Will we survive the cold?

Will we survive the cold in Central Asia? Will we enjoy it? Is it possible……passable?
On the ferry to Kazakhstan. “You are the last for the season”……well not quite as we know Ross and Laura other Brit and Aussie cyclists are not far behind…..hoping to catch up if visa dates are not so restrictive.
They were sensible enough to refuse joining us to ride the Pamir Highway…..more research and we have to give it a miss…..mountain passes will be closed, risk of avalanche…..freezing to death. We look at other options. We are still in Beynue…..making the most of the Internet to study our options…..there are not many. We planned to go to China…..very few border crossings, all at altitude or desert at -30 with no towns or shelter.
Who has done it at this time of year…..on bicycles……more research……not many. One blogger had to hitch thousands of kilometres.
There is not much daylight any more and there will be less. Currently the sun rises at 8am and we start looking for a camp by 4.30 as it is pitch black by 7pm. Stealth camping can mean no torches once it is dark so we huddle in sleeping bags till just before dawn. Less hours so we are not traveling as great a distance which is problematic with such short visas in Asia.
And the problem of where to get a Visa for China……all the capital cities within reach only issue visas to the residents of that country with the exception of possibly being issued a visa in Astana…..possibly……a 20 plus hour train ride to an embassy that may or may not issue a visa. We have been tossing up storing our bikes and flying to Hong Kong where the issue of a visa is more likely….where do we store our bikes?
Ok….look at our options again…..a second night in Beynue…..a third…..Li’s eyes tired looking at computer screen.
From Almaty only one air line is recognised as safe by EU standards…… Where can we fly to and maybe cycle back? Hanoi? Bangkok? More procrastinating…..disappointment….confusion. We look at options of having more cold weather gear posted to us…..almost as pricy as an air fair and less reliable.
Hong Kong is marginally the cheapest air fair……why not fly the bikes and cycle back?…..away from our final destination……it all feels bonkers…..but doable. First we shall ride to Almaty our second entry into Kazakstan.

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