August 22, 2013 by loscobos12
Finally my time had come to disembark from the tourient express and leave Bishkek and Rob behind. However, even setting out on my one man crusade for better food in Japan was hard. A flight from Almaty To Nagoya meant I was currently in the wrong city and country. This left me to ask how would I get there? Buses were a long unpleasant ride with an awkward border crossing.Trains were indirect, costly and had the same border issues. Private taxis were a ridiculous fee (almost ten pounds) for the 240km distance, I even looked at flying from Bishkek to Almaty. Then from no where Rob suggested I could probably just cycle it. Genius… It was only a 20km ride to the Kazakh- Kyrgyzstan border which gave me just enough time for me to complete my the Smith’s repertoire, much to the locals enjoyment. After a lot of waiting around on the border and being spoken to in Russian, none of which I understood, they eventually got bored and pushed me out.
The road from Bishkek to Almaty was a little underwhelming with any chance of a view obscured by low cloud. The journey was made all the more pleasant by a refreshing head wind and three man tent in tow. Upon entrance to the former capital of Kazakhstan, it soon became apparent how much I had relied upon Robs ability to read Cyrillic and speak Russian. Finding my way round was tough, especially with central Asia’s inability to sign post anything. I imagine rarely has the Crayke to China road been cycled by a person with fewer language abilities. Without Andy or rob I was relying purely on my charades experience and a smile. I am pleased to say that somehow the grinning buffoon act has passed the test this far.
This being said I do feel I have learnt a lot from the trip such as-
Don’t drink anything Andrew does, unless you want parasites. Even then I would hope few are as perverse as him, referring to them as his “little friends”.
Don’t ignore your body like Rob, clean even small cuts. If any part of you goes hot and red, swells like a balloon and causes excruciating pain don’t just keep cycling. Stop and seek medical attention, even if the local cure is rubbing an egg on it.
Finally and most importantly; leaving my beard and hair to grow out will make me look a lot like a member of Hanson and Gimli’s love child.
Alas my cycling journey has rolled to end, leaving me to sign off with my stats
My top 5 google searches resulting in this blog
5. Tourient movie (something for us all to look forward to)
4. Robert Gardiner world of warcraft
3. Sudocrem shortage
2. Hard f**ked in cappodocia cave
1. Josh Chappell leotard men
Kilometers cycled – 9201km
Power rangers colouring books completed – 4.5
Punctures – 8
Falls – 6
Times people have openly laughed at me – countless