Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Mr B is back and kicking (the cat that keeps sleeping on my pillow)!!

Long time no chat - China having a lock down on internet (none at all) and calling (outside of the country - which includes hong kong strangely) can do that!!

So Kyrgyzstan continued in the same vain - I was cycling up one of the passes about 4000m and a bandit riding a horse in a balaclava (and other clothes) decided to attack me with his horse whip. Luckily a truck came past at the same moment and I was able to outstretch my hand grab the back and fly up the mountain leaving the bandit with a look of shock in his eyes!! I've been doing that quite a bit - sometimes on the flat too!! (It's not cheating - I'm still in the saddle. No it's not, OK maybe just a bit!!)

Barring that Kyrgy is an amazing country with Pamir mountain range on the right hand side. Up one of the higher passes my front pannier fell off. Nice and cold fixing it. The other then fell of and my seat snapped. So when I got to Saritash Shirley was screwed, banged, poked with a red hot poker, nailed - the list goes on... it didn't last...

We were flying down a totally unmade road and the same pannier fell off again but this time got stuck in my front wheel breaking spokes and stopping the bike in it's tracks - obviously catapulting me over the handle bars landing at the feet of a police officer with the bike landing on top of me some time after. "Asalomalicom" - hello.

What else?? Cycling through snow and ice - skidding out. Nice pic.

Then China opened it's borders after 12 days and let us in...

First night at a restaurant - no Chinese between us. We pointed to two dishes on menu and waited. To our delight chicken legs started and then the head was for main course. Yummy.

After that we could eat anything and the sheep's head floating in soup was delightful. The tongue was tasty, the rain was like cream cheese and the eye ball was like meat flavoured chewing gum that you've picked off the bottom of a chair from school.

With the chinese lock down this year in an attempt to squash the passion of the Uiga's - the indigenous people to the Xing Jang province it was impossible to get into Tibet - the area where the Chinese had previously brought destruction and ruin. So I was faced with a question. What do I do? Pakistan or fly? A few people were heading into Pakistan and seemed to think it was OK but remember we had no contact with the outside world for 2 weeks.

On our first day out of Kashkar it got colder. I woke with a frozen sleeping bag and my tent frozen inside and out. Thanks again Cotswald - I was super warm!! The silence made me feel like I was in one of the balls you get at Christmas with a beautiful winter scene inside. Totally silent. Then I touched the top of the tent and it was like the ball had been shaken, a blizzard inside. Snowing inside. Or at least the frost all falling in tiny pieces slowly. We heard on the radio about the Pakistai offensive against the Teliban. Oh dear I thought - but every else was more relaxed so we continued!! (needless to say when we passed a mining place where they were using explosives I cycled a bit faster than normal not knowing whether I was a target!)

Thank goodness we did. The road into Pakistan is the most beautiful place on earth and the people have the most wonderful welcoming smiles and hearts! I cycled for 2 miles and was almost in tears. I thought I'd found what I'd been looking for... I almost felt like I fitted in?? Which is something special for someone who has lived 30yrs feeling like an Alien in this world. (Or Angel, huh? Gergana??)

(I'll post some pics and make you jealous soon - I took 1000 pics in 5 days (but did lose all my pics of Kyrgyzstan and some of china when I accidentally hit delete all - hoping a techy can get them back??!))

So mum and dad are hoping to come out in week or so to see some of the amazing scenery here and feel the love of the people. So excited. Meanwhile I have made a bet that I can cycle the hilly road from the Chinese border to here in one day with the hostel owner. It's an awful unmade road over many hills, and 190k. The chinese are mining rock and sometimes just though massive bolders onto the road for lorries to collect later when they feel like it. Closing the road and at one point taking my pannier off. (Also had to dodge some football size rocks on a night time trek to the celebration fires as goats passed over head!!) Maybe we'll be dining out on my funds!!

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