08/15.05.2013 Fists, thieves and rocks

As if the heat wasn’t causing enough problems, the wind had started to pick up again as well, creating sand storms periodically as we walked, occasional tornadoes, and a sandpit inside our tent every night.

We saw wild horses, a few wild camels, chatted with the occasional oil workers, and continued to rely on truckers for water. We also had some bad experiences…
– In one village we were told there was no shop and given no information on when there would be one.
– In a roadside cafe we were threatened by a man forcibly going through our things and attempting to grab stuff from us. High tensions and it was escalating into a fight between him and Kieran until a drunk man stepped in and convinced the guy to leave.
– Whilst waiting for dark to set up camp, a goat herder sat nearby staring at us, forcing us to move on and find other camping.
– Waiting outside a shop a couple of kids were eager to try and go through our cart, they then tried stealing things whilst we were in the shop.
– Camping a good 3/4km out of a village, we were woken up one morning by a group of kids throwing large rocks at our tent, causing various tears in the outer shell. They ran off as we got out, only to return later with a man on horseback who asked if we were American and then told us to leave, no apology given.

Not that it was all bad though, we did have some good experiences.
– We met an Austrian cyclist going to Mongolia, Josef, been travelling for a month and was doing around 160km a day, nice guy.
– In one town an (admittedly drunk) older man kindly led us through to a shop, where we met a couple of English speakers and were given apples.
– Whilst flagging down cars for water one evening, every one that went past stopped and offered what they could, extremely helpful.
– We found a shop that sold Maxibon.

A mixed week, with some reminders that we were travelling through some actually dangerous places. We took note to take a sterner attitude towards strangers, and to camp further away from settlements.

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6 comments

  1. judy

    …safety is of great importance to the guys on their journey, but reading your comments Val, life can bel very sad……

  2. Valentin

    In the Soviet Union have evolved towns and villages equally. I well remember how in 1984 our tour group of 9 children 14 years led by coach – 23 years old girl calmly without incident 10 days were in the mountains and forests of the Caucasus. Everywhere we met with respect and generosity of the local rural population. Now it is difficult to conceive of a safe trip even with a company of machine gunners… After the collapse of a large country in Russia , Ukraine, Kazakhstan and in other republics the many villages, towns and small cities have ceased to exist. In the remaining villages the people are very poor , do not have the basic conditions for life. Schools are closed and children go to school education in the district . Therefore, there is resentment, sometimes even anger and aggression. Convince yourself that someone’s suggestion to leave the place equivalent to good deeds . Do not pay attention to the lack of courtesy. In the remote regions of the lack of education and culture of behavior . Feel sorry for these people. But you must not allow them ourselves to hurt . Your conclusions about how to behave, I support . Photos and text are very good and informative . Thank you.

  3. Nitu

    Hey guys!! Be safe!! Xx

  4. Charl

    Ditto whats been said chaps :)

  5. Debby

    Fantastic photos… as usual.. Cannot really say any more than has been said. Just look after yourselves and enjoy this journey xx

  6. judy

    …there are many many good people in this world of ours, like yourselves, and you have been fortunate to meet many on your travels…but we have to accept that not everyone is so :(( ….sometimes you have to watch your backs and be a little cynical, which isn’t easy to do if it’s not in your nature…..look after each other guys and take very good care……wishing you safe and well every day of your journey…..brilliant pics. by the way, and so good to hear from you…looking forward to next Friday’s blog :)) xxxxxx

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