Bicycle adventure in the remote wilderness of the Pamir Mountains – #40
Over there, around 500m away I’m so dirty I fell… While is was filming And the camera Slipped out of my hand And you already think of it… It fell into the river Our videomaterial is gone Tajikistan is all gone And the camera is gone Which also sucks But yeah, i’m fine Some scratches Which hurt a bit On this camera we have some footage We’ll see… Have fun! Three weeks earlier In the summer of 2017 we travelled From Kyrgyzstan to Takikistan But for that we first had to climb the Kyzyl-Art pass This pass marks the border between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan And we almost came to the limits of our bodies Tajikistan After several hours we made it And we stood on 4200m At the border to Tajikistan And the Pamir Highway was in front of us An unbelievable adventure began Hello We are in Tajikistan On the Pamir highway We are about 10km behind the border Behind Kyrgyzstan It was quite exhausting yesterday Pretty crazy, the pass was on 4200m It was unexpected for our bodies Exhausting Really exhausting, yes! Today we have another small pass to climb And then we go to the next village Karakul So now we are on approximately 3900m Here we pitched our tent and slept here It was okay, we slept well. The hight wasn’t a problem It was quite cold though We wore all our clothes I haven’t checked the temperature, but it was minus, or? I think it was also because it was so exhausting And pushing us to the limits I thought it wasn’t too cold Maybe also that, but i was cold But whatever, we pack our stuff now Then we move on! Kara-Kul Lake Little break At Kara-Kul lake It looks so beautiful Awesome Over there is the city. Well, the village Karakul What a scenery That’s the campingspot for today Pretty cool, nice views We are on 4000m In the middle of nowhere Hello! Good morning We are on the way to the next pass To the Okbaital pass It’s on 4655m From here it’s around 25km Of which 20km Are gravelroads probably We’ll see For now… It will be the highest pass Which we’ll climb in central asia It will be the highest pass Now we are on about 4100m 500m to climb We’ll see I filled up the water On the pass should be a spring too So for the climb we have enough Over there you can see the pass 2,5km then we made it! Awesome We cycled 400m in height downhill It’s much better now Headache is almost gone now, pretty crazy That was really intense There we went… Almost to our limits Physical but also mental You are thinking, it’s only 2km left But then you need an hour or something to do it That was really intense And then! Then we are on the top! Then we are on the top! Then we met a guy on the bicycle Who we also met in Israel! In Haifa, when we visited Olgas grandma They made a group bicycle tour in Israel And now they are here in the pamirs And exactly on the top we meet this guy again That’s unbelievable. So crazy! So now we cycle more downhill to the next city Murghab It’s only downhill It’s about 60km We won’t make it today Go as far as possible And then tomorrow in the city! Hello, we arrived in Murghab Olga is checking Two banks if we can get some money Either an ATM or change money After that we need to go to the police office Olga needs a registration because of her russian passport So within 3 days she needs to registrate After that we also want a SIM card So we can have some internet And then we go shopping for the next days Because we’ll go into the wild I’ll show you on the map Okay i got money I could change and now we have money But they don’t want Kyrgiz money We have the registration And now we got a second permit For the Zorkul national park Nice Here we can put the date when we want to enter and leave But two days is written or? Yes Great, nice Then, print our maps now And then groceries on the market Here is the market A container market These are all shipping containers Where they sell their stuff Olga is in this one, trying to get a SIM card That’s it 5kg buckwheat and 1kg lentils Nice We will make it What else do we have? Garlic Helva Sunflowerseeds And more Helva Good evening The tent is already pitched up as you can see Olga starts to cook now And i wanted… To show you the map Here is Tajikistan Here is Dushanbe, the capital Here is Osh There There we started one week ago Took this road Here we crossed the border To Tajikistan over the Kyzyl-Art pass Then next to the Kara-Kul lake Over the Okbaital pass 4655m That was yesterday And today We arrived in Murghab The normal route is now… That you follow the red road The Pamir Highway And move on to Dushanbe Optional you can go through the Wakhan valley Which we will also do, but… From Murghab we now took the yellow road To the chinese border, we are here now And tomorrow And the next days, we will… Take this white road to Shaymak And you see the crosses There we will go. Here is the zorkul national park That’s the permit we got today You need an extra certificate to go there Then we move on here To… Kargush or something i think That’s the yellow road Through the