For the last year or so I’ve ended up keeping my intentions of travelling westward, overland and primarily alone. The route has doodled itself over the map, hardly in a straight line, but the general theme has stuck. Not that it really matters – the delight is usually in the detours. However, back in November I decided to make a significant route change, and made plans to fly out of Istanbul.
This is how it came to be that at the beginning of February I changed my trajectory, trading west and slow for east and fast. In five hours I was back where I had started travelling on a bicycle nine months ago – Kyrgyzstan. All of my bags, taped-up panniers and bicycle box made their way into Osh’s International Airport at 4 AM. I dragged them bleary eyed into a taxi and made my way to a guesthouse I’d been to twice before.
Although Kyrgyzstan is a curious and beautiful country, visiting it for a second time is only a happy by-product. When I was first here it was April 2015 and I was with Ilona, learning how to travel on a bicycle from the best mentor I could have asked for. We adored Kyrgyzstan, but I couldn’t have guessed I’d be back so soon. Again, my time in Kyrgyzstan is with a companion.
My primary reason for returning is to catch up with Evan, a bicycle traveller from South Africa. After spending late summer together in Republics of Georgia, Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, we were excited to reunite for something completely different – a Central Asian winter on the road. There’s not many people I could happily spend three months of constant companionship with. Evan, lucky for me, is one of them.
Now the slow bicycle travelling has resumed and no particular direction is being favoured. Our routes have instead been selected to manage winter road conditions, see mountains, and learn more about the people who live here.
Blog posts are on hold until April but possibly until June, at which time I’ll be back in Canada. In the meantime I’ll be posting photos on my Instagram time to time, here!
This summer I’ll be back on the blog, sharing experiences in retrospect from Turkey, the Caucasus and Asia I’ve found to be bizarre, funny and thought-inducing. Until then, it’s bread and tea three times a day, on the road in Kyrgyzstan.