Day 3: 52km
We leave our amazing mountain top view and complete the final 3km to the top of the pass.
We’re really running low on water and there is no sign of any streams but thankfully there is a collection of yurts at the top , and this lovely family replenish four of our bottles.
We spend some time with them before heading over the top and back down to the next valley.
The rest of the day is very up and down and we make slow progress.
We meet more motorcyclists on the road and stop to chat for a while.
After 5 and a half hours in the saddle we stop and camp in a meadow just outside the small village of Dodomol.
Day 4: 40km
If possible, the road got worse today. After a short climb we find ourselves losing a lot of height once again until we reach this flat stretch of road leading to the large town of Kazarman.
The washboards are relentless and we manage an average speed of just 8.6km/h.
We’re both a bit worn out so decide to give ourselves a rest and find a nice home stay for the night. It’s the first shower we’ve had in 7 days! Bliss!
Kazarman’s centre isn’t the most picturesque! The streets are lined with these rather depressing looking soviet apartment blocks. That orange stuff is peeling insulation… Asbestos perhaps?!
The people are really friendly though and it’s a great place to stock up on food, snacks and water.
Day 5: 44.5km
Day 5 saw us start to tackle the tallest (but final) mountain road – the Kaldama Pass.
It’s incredibly hot and we spend a long time filtering 9L water from a muddy stream.
We keep climbing through the green hilly landscape. The traffic isn’t too bad but the road is still frustratingly slow.
We drop down to a big river before camping next to some yurts. We’ll have a hard climb tomorrow morning but should complete the pass before lunch.
Day 6: 79.2km
We manage an early start and The War on Drugs, Radiohead and Paul Simon blast out of our speaker helping us to keep climbing.
By lunch time we have reached the top!
It’s a bumpy trip down and gets hotter and hotter as we lose height.
Luckily there are plenty of springs to collect water.
After eight days on the gravel road we’re delighted to find ourselves back on Tarmac!!!
Our seventh and last day would see us cycle the remaining 43km to Jalal-Abad, finally completing our big loop of Kyrgyzstan.
From there we cheated a bit, hailed down a passing truck and hitched back to Osh. 🙂