wakhan valley Always next to the Afghan border But we will show you that later For the next days this route is planned Completly through the wilderness, we are really looking forward what awaits us there! Probably lots of gravelroads Maybe no roads And some amazing nature for sure! We are pretty lonely on this road Only Mountains Sun And sometimes these little tornados Done for today We made around 50km Tomorrow we’ll probably arrive in Shaymak It’s around 60km from here We want to take a hostel there And maybe have a shower Relax a bit maybe I’m really looking forward Whats comes next It will be a very small village Probably no tourists there Also today on the road We saw just a couple of cars But really not many It’s really nice All the mountains around us It’s unvelievable The epic views you have here On mountain higher than the other And we are on about 4000m So some of these are actually 7000m high Pretty crazy All day long we cycled next to this nice river Pitch up our tent here Olga already started Directly at the river with an amazing view It’s really great I, or we both really like Tajikistan so far It’s really fun to cycle here Perfect weather Amazing, Nice people! We met plenty of nice people We haven’t recorded too much of that. We’ll do that! It’s just great. We found a hotspring Everyone is washing the clothes Olga also! Hello! Hello, we have to add something here! So: After we bought some stuff in Shaymak And washed our clothes We kept on cycling And after 10km there was a checkpoint Right, after Shaymak is a military checkpoint And we wanted to pass it So we could get into the wild from there But unfortunately we could’nt pass it We spoke with all the guys there We argued with the important persons there on russian I think we spoke an hour with them And told them our plans And showed them maps where we wanted to go And that we could also take other roads Which also would lead to the same area If we would make a detour around the checkpoint Which would have been possible with a 100km detour We explained it all But he wouldn’t let us pass So we had to go back unfortunately Went back a short distance Then we made a lunchbreak And looked for our alternatives And there we continue now! Now we made lunchbreak And thought about our options One would be to sneak through the mountains And freeze there and get found in 500 years So we have some old russian military maps They are 40 years old And they are still right And there is this one road through the mountains We already had a look on that yesterday And it didn’t look like the road is still there So this might be to adventureous actually So option 2 Would be to just cycle back with the bike To the city of Tokhtamish We were there yesterday We made lunch there And take another road from there It’s around 50km from here On the same road And option 3 Would be also taking the same road to Tokhtamish But not with the bike, but get a ride And take a guesthouse there Which didn’t work out yesterday And we thought about it And dismissed the first option And decided to take it easy It’s also not so easy to go with the car But it looks good The bags are inside, the bikes are on top Good evening We survived! We are in Tokhtamish now We were here yesterday for lunch And we are in a small guesthouse And we pay 10€ a night So not really a guesthouse It’s a private house, a homestay But we have a nice room Our stuff is here, bags are over there We have a good kitchen Where we can cook something Really nice Just took a shower The Tajik-village-way Or how should i say? Pretty crazy Here is the bathroom Here i just took a shower A bucket with hot water A piece of soap You take the water with this And in this you stand For me or for us, this is some kind of adventure now But you have to think, how the people life here This is normal everyday live for them That’s crazy The men just tried to fix the light A lightbulb They normally don’t have it. Just for special occasions They have a car battery here And a lamp, and i think it’s working now When it’s getting dark… We’ll have light here And that is something really special Crazy how the people live here Such a basic lifestyle Crazy Light! Crazy or? That’s something special! The bath was also good! Yes, i recorded it! We got a small bathtub Then you sat down And the water was so nice and hot and i poured it over That was quite good or? Yes absolutely! I was sad when the water was finished So we just woke up And already had breakfast We had a big plate of rice with… With raisins! Tea Everything on this… Without a table On a sheet I think it’s a bit early Now we have the map here Let’s see if i can do it There is Murghab where we started a couple of days ago Yesterday we were here in Shaymak And here, Kyzylrabat There was the checkpoint We couldn’t pass it SO we went back to Shaymak and took a taxi To Tokhtamish And from there we will now Take this dotted line This dotted road to Cheshtebe And then here to the Kyzylrabat pass Yeah A little detour, but in the end Exactly where we would have been now When we could have