We are off to pedal two of the ‘Stans in Central Asia, formerly USSR. We fly into the capital of Tajikistan and out of the capital of Kyrgyzstan 3 months later. Part of our route is along the border of Afghanistan, a mere river crossing away. We expect dry, desert conditions in Tajikistan, with high mountains, high plateaus and passes over 4000 metres. In contrast Kyrgyzstan (the Switzerland of Central Asia) will be a lot greener whilst biking in the Tien Shan mountain range.
In contrast to previous trips communication will be a challenge. Russian is spoken in both countries along with the local language and dialects and we will have to rely on sign language, pictionary, and an app on the phone which thru the iPhone will translate written Russian to English (even in offline mode) – how amazing is that!
We will be needing to carry more food as towns are fewer and far between so we have 2 small rear panniers combined with bikepacking bags. Temperatures could range from mid 40’s to well below zero which is challenge in deciding what clothes to take.
Can’t wait for the adventure to begin!