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Wednesday, 16 October 2013


2nd June 2013
Definitely today’s ride was the toughest ride that I had to endure so far. I checked out early morning at 5am (its already bright) and was relieved when the lady at the guest house confirmed that Kaldama Pass (3062m) which I am about to pass today is opening starting from today, after it had been closed for months during winter. However, she warned me that there will still be lots of ice on the pass and remind me to be extra careful.
I tried to find a petrol station which sells RON91 at this small town, but all they have was RON80. I was worried if this type of fuel will give my small cc motorbike a problem when I ascend the steep pass, but what choice do I have? I have to make do with RON80 and started my ride heading to Jalalabad. The road was rough as usual with lots of gravels, but the worst was yet to come. Riding off road really tires one easily and one thing I hate most when riding passing the small villages was being chased by fierce dogs while I was ascending the gravels!!!
Soon, the beginning of Kaldama Pass appeared. The road or I can say the track, narrowed until it could only fit one jeep. OMG!!! Is this the main road to Jalalabad? Unfortunately, it is. It’s good for a 4WD, but not for a small cc motorbike as DREAM.

The beginning of Kaldama Pass

There was one part that the track had been washed away by flood and I had to descend a very steep substitute dirt track at about 50% gradient. I dropped the bike once, and luckily there was a man who helped me put it up again. Together we pushed DREAM slowly until the track flattens. The track deteriorated much more after that, with lots of slippery iced muddy slopes which forced me to tip-toed while standing on the ground, and my hands pressing the throttle to keep the bike moving. My pace at that time was slower than walking. It was a first gear affair all the way!!! Perhaps this time of the year is not a good time to ride on this pass as it was the beginning of summer and most of the ice on the mountain pass had started to melt, causing the track so wet everywhere. I had to ascend to more than 3000m, where again I dropped DREAM due to the engine loosening power and suddenly died, which most likely due to the RON80 fuel that I’m using.
I hv never seen an ice wall as tall as this.....imagine what would an ice wall as such do to the track when it melts?

I experienced few more falls after that and I had almost given up. It was very frustrating that when only minutes ago I had a fall and have to take out every single thing on the bike and inside the panniers to make it lighter so that I can put it to stand again, later repacked everything, and after riding not even a kilometre, I had another fall!!! It was a very taxing ride for me to reach Jalalabad, that I could no longer enjoy the beautiful valley down below.
Its beautiful.....but I could no longer enjoy it
Weary face.....cracked lips.....tired mind and body.....god knows what I hv been thru.....
Ice + Mud = Perfect combo lah.....
EUWWWWWW......that was the road I climbed up just now.....can u see the river snaking below?
About 40kms before Jalalabad, I met paved road again. Phewwww....and off I sped straight to Osh. In the end, after 14 hours of very tensed riding, I managed to arrive Osh, just in time the sun shone its last light. This must have been the longest 250kms in my whole life.

Finally......the last green before hitting Osh
However, no matter how tired my body and my mind were, I have to face a road block where some policemen tried to attempt for bribe from me. I just played dumb tourist and showed them the support letter from Kyrgyz Embassy. Fortunately, another policeman arrived. He can speak good English, and he saved me from the rest of his greedy friends. He then guided me until I found the place where I want to stay for the night. 

p/s: A more detailed story about my journey will be told in my upcoming book. More beautiful pics of course. STAY TUNED.....


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Band: NASTIA, Title: ANGGUR (taken from EP 'EKSPRESI')