12th July 2015:
Speed bumps,road works, check points. and U-turns . These are some of the challenges of this tour.
The U-turn is our favourite…. I get to navigate most of the time … Using Pocket Earth we set of from where ever we are … Often a largish city and invariable we need find our way out and back onto a high way. Often something goes a little astray . And we end up missing a corner etc ….so the U-turn is our favourite move. Not always graceful … But very necessary .,
The great thing is that in many places there is an official u-turn spot. Even on divided road or a high way. And we have seen official U-turn ramps on freeways that go over top and you can double back. We even managed a U-turn on a 8 lane divided road back in China ( I think it was Ernhort ) … , the Chinese like to build for the future … But 8 lanes in part of town on the edge of the city seemed a little excessive.
And this morning leaving Tashkent trying to find petrol in a place that most cars run on gas meant that before we got to far out of town we needed to double back on a major highway.
Road works are our other little nightmare. Often very poorly notified. So your motoring along and there is some major or minor bit of road works. The thing is that in many places the road works go on for Km and km … Why you undertake a rebuild over 250 km who knows. But it gets very tiring . Very , very tiring !!!!
And pot holes …. We have talked about these before. With road conditions deteriorating at the drop of a hat you can find a patch of pot holes very capable of severely damaging the cars. Certainly Mollie has taken a beating from time to time.
And speed bumps …. They are deadly. … Manly in towns and coming up to intersections and cross walks. But again they can appear out of now where …. And good old zebra crossing happen in these central Asian countries can appear along a highway and pedestrians have right of way.
Oh yeh …. Check points …. These are our least favourite and they have become more intense in the Stans …. Mainly because we got busted by difficult cops in Kazakhstan. In our last day of travel we crossed about 6 and made it through everyone with out being checked. Some times the cops are just distracted. But often they are just interested in the cars . All the same we always have a little trepidation.
Once in China …. I have know idea which City anymore, we got stopped pulled over at set of traffic lights that where not working . The young traffic cop on point duty decides that checking us out is more important than keeping the traffic flowing … Minor chaos erupted as we found all the right paper work and he took photos of all our ID etc and sent them somewhere …. Lucky another young copper turned up to get the traffic flowing.
Anyway that’s a little outline some of the different types daily challenges we face. …and for what of any other way of describing it become like Road Noise …. Like the different tones and sounds you get from different surfaces ….similar but different every day.