y morning in Taras did not start smoothly. I overslept and Heleen woke me up with the message that I had 10 minutes left to pack and be ready outside. So half an hour later I was standing in line for the breakfast buffet, unwashed, my eyes still half shut and my hair a big mess. Still the morning started well with desert-for-breakfast. I had chocolate cake, cream roles, apple cake and some sort of crumble cake.
The chocolate cake caused a minor panic situation, when Joost with his allergy for nuts ate a few bites and left for the toilet. Someone mentioned the word "nut" and in no-time the story was passed on that Joost was having an allergic reaction and was throwing up in the bathroom. Joost actually just went for a leak, and the cake appeared to be nut free.
After breakfast we went to the Dulaty Taras State University for our presentation. Daan was presenting for 50 people and our hostest was trying her best to get the rest of the team on stage with him. So we stood there awkwardly during the entire presentation. I was still unwashed, my hair was still a mess, I had a fat belly from breakfast and all l I really wanted to do was find a bathroom, but we were recorded by three cameras, so I tried to look decent.
After a short demonstration of our motorcycle we left Kazakhstan, to Toktogul in Kyrgyzstan. The border crossing was over before we knew it, and what followed in Kyrgyzstan was surreal. I have never seen anything so fairytale-like. We drove around bright blue lakes between beautiful green mountains. Mountain streams flowed down and horses were galloping through the valleys, followed by real life cowboys with slanted eyes. In the meantime I was reading The Notebook, so I was completely in love and on cloud nine.
It all became a complete miracle after a bit of off-road adventure with the vans. The busses were tilting so far that I was hanging in my seatbelt, but we arrived at the lake at sunset. The sky, the lake and the mountains were all orange and pink. I didn't bring my bikini, so I was just figuring out the best way to go swimming when Yorick decided for me. He threw me over his shoulder, ran into the lake and after a little bit of consent from me he dumped me in the water, clothes and all. The water wasn't even cold and swimming there in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan with my teammates in the sunset is one of my best moments ever.
To top it all off we enjoyed a delicious dinner from our hostess and got cuddles from the cutest puppy ever, who was named Pooky by Bob. In the night we had two blankets for bed and we nearly froze to death, but for me it was still the best day so far in this journey. I can't wait to see what else is coming.