For Evan I returned to Central Asia

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.

Rolls and rolls of packing and duct tape helped me get Stan The Bicycle and friends to Kyrgyzstan by plane.

Rolls and rolls of packing and duct tape helped me get Stan The Bicycle and friends to Kyrgyzstan by plane.

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.

We are excited, can't you tell?

We are excited, can’t you tell?

The roads look very different than they did last time I was here!

The roads look very different than they did last time I was here!

Cold feet roasting on an open fire.

Cold feet roasting on an open fire.

Not exactly a cozy winter for Kyrgyzstan livestock.

Not exactly a cozy winter for Kyrgyzstan livestock.

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.

 

When I post something new, you'll get an email.

5 Comments

  1. Glad to hear you are out of Turkey, not a safe place, keep enjoying yourself and be careful, I think you are seeing more winter than we are. Take care

    Rick

    Reply
    • Hey Rick,

      Yes, sounds like it was a relatively mild winter for Calgary!

      I did decide to avoid some parts of Turkey due to uncertainty about the security situation, but, in my view Turkey overall remains a safe and hospitable place to spend time in. Plus, the biggest risk to bicycle travellers – drivers – I found to be easier to be alongside than in the Caucasus (or, as I’ve heard, South East Asia!)

      Hope you’re getting some spring weather now,

      Megan

      Reply
      • We had one cool week in April, downright hot and dry here so far in May, looks like it could be a summer to remember. So where are you now?

        Reply

Leave a Reply