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Onwards through the Kasakh steppe towards Russia. The positive part of the day: Roads surprisingly become better.

 

The funny part of the day: we are stopped by the police for the first time, not to take pictures. Asked for bribes I refuse until they found out that we do not have a car insurance. Still refusing, I am offered to pay a fine of 200 Euros, I willingly agree insisting to get a receipt. Finally I get all my papers back from a frustrated police man without any payment and the first english words "good luck". Did I mention that the first fine got to Korbi two day ago for passing a stop sign? Details, when we get back home...

 

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Time for new challenges. Only 30 kilometers to the border to Kazachstan. Only a stop to refill and a bit of shopping to spend the rest of the Kyrgistan sums. Then we reach the first border with a queue. Less than 10 cars ahead of us, but unfortunately lunch time, tea time, toilet time, out of time... it takes us quite a while to pass the border. The first impression of Kazachstan is quite good. Roads are not (yet?) too bad, and there are ATMs to get money also on a sunday. Due to a food poisoning from somewhere in Kyrgistan, which brought already down 50% of our team 2 days before and now struck the other 50% we stop early in a town called Shu.

 

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The way to Osh, leads us above two more passes. The scenic all way down invites to stop for a picture after every turn. An absolute must for everybody visiting Kyrgistan. Again, ue to the good roads, we reach Osh early and continue towards Bishkek. In the early afternoon, we end our day in Jalalabad.

 

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Starting the run to Kazachstan. That is the plan - the reality as usual is a bit different. The mountains towards Bishkek are tougher than expected. Again altitudes above 3000 meters are slowing us down, taking many kilometers with the first gear. Ends up in another night in Kyrgistan. After searching a while in the dark city

 

of Kara Balta we finally pick up a policeman who is happy to sit in our 2CV and guides us to a hotel.

 

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The part with the roughest terrain. Keeping altitudes above 4000 meters for the most time, we reach the famous At Baikal. Officially 4635 meters. Arriving there, we learn that this sign is a good bit before the last steep. And that is the worst one of the whole Pamir. In Short: We do two tries and do not get up, ending about 100 meters before the highest point before the car gives up. No way for two people to push it up the last bit. There seems to be no way to get our little duck above this last bit.

 

Thanks got Korbi as the idea which saves our trip and most likely the whole trip: The rear gear has a different transmission than the first one. And he simply pushed the car up backwards. What a relief.

 

Accoring to our GPS receiver we cross the 4700 mark.

 

The road downwards is one of the "not more than 20km/h" sort.

 

On the way northwards we pass a little farmervillage with a couple of huts and 10 people living there. We are invited for lunch, and the grandfather ensures that the road conditions will improve 10km further.

 

We reach Karakul, which we figured out as todays target. But is is early eanough to continue towards Kyrgistan. The roads are good, as promised. This changes a couple of kilmoters before the border. Again up above 4300 meters on rubble fields we reach the Tajikistan Border control at the top of the pass. After some pictures of our car we continue downhill to the Kyrgistan control. This bit and some kilomteres further even top Georgia. This is not a road anymore, this is simply rough terrain. Wonder how normal cars can make this. Our duck is high enough to take it with a smile. Once we leave the border region, the Kyrgisic roads evolve to real good highways, and we have no problem to reach Sary-Tash, where we spend the night in a guest house.

 

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