FINAL CONSIDERATIONS AFTER A JOURNEY OF 25000 KM ON MOTORBIKES TO CENTRAL ASIA
- Total km: 24,940 of which 1800 on dirt tracks .
- Total days of travel: 65 of which 52 on bikes.
- Days of stopover: 13.
- Average daily travelling : 489 km.
- Fuel consumption: 1460 l.
There were so many moments we experienced, people we met and places we visited impossible to forget. However, some deserve a special mention.
Marco and Claudio were two exceptional companions, with whom I have shared many trips on bikes and on skis and also this time they confirmed the value of friendship, especially in various everyday situations. Marco, an expert and competent for any problem regarding the bikes, gave us tranquillity in every difficult situation and against his will, he sometimes had to put up with the morning frenzy of his travelling companions. Claudio, on his first major voyage, brought enthusiasm and curiosity to the team, suggesting excellent restaurants and tourist destinations. For reasons of work, he wasn’t able to stay for the complete journey but there will be other occasions for him too.
Our wives: Paola, Adriana and Anna.
They patiently accepted all our concentration on the preparations for the journey and the long absence. Paola and Adriana shared the trip through Mongolia with us, which in some moments for various reasons, required a great spirit of adaptation.
Our friends in Aksay
Great welcome and warmth on our arrival. The affection and friendship we received, together with the enjoyable moments spent in Aksay are amongst the fondest memories of this journey. In particular, Mirkamal, efficient, untiring and cheerful. He did a lot to organize the festivities on our arrival and to help us during our stay in Aksay. Unforgettable the trip to the salt lake where he also prepared a tasty picnic. Rustem, unstoppable and explosive. The excursion to the lake Isyk kol with the crazy FJ cruise team, organized by him was very entertaining and he made us meet a lot of likeable people.
The Blue Wolfe team
They accompanied us on the crossing of Mongolia, doing their best to organize the trip, even in difficult situations. The good cook Janka let us taste excellent Mongolian dishes prepared everyday with very limited means.
Alex Jamaha Saratov
He was instrumental in solving a problem with my bike, allowing us to avoid being stranded. A great demonstration of helpfulness and seriousness.
The mechanics of the journey
Riky, Sergey, Dimitri ,Serik: we met them in various places and they helped us solve a few technical problems and do maintenance on our bikes with competence and kindness. Well done!.
Our Kazakh friends
Aibar, Almas, Yertay, Yerzhan, Aibek: Demonstration of great hospitality and friendship. They helped us get to know Kazakhstan a little more profoundly and to experience the Kazakh Banjas.
We met several, solitary, courageous, who travel around the world unhurried with meagre means but with a great spirit. A lot of admiration and a bit of envy.
The children of Pamir
The most friendly and smiling. A great race to see us, greet us and give us five. Ready to jump on our bikes. So many in all the most remote villages, badly dressed but full of life. Beautiful.
The places visited during the 65 days of travelling, and that impressed me, are really numerous.
The European cities
Budapest, Ljubljana, Krakow, Kiev, Graz. Beautiful, full of history, alive. We saw them in a hurry but they left us a beautiful image.
The Uzbek cities on the Silk Road
Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand. Beautiful, fascinating with so much history in their madrasas. A most enjoyable discovery to return to.
Travelling on the Pamir highway and along the Wakhan Valley, we discovered a surprising region with impetuous rivers, snow-covered mountains of 7000 m. and passes above 4000m. Where life is hard but the smile is not missing. Without doubt the most magnificent panoramas of the journey.
The Mongolian Steppes
Endless, without boundaries, with millions of grazing animals and a free and independent people to look after them. An intense green everywhere. A simple life but not easy. Until when? Progress is hot on their heels.
One word, immense. Thousands of kilometres of forests and lakes. Never boring but a bit mysterious. Grandiose are the rivers that flow through it and on whose banks there are big cities full of life and beautiful women.
The Kazak steppe
It can be monotonous but I find the sky above it quite striking. It is easy to imagine the hoards of Genghis Kahn who crossed it on horseback.
The memory. It is a very sad place. To be visited almost in silence. It’s not possible to forget it.
There are also some aspects of the village that we didn’t like.
We crossed 18 borders, 13 of which were with customs control. Some of them were long, up to 5 hours, meticulous, with incomprehensible documents and impolite officials. We needed a lot of patience and self control to get through unscathed. Arriving in Europe without borders was a liberation. Let’s hope it stays that way.
The Kazak police
Waiting with the most sophisticated means to ambush motorcyclists and motorists to get money out of them. They caught us three times. Not a pleasant meeting. But the Kazaks that we know are different.
The roads in Central Asia
They are in a very poor state of repair with numerous potholes that put our tyres to a severe test. Several blowouts, fortunately there are tyre shops everywhere. Magic Word: шиномонтаж
They have a rather invasive attitude, which we didn’t like. They also seldom smile. Maybe that’s their character.
The toilets on the road
Once outside Europe, the hygienic conditions of the toilet facilities along the road are very bad. In general a hole dug in the ground in run-down wooden constructions. In Mongolia they are like that even in some hotels or Ger camps. You need a great spirit of adaptation and a strong stomach to put up with them.
The Siberian mosquitoes
Millions of them, ready to eat you anywhere. Stay covered, constant use of Autan.
Text and Photos by Giacomo Tognoli.