July 17 Sary-Tash to Osh
Despite sleeping on mats on the floor we actually all did well. We were up about 9 and after breakfast packed to go by 11. Our host (and chef) and his son.
We had a short 185 km to Osh on a silky paved road.
We are still at 3600 m and cross one more pass to 4200 and then its down down down! Finally adequate O2. At the top of the pass there were a few kids selling milk and this one 12 year old boy spoke and read English perfectly. Drivers here are courteous and there is little traffic. We had no issues with the police despite what we had been told.
We passed thru quite a few villages in lush valleys.
It did start to rain mid way and we took shelter and made coffee in a bus top. This drew quite a crowd of curious kids.
Arriving to the city it was 28 and there was some traffic to deal with, but the hotel was easy access off the 41.
We had booked into a 4* hotel for 2 nights to really relax and get caught up on bike maintenance and RR. To be honest we wanted good wifi and a big TV so we could watch the first episode of Game of Thrones!!!
Dan pulled the wheel off the 650 and took it around the corner to the tire shop for proper patching.
We had been in contact with Janet and Charlie Russel since we were in South America and now we find we are finally in the same spot. They delayed their departure to meet with us and exchange info on our respective routes. They are deciding how they will get to Dushanbe after hearing the lower route is now blocked. We had the opportunity to hear about their experience in Russia and Mongolia.
July 19 To Kazarman 257 Km
Leaving Osh and all the way to Jal- Alabama there is a lot of traffic and some aggressive driving. there were also a huge number of police speed traps. We did the limit and they ignored us completely.
The road turns of the pavement to a dirt road for 93 km over the Kaldama pass (3062m) . This is except the last 10 km a firm gravel or dirt road.
The road rises over the slopes slowly and the rapidly with steep switchbacks.
The downward side is more gradual. This road in sections would be a real nightmare in the wet. We stopped about 50 km from the end for a tea break.
The last bit was pretty badly wash boarded. There is brand new pavement for the last 5 km to town. This place is pretty sad looking and none of the guest houses on map.me or the GPS exist. We did have a B&B listed and we showed up there. We have a pull out bed in the dining room.
The very good dinner was served in a yurt. There are a lot of other travelers here including a family form Slovenia. There is one bathroom for 12 guests so you had to be strategic.