As the teams relax at the Central Asia Rally after party in Bishkek, we’re sad to see that this year’s big Central Asian adventure is coming to a close.
Can you see us? The Travel Scientists have a go at camoflage
The official starting point was in Astrakhan in Russia, although most of the teams started from much further. Our own Travel Scientists team began in Budapest and went via Ukraine to Russia, whereas Team Sisu hit the starting line from their home country of Finland, along with other teams, we mean started from home, not from Finland.
Photo by the Travel Scientists
After 5 countries, a number of breakdowns and a blockade of yurts, the team made it successfully to Bishkek.
Team Sisu find Lemmy a good home in Kyrgyzstan
The Finnish team, Team Sisu, were the first to make it to Bishkek in their trusty vehicle, affectionately dubbed Lemmy.
Lemmy made it all the way to Kyrgyzstan from Finland, carrying the team of three, including married couple Inka and Tuomas, who are veterans when it comes to adventuring with the Travel Scientists, having participated in the Caucasian Challenge before. Accompanying Inka and Tuomas was Maria, a good friend of the couple, who is a veteran traveler herself.
Even though the trio managed to bring their trusty Lemmy with them across continents, it was not without complication. The exhaust pipe broke, the ignition coil overheated and they also improvised by putting some extra intake holes in the bonnet. Not to mention the injection unit stopped working thanks to the poor quality of the local fuel, which worked once it got cleaned.
There were many other mechanical issues as well, but with a little help on the way, they made it to Bishkek. After selling Lemmy off to a good home in Kyrgyzstan, the team enjoyed their time by the pool, before parting company, as Maria flew back to Finland. Although, we suspect they’re already planning their next adventure.
Getting to Bishkek no matter what
Team Utter Fiatsco find creative ways to cool their now deceased Fiat Punto
We’d love to raise a round of applause to team Utter Fiatsco. The British ladies certainly haven’t had the easiest time getting to Bishkek. Their car broke down in the Pamir Mountains and they then had an elaborate route into Kyrgyzstan, where they hitchhiked on some crazy vehicles.
These girls ploughed on, creating their own Central Asian adventure, arriving safely in Osh, where the Canadian team, Rough Edges gave them their car and allowed them to drive on to Bishkek.
However, after driving through the green mountain valleys of rural Kyrgyzstan, accented with horses and traditional Kyrgyz yurts, and after navigating up cloudy mountain passes, helping Team Sisu with their failed breaks, they came into a sticky situation with the police just outside their hotel.
Turns out the teams were a little too fast, and both the Finns and Team Utter Fiatsco were pulled over. This was a moment of sweat for the girls, since the Canadian team forgot to give them their car papers, but a blanket Team Sisu gave them easily bribed the police and the two teams made it to Bishkek safely.
The Central Asian Adventure journey home
As one third of Team Sisu and the team from Utter Fiatsco are flying back to their home countries, it looks like other teams haven’t had enough of the adventure.
Breaking down in Samarkand earlier on the route has not deterred the Polish Girls, but since fixing their Samurai, they’re embarking on the long journey back to Poland.
British retirees Tony and Beryl from the team Llanfair Railway will also be driving their Toyota Rav back to the UK all the way from Kyrgyzstan. We’re looking forward to hearing how they manage the long journey to Britain.
The remaining teams Rough Edges and The Travel Scientists are enjoying the most of Bishkek and will fly out tomorrow. The Belgian Red Devils have decided to part ways from their Audi and are selling their trusty vehicle before traveling home.
It’s been an epic journey, and back at the Travel Scientists HQ in Budapest, we can’t wait to hear more of the stories from the participants and to share them with you!