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An afternoon spent sweating and swearing in the garage was time well spent. I'd been down to Banbury to extract all the remaining tyres from the lockup (OK, both of them) but I also picked up the two I'd left at S&C's thus having four to choose from. One front was the MOT fail I'd been trying to avoid in the first place and one rear was the knobbly I'm trying to avoid using -- although given my riding style has a rear knobbly eeking out 20,000km, I don't really know why I'm being so precious with them.

Another reason for picking up the tyres from Oxfordshire is that Cherwell District Council (Oxfordshire) is a bit snotty about tyre disposal. You cannot put tyres into landfill anymore in England (if not the UK). This makes me feel slightly bad about casually leaving worn tyres behind in several countries on this trip but not so bad that I recall losing any sleep over it. You can, however, have the council dispose of them for you. In the case of Cherwell DC so long as you give them £2.50 per tyre, don't turn up with a suspiciously trade volume of tyres over the course of a year and no tyre is for a rim diameter of over 20". Hmm, my front wheel has a rim of 21". Whilst I'm sure the rule is to prevent truck drivers dropping off a truck tyre alongside broken crockery there's no telling how much of a jobsworth the waste disposal engineers are prone to be. I was turfed away when trying to drop off a boot full of marketing bumph Microsoft has sent me over the years and naively said it was work related. "Get out!" was the immediate response. Naturally, I overfilled my and my neighbour's household recycling bins back at home for the next few weeks.

Intransigent council officials aside, I discovered that the council tip just up the road from here on the Wirral is quite happy to take any tyres no questions asked. As it turned out, I was the one asking questions as I was a bit too dim to spot the container. Hence hoiking so many tyres back up the road: two good 'uns and two MOT fail tyres to the tip (as well as the two pretty rotten rear inner tubes that cost me so much trauma (yes, trauma) in the final few weeks).

Back to the MOT, considerably more time was spent waiting for the bloke to return from "lunch" (mid-morning) than on the successful retest and I could toddle off with the crappy A4 printout that you get these days. No longer the official embossed document of old but literally just a shoddy printout. Perhaps too many MOT forms had been nicked in the past and it's all online these days but even so, they could at least have jazzed the printout up a bit.


After some on/off interest in labeling and subtle editing (fiddling with exposure and re-leveling for the most part) I've finally put the 1500 pictures from this trip up for all to see.

I can't imagine many of you will want to plod through the lot but the trips through the mountains are good (if you like mountains).

I recommend India, Pakistan and Tajikistan. Kyrgyzstan has some hills too!


Fortunately I remembered to post my carnet off to the RAC this month as it's year of validity ran out at the end of August (when I was in Kazakhstan) and you only have three months to ship it back to them to get your deposit back.

They're written me a nice letter saying I should get the £350 deposit back from them (which I had completely forgotten I'd given them) as well as noting that the insurance company should refund me 50% of the premium I paid them in the next few weeks. Hopefully.

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