Loss of a friend

30 06 2011

As I wrote a little while ago (yesterday if you believe the posting date), I decided to ride back up the road to the pass to the Pakistan / China border to see the road, mountains, etc. After all, that is what I came here for.

2011_07_01 08_15_28Everything was going well, the construction crews were friendly and the scenery jaw-dropping. On the second day, at almost exactly 4000m I came to a slight problem on the ‘highway’. Right where the Chinese were constructing a bridge to go over a glacial stream, the same stream had washed out the road dirt track that passes for the KKH.

So I did what cyclist do in these situations. I jumped off, took all the luggage off the bike and carried it all over. In several trips. Simple. Not so simple for the trucks and cars that were lined up the next morning.

It seems I may have not put it all back on perfectly, because when I stopped to say hello to yet another construction crew only a few kilometres later I noticed that Ojo, my little purple misnamed bear, who had been with me since day one of the trip in Spain had jumped off.

2011_06_30 12_10_13

Where’s he got to now?

I’d recently lost my ‘Oia Cycling Club Angel’ to a thief in Yazd, and was fairly cut-up about that. But at the same time, Ojo had been gathering charms – prayer beads in Esfahan, a hair tie in Yazd, and most recently a bracelet in Tehran. I wish I had a photo of him all blinged up…

2011_06_30 19_20_17I knew roughly where he’d jumped ship, so I went back to look for him. Roaming around looking for something isn’t a trivial task at over 4000m. I rode back and forth on the road where I knew he must have jumped off. I enlisted the help of the Pakistani road construction crew. They thought I was a little crazy, but searched anyway. I asked everyone who came along if they’d seen him, but no-one had (or would admit it). I stayed the night in the area, looking until dark but to no avail. Only the Chinese crew didn’t help (because we couldn’t speak to each other).

It appears that Ojo (eye) – who should have been named Osso (bear) if only I knew more Spanish – has decided to stay and help out with the construction of the KKH at 4000m altitude. 11 months and 19,000km of being together and he leaves without saying good-bye. I hope he enjoys it up there.

Later on, I saw some Yak, a family of Ibex and a tribe (?) of Golden Marmots at around 4700m. And the odd mountain. All is not lost.



2011_07_02 09_07_24



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