Day 37 Iskanderkul Lake

1 Jul

Didn’t quite make it to the lake. Slow but easy border crossing and straight onto the very bad Tajik roads. Dave’s bike starts playing up, again. It gets worse. Progress slows. We have to stop a lot, but don’t know what’s wrong and just have to press on, hoping. It’s pretty annoying after feeling so excited about it and having such nice scenery. The kids here really look happy to see us, shouting and waving, even running out of houses to get a look. Bikes must be rare here. Tajik has a much nicer feel than Uzbek, but this area is obviously poor and the roads have decayed to deeply rutted gravel wit deep watery potholes. Bridges are broken down old things with gaps in the surface, but they can take the big old russian trucks, they can take us. As long as we avoid the holes! I can’t help thinking this could soon be the end of our trip. Dave’s bike is bad, and the roads are hard going, it’s impossible without a good throttle response. Dave waits while i scope out the last few miles to the lake, where there is a mountaineering camp and supposedly very nice views. The road looks a bit too much for dave’s bike, though i have a great time on mine, so we stop at a flattish area off the road next to the raging river and set up camp. Tonight’s meal is pasta, tomatoes, tuna and black olives made on the camp stove, and it’s better than last night’s shashlik. Shame we have no wine to go with it. We try making a fire, but there’s no decent wood and it fizzles out. Scoff a few plums and apples pinched from the breakfast buffet and then to bed, planning to get up early, make breakfast and get to work dismantling dave’s bike and trying to resurrect it. A mixed day, and it owuld have been a great day without Dave’s damn bike.29062009598-small