an adventure & a half, stunning inspirational photos, brilliant brief ride report, get some more pics on to be shared.

Thanks for sharing.
S - C - R -A - P - E




(That's the sound of me pulling up a chair awaiting the next instalment)
Gents: Glad you like the story

Nice one Brighty, looking forward to more installments. Is that the same 'alp you tooled up to Squires on the other year? It certainly gets around!
No it's its twin: The Squires bike is currently in Germany and heading for Bulgaria next week. This one is now parked in Mongolia, waiting to be ridden to Siberia next summer. I guess I like the colour though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
A few more pics…

All are in Kyrgyzstan



A slight mishap befell the bike at the Kaz/Kyrg border. The thing just fell over. Side stand snapped… Found this helpful chap who repaired and made it better than new:




Not a Borat Man-kini, but the same shade of green…


Kids who seem happy to see you and no intention of begging. There were loads more like these.


Meeting the locals


Permit to pass. Next stop the cliff…
 

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""Many hours later and after dark (I rode 750km that day: what was that about not doing iron butts… I had had enough of crap Kazakh roads that just go on for ever and needed to leave the country) on the way into Semeh, I see a Star-Wars-like light sabre waving at me (all the plod have these sticks and at night they do Ewan McG impressions). This time the following thought process went through my head: There’s no benefit from me stopping to engage this plod in intellectual chit chat, so I’ll just ride by without stopping.

Nobody drove after me, nobody shot me. ""

Me and the missus did central asia two years ago and luckily we were tipped off never to stop for the coppers and we never did. They tried to pull us about 6 times a day on avarage and not once did anyone give chase. I must say the first few times I was checking the rear view mirror a lot!
Can you imagine though that even if we only paid a £5 bribe everytime they pulled us, we were in central asia for three months...thats a lot of money man.
 
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