The Kyrgyz side of the border was so easy to cross, it will be hard to describe. I knocked on the the door to notify the soldier of my arrival. He wouldn't know if I entered on my own will. He put on his hat. It had a soviet emblem on it. Looks like they didn't feel any need to change the uniform after the independence. He called his friend to have his photo taken on the bike. When that was over, I reminded that I was actually there to cross the border. So they asked for my passport. They ...Read More

I planned to ride to Tashkent from Samarkand until I came across a border crossing on the main road. It was surprising to see one because my maps indicated a straight highway within Uzbekistan. It seems like Kazakhstan has claimed some of this land recently so I would have to exit Uzbekistan if I wanted to continue. Having a single entry Uzbek visa I decided to take the southern route to Fargana Valley. It felt a little rebellious to steer away from the capital, the control freak central authority to this fertile and disobedient valley where the infamous Andijon events ...Read More

I left Bukhara after an unsuccessful internet connection attempt. When I left the cafe, there were a dozen little Bukharan boys on bicycles admiring my motorcycle. I may be a little older, motorized, and a bit further away from home, but basicly we belong to the same category. Boys on wheels! We played a bit and I gave them some baloons. Then they escorted me out of the center since the road I came two days ago was now closed.On the road, I met some other boys in uniforms with guns and sticks. They were doing radar speed checks ...Read More

It feels great to be back on the road. Being able to move around with ease... I rode almost 20 hours through the Ustyurt Plateau and the Karakalpak autonomous region. This section was worrying me a little bit. The roads in the area are not listed on most maps. There is a railroad but the satellite images were showing mostly dirt tracks scattered around the area. I assumed it wouldn't be easy so left very early in the morning after a warm farewell.The asphalt ended shortly after Beyneu as I expected. But the grading was much better than I thought ...Read More

I woke up wishing that the previous day was just a bad dream. But that didn't last long. The nearest DHL office was in Atrau. Around 500kms from where I was... I somehow needed to go there and started thinking about options.• Wrapping an inner tube around the spring to achieve a primitive dampening. • Trying to load the bike on a train. • Leaving the bike and most of my stuff in Beyneu and taking the train.In either case I had to find a cheap and safe place to stay until the part was ready for pick-up. A week ...Read More

I woke up alone in the back of Sinan's truck covered in some sort of an oily dust. There wasn't anyone around and the sun was just rising so I took the time to clean my matress and sleeping bag. First Jehan showed up. He spent the night wandering around the customs zone climbing refinery towers. Isabel slept inside the truck and Recep was with Mehmet. Soon everyone gathered for breakfast. Thinking of the roads ahead, I decided to shorten my windscreen. It tends to crack when there's too much vibration.After breakfast, Recep asked the big question: "What is ...Read More

Leaving Baku took longer than I expected. From the point we were ready to board, until the moment of departure, we have been asked for documents probably five times. It seems like this is a completely random thing. Some guards don't do anything. They just look at the pages of the passport and read silly stuff they find interesting. They compare visa photographs and ask personal questions mixed with dirty jokes. Speaking Turkish, I naturally became the translator and guide for Jehan and Isabel all through the way from the port of Baku to the port of Aktau, a total ...Read More