What do you do if a road on your map doesnâ€™t exist? The sane thing is probably to go back and try one that does exist. That wasnâ€™t the choice I made today.
Last night I had visitors. I had camped a ways from the road but was still visible. As I was getting to sleep, a jeep pulled up with three guards. I explained things and they let me sleep. It was cold this morning as I had frost on the tent and ice in the water bottles. However, the sun was shining once it got over the trees. I followed the road east with some ups and downs. Mostly a good road but 9km of road construction: first 3km were smooth new road, middle 3km were being worked and last 3km were old but still smooth road. Now I know where all those dump trucks were headed yesterday.
At 42km, the road came to a T. There was a cafÃ© and perfect place for a meal. From here I would go to Ð¢ÑŽÑˆ and then try a road to cut across via Ð‘Ñ€ÐµÑ…Ð¾Ð²Ð¾ to the ÐŸÐµÑ€Ð¼/Ð•ÐºÐ°Ñ‚ÐµÑ€Ð¸Ð½Ð±ÑƒÑ€Ð³ highway. I asked a nearby driver and he told me it was all asphalt! So I headed north to Ð¢ÑŽÑˆ and turned into the town at 50km. At 53km I was at bottom of a hill and my road. It was gravel. The map said 26km to ÐÐ»Ñ‚Ñ‹Ð½Ð½Ð¾Ðµ and 28km after that. I walked a few hills but otherwise the gravel was ok to ride, just a little slower.
A truck driver slowed and asked if I had a map. He told me that it didnâ€™t make sense to go to ÐÐ»Ñ‚Ñ‹Ð½Ð½Ð¾Ðµ, but instead turn 7km earlier at ÐžÐ·ÐµÑ€ÐºÐ¸. I asked what that short cut was like and he pointed to a nearby rutted path.
By 72km I was at ÐžÐ·ÐµÑ€ÐºÐ¸ and I saw more than one rutted path. Not sure which one was which, I decided to stay on the larger road. At 79km I was in ÐÐ»Ñ‚Ñ‹Ð½Ð½Ð¾Ðµ and a little store. An old ruin of a church was here. Otherwise, it had a bit of an â€œend of the roadâ€ feel to it.
The road out of town didnâ€™t exist. Despite being on both my maps, two different locals told me there wasnâ€™t a road to Ð‘Ñ€ÐµÑ…Ð¾Ð²Ð¾. They suggested I follow local paths roughly north and overland. Now a dilemma. I had invested 26km onto this gravel road to come here and I really didnâ€™t want to back track. So I started following a rough path that went in the direction the locals said. It turned and headed further east than they said. However rather than head overland, I decided to follow this path. I walked a total of 12km on this path before stopping for the night. Tomorrow, I will walk some further and hope to find the highway again.
91km today, 4934km across Eurasia. [Photo: 707, 710, 712, 713]