So 16 Aug. 2009
After a nice party night in Martins home town "Rotterdam" where we had some beers in a nice pub and Pizza from outside (for sure the last for the next month) we left the house the following day at 8 am in the morning heading to Schipol International Airport.
4h to Istanbul and after a few hours in transit we continued 9pm to Dushanbe, where we we arrived the following day.
Mo 17 Aug. 2009
At 3.30am we arrived in Dushanbe. It is quite a small airport and everything looked somehow improvised. We lined up and after around 30 min we passed the immigration. Tajikistan we have finally arrived.
Picking up our stuff we found ourselves soon outside. 7km to the city center, so we decided to assemble the bikes right here. A german guy was waiting at the airport by bike - waiting for a spare part from Germany. He escorted us into the city and gave us some useful advice about dos and don't ... like don't give away your passport to "not officials" (always carry a copy of your passport ...). Once wer arrived in the center Martin and me sat down at the "Somoni Monument" - the founder of Tajikistan and studied our guide book. After not even 2 minutes 3 policemen approached us from different sides and made us clear we are not allowed to sit here. We moved a few meters followed by them and the words: "bucks, money , passport". Ok, that's how it goes. We just jumped on our bikes and biked in the direction of our proposed hotel. We stayed in the "Adventures Inn" a highly recommended chilled out place with a small garden to relax.
There we met a dutch cyclist with a special own story. She gave us some more advice in travelling by bike in Tajikistan, especially on the young soldiers, walking around the afghan/tajik border and trying to get some money.
We then went into the cicty, bought some stuff for the trip and went back to our guest house. Here we met Nicolas , an interesting and very nice guy. With him we visited an "Ecuatorian Restaurant" - yes something like that is existing in Tajikistan. We had some "Somoni" Vodka ... and after a few beers got ready for bed.