May 29 – Bare all

The stomach virus continues this morning with a shart, 2 roadside drop my drawers emergencies and navigation to a border crossing that doesn’t allow foreigners through (then you have to ask the question, “What’s the point”), has me on a little detour as I get back on track to the toward the border crossing in Chanok.

I get pulled over for the first time (shocking) today at a roadside checkpoint by Rostov, who spent the next 20 minutes working on his English (he doesn’t speak any) by looking up words and phrases in his translation dictionary. I can appreciate his kindness and desire to communicate, but I was really feeling pretty pour and my mind was fixated on finding the next place to squat. Keeping in mind this is a roadside checkpoint, he has no concern over the countless number of cars driving through, but every intention on finding out what I do for work, my family, age, etc. Fidgeting from my growling stomach and sweat pouring down my face from the fever I’m carrying, I can’t believe I didn’t look like a smuggler (think of Midnight Express, only I was sick).  Regardless of the tale tell signs of what to look for with presumed smugglers that I would assume they teach you in military checkpoint control school, Rostov releases me without a fine, bribe, or gift and I’m on my way again.

All goes well at the crossing, I continue to have good luck with the border officials in both countries and I’m through within an hour or so. I’m SO excited to get into Tajikistan for some great secondary and off road riding.

I find a nice campsite outside Waxpnctoh (try saying that fast 3 times) and meet a traveling couple doing a round the world RTW in their big 4×4 camper. The couple is from England and I would guess in their 70’s.   We swap stories from the road for about an hour while I prepare and eat my dinner. Their headed in the opposite direction and onto Mongolia – I give them some info on the Mongolian roads and routes and they share likewise on the upcoming Pamir Highway.

On the way to camp



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