I rode about 13km more than I had to when I decided to check out the town of Zhaslik, mistakenly thinking the seemingly deserted and run-down series of buildings I saw on the main road just outside of the town could not possibly represent the chaihana where I hoped I’d find a bed for the night. The only thing I found in Zhaslik were friendly kids and an overpriced bottle of water. I left with instructions to return to the place I had passed. There I could I find a bed, locals told me. I considered just camping, but I really needed more water and it turns out that I am ready to pay for a bed rather than mess around camping when I’m riding such long distances as I have done yesterday and today. The chaihana I thought wasn’t operational turned out to be a nice enough place. I got myself a room, showered and then enjoyed a pretty ordinary dinner of dumpling soup and plov.

I didn’t really enjoy my day. I’m very tired and run down and the wind and road condition wasn’t on my side. I pushed into a headwind for most of the day and at least half the day was on annoying bumpy roads that had me crawling along slowly. The day was the most empty yet, with absolutely no services along the way, not even a melon stand or a hut selling drinks. I was lucky to have left Elabad with enough water to get me through. Despite the challenges of the day, I pushed through and surprised myself by reaching my pre-planned target of Zhaslik, placing me about 160km from the border with Kazakhstan. Today I had my wheels turning for 8 hours and 54 minutes. Throw in a couple of breaks and you have the recipe for an incredibly long day on the bike. I’m utterly destroyed, yet I have to repeat the same thing again tomorrow.

Finishing on a positive note, I can say that the start of the day was actually really great. I received a decent breakfast that included the best somsa I’ve had yet. Then when I checked out I was not only given a discount, but I was gifted with bread and a bottle of water.

Friends on the road

Accommodation $ Chaihana (tea-house)
Distance ridden today 149.24km
Average cycling speed 16.7kph
Total distance ridden 22,318km