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On the road . July 2007 . Kyrgyzstan, China and Pakistan

map route Kyrgyzstan, China and Pakistan

Seman Hotel Internet Cafe, Kashgar, 09-07-07
A mighty change of scenery
Kilometre 62 on A371 - Kyrgyzstan to Kashgar - China
(4 cycle days; 259km; 1956m)

kilometre 62 on A371 to Irkeshtam border crossing (11km; 158m)
Irkeshtam - Kyrgyzstan to Ulugqat - China (55km; 494m)
Ulugqat to Wuqia (96km; 985m)
Wuqia to Kashgar (97km; 319m)

Another border process
The plan is to camp close to the border town of Irkeshtam (11km; 158m), but the village emerges out of nowhere before we find a suitable spot. It is a strange and eerie location reflecting a transient, makeshift life. Rusted, beaten-up trailers systematically fill the dusty patch captured in place by a river to the north, border boom gates to the east and barbed wire running the entire southern length. The small farming village of Nura lies immediately west.

It is not a pretty sight, but behind this facade, the place is full of truck drivers and their families and they all seem friendly enough...

read on
stove cleaningTip of the month: A primus cleaning tip
Trouble with a badly burning fuel stove and you have done everything to try and rectify it? And, no matter how many times you prick the fuel hole, it just keeps on clogging up again? It is probably due to built up residue in the lines and places that you can't really get into to clean.

This remedy worked for us, though stove companies would strongly recommend that you do not use this method. But what stove manufacturers don't realise is, when you are on the road and your cooker doesn't work, you'll try anything to get it operational again. So, here it is:

Dismantle the whole stove and immerse everything in Coca Cola - overnight preferably and one without normal sugar if possible. Before putting everything back together, make sure all parts have been rinsed thoroughly, wiped clean with a rag and that everything is bone dry. It is probably a good idea, at this stage, to renew your fuel source as well, since the problem is often caused by dirty or old petrol. If that is impossible, then run the fuel through a coffee filter or piece of cloth to remove any unwanted bits.

Note: Coffee filters are also quite useful for putting on the end of your water filter's inlet hose in high sediment areas. So, it is handy to carry a few with you and they take up hardly any space in your bags at all.


Irkeshtam (Kyrgyzstan) - Karimabad (Pakistan)
642 kilometers and 100 meters
Riding days: 10 only this month. (bit slack!)
Alti meters: 6384 meters
Weather: a lot of sun and high temperatures
Best accommodation: Hotel in Wuqia (the one on the right side of the road just after the roundabout with the Kyrgyz hats in the city centre)

Special thoughts for a fellow cyclist:
Didier was molested and mugged of all his valuables close to Karakol in Kyrgyzstan and had to abandon his tour to Beijing. He received help from Euro Support and returned to France for a successful operation on his jaw and where he is now recuperating. He is determined to continue his journey and our strength and best wishes go out to him.

Special thanks to:
Bettina at Schwalbe for her understanding and allowing us to collect our replacement tyres at a later date in India. Reliable customer service is so important and we appreciate it very much and will continue to support those who support us! • Trish & Paddy for the fun laughs, travel anecdotes and Grandma Mouth [only they know what that is]. Hope to see you both again somewhere in this big wide world • Urs & Jonas for the frolicking times at John's Cafe Sandra for the use of some of her photos in our slide show.

04: flat tyre (Son)
08: three new tyres fitted (Son 1, Ali 2)
09: flat tyre (Ali)
13: broken spoke (2x)(Ali)
25: flat tyre (Ali)

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