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Published: September 15th 2016
Lousy Camp to Maku Hotel. 15 SEPTEMBER, 2016. Stage 99
141.30 Kms SubT. Kms 2789.37 kms . Road Condition: ok very hilly, long climbs. Weather: BLUE SKY MILD 27c Time in Saddle: 6:28:33 Av Speed: av. 21.8 kph. Av Cadence. 71 RpmElevation: 1550 m up; 1350 m downCalories burned : > 5500.
After an average sleep, remarkable when considering how seemingly isolated the camp was on a small country road, how many trucks, cars and motorcycles travelled the road after 7pm, not to mention the dogs barking all night, today was tough. Very long climbs and at times very steep gradients, and a persistent 25km headwind all day. On the flip side, the scenery was marvellous, and we enjoyed a 25 km fast decline, which to some degree eased the pain.
At lunch was the turnoff to St Thaddeus monastery, purportedly the oldest, built in 400AD, took a great picture of the picture!!, but as it was a 10km diversion into headwind sadly past up the physical experience.
There are many shepherds and sheep on the roads here, whilst we have seen them all over, many more here.
The people remain very welcoming and friendly, i believe more so than any other 'stan' nation.
Two riders had falls today, not in yet, but purportedly ok. Riders and bikes now in. The mechanic who was riding sweep hit a huge boulder, frame collapsed, no more riding on that bike. Landed 4 feet from the bike. Bad hip and arm bruising. Very lucky. The other rider, front well broke when it hit a gutter, badly swollen below the knee. Will need to find a new wheel to continue riding. Possibilities slim in this part of the world I surmise. But bike mechanics on these tours seem to work miracles. This rider is riding Africa Jan- May, 17, then immediately thereafter, across Canada!! Both very fortunate not to be more seriously hurt. Street Gutters in the 'stans' are about 2 feet deep, 1 foot wide. If you fell in one or hit it on the bike, I think you would suffer serious injury. The gutters are this size to accommodate the snow melt. Maku, the overnight town, has a good feel. It is nestled in a shallow valley, with mountains on all sides looming over it. Not very big, a main street with about 3 streets either side. Feels like a Himalayan town with that isolated feel to it. Imagine it gets snowed in. Outside temperature is coolish. Good ice cream!!
Border crossing tomorrow, i wonder how long it will take. The final country on the Silk Route- China, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Turkey!!
Tot: 2.753s; Tpl: 0.119s; cc: 13; qc: 31; dbt: 0.0484s; 2; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb