June 4 – Tires II, or is it III or IV?

I awake to find my rear tire is completely flat. I pack up, air up and head out, planning on stopping at the next village for another tire repair. With only a couple of stops to air up, the pressure was holding remarkably well, so I continued on until 1pm when the tire was finally losing air faster than I could air it up. I pull into the next village that has a small tire shop, ready to perform the repairs. After pulling the tire, we find the last patch I had someone do in Osh, had failed and he had also punctured the spoke seal in 4 locations. The shop owner worked on a new hot patch on the tire, and I worked on the spoke seal. After a good 3 hours of trying to get patches to stick to the spoke seal (which they only moderately did), I was all put back together and on the road again. I certainly hope this is the end of my tire problems…

Rumor has it; Kyrgyzstan is one, if not the top marijuana exporters in Asia. Apparently the mountain people grow the plant high up in the backcountry and the local police (if there are any), are easily bribed and or turn a blind eye. As I’m now heading north into the mountain country on my way to Kazakhstan, I am on alert and keen to watch where I stop and or sleep for the night.   Heading over my first mountain pass, I look over and see a young boy along side the road, in his had a two way radio – as I pass I see him put the radio up to his mouth and presumably makes a call. Understanding the mountain people have very little amenities and certainly no use for two-way radios, the hair on the back of my neck stands straight up. Did I choose the wrong mountain pass to cross? All ends well for the day as I ride over this pass as well as two more, on my way to Naryn.

I find good spot to camp and make another tasty bowl of pasta. Each day that passes with these long rides, leaves me slightly more depleted than the last.   It’s been more than a week since a shower and I’m starting to feel the tolls of the road. I have a fairly challenging ride tomorrow probably even more so, the two days after that. I’m looking forward to getting into Almaty at this point. This should happen on Monday or Tuesday next week.

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