passed the checkpoint Then we go here! Normally we wanted to take this road Now we come over Tokhtamish and Chesthebe And then there And then we continue to Zorkul Near to… Chesthebe, where we go now, are some hot springs And now i’m checking This lake if it’s hot Let’s see Looks… Interesting, here is everywhere salt But it’s cold It’s cold Cold! Some km left to Chesthebe 5 or something And, yeah… The roads are turning into rivers here Let’s see if we have to take out the rubber raft To paddle it down! We lost this camera We crossed two small streams But now we have a bigger problem This one! But here is a bridge… Damm it I don’t know how we can take the bikes over it Here are no streets This bridge is shown as a car bridge on maps.me Yeah Over there we want to continue But there is also no street or a road Nice We made it That was a mission Awesome We made it And you notice something? Our nice “Rausgefahren” sign is gone We might lost it in Cheshtebe We just checked the photos Before the city we had it. At the bridge it was gone Somewhere there on the way It must have fallen off Whatever, we need to get a new one It’s time for the second “Rausgefahren” sign Off to new adventures? Exactly, wilderness day one! Over there we go Let’s see what’s awaiting us there Another antler They are everywhere here That are antlers of Marco-Polo-Sheep They live here In the wilderness And we hope to see them also alive Here is just nothing In the middle of nowhere, it’s amazing The road is just a little stripe That’s the road, leading into nowhere Crazy Awesome Over there, the white mountains Are part of Afghanistan We are now around 40km away from the border We go approximately 10km in this direction To the south And then to the west So from here to the right Over the next pass We lost the track a bit But we will find it for sure But we found a little stream With best drinking water! We fill our bottles And then we find the road again There are not so many options There are mountains, here are mountains We have to go there It’s difficult to get lost here We arrived at the crossroad So… Here… We will go this way To the Kyzylrabat pass It’s around 3km and it’s on roughly 4500m And here to the left Can you see it? Yes, a bit This leads to the Kyzylrabat checkpoint! That’s the checkpoint Where we were two days ago And where we couldn’t pass But now we are on the other side! Aydin-Kul lake We made it for today, down there is the lake The Aydin Kul Here we’ll pitch our tent Olga goes down a bit to get water There is a small spring I pitch up the tent And now check this view! This looks so amazing In that direction we’ll continue tomorrow Olga is cooking, what do we have? Buckwheat With? We had Buckwheat all day actually For Breakfast with raisins For lunch the leftovers from yesterday With carrots and onions And now in the evening with curry and peas Curry, peas and onions, right? Nice And with it? How does our lembas bread stock look? Do we have it here? Yes The bread which we bought in the village yesterday Which is like two days old The leftovers We think, exactly like this Lembas bread looks and tastes If you know Lembas bread Then please write it in the comments! We are looking forward! Our dinner is ready We are in the tent Installed a light Nice, now we can eat Very good Buckwheat curry with peas Very nice For the days where we are above 4000m We bought several kilo of buckwheat Because cooking time is short and space is also small Compared to pasta for example Which also doesn’t taste good here Exactly, we are on 4300m now That’s the highest campingspot so far So it definetily took longer to prepare this Maybe double the time, or? Yes, it really takes longer Fill up water A little stream But we have a little problem Hello! Someone at home? It’s frozen! 0,5cm Ice In August! Tajikistan Welcome to Jarty Gumbez! We looked forward to this in the last two days Let’s see For me Jarty Gumbez sounds like… A city or a planet from Star Wars! Here is a hot spring Here It’s really hot, it’s 75°C It flows here In this small house Where you can make your laundry And also you can take a bath somehow In the other house Here is the pipe There the water goes and probably we can take a bath We’ll have a look This is how it looks! It’s a gigantic bathtub! The water has the perfect temperature 35°C or 40°C? Very comfortable! Perfect temperature This is amazing It’s like a dream! When did we have the last shower? Ah okay in Tokhtamish But it was just this little bathtub thing Which i showed you Now we have this huge swimming pool Really nice! It’s a dream! We didn’t expect this We knew here is a hotspring, but not like this! Just amazing We chill here for a bit, let’s see if we can continue That was so good This was the best So amazing In the middle of nowhere In the middle of nowhere, no fees We just said, if this would be in… Germany or Austria in the mountains There would be so many people And here, no tourists For free! That was really, really cool! We cycle a bit our of the village now See how far we can get We see you tomorrow!