It seems like we need more time than planned to reach Khorog, which in the morning was still 200 km away. On the partially very bad road conditions on the Pamir Highway we only made 50 km today. However, the scenery today was stunning again. In is incredible how a road on which trucks of up to 60 tons could be built in these steep gorges. And whenever the gorge opened up a bit, there are is civilization and a lot of green. And to complete the picturesque landscape, snowy mountain peaks were visible at the horizon all day.
Visitor at night
Last night was less relaxing than expected. In the middle of the night a dog showed up, and as we were sleeping on an only slightly elevated terrace, he started sniffing our things and was looking for attention several times during the night. At some point he simply climbed on the terrace and lay down next to us. While this was definitely a good and cute dog, he however still robbed us some of our sleep.
Cold feet in the morning
After a short breakfast we continued where we left off yesterday. But only after 2.5 km we had to stop cycling because a big creek a few meters wide went across the road. And unlike yesterday when we also had to cross some wet parts, this time the water was deep. There was no other choice then taking of shoes and socks and walk through the water barefoot. And because this water originates from snowy mountains, the temperatures were accordingly and I was glad to reach the other side so I could warm up my feet again. Luckily, this was the only river crossing today where we could not actually ride through the waters.
Still along the Afghan border
Also today we were following the Panj River and the Afghan border. What we observed already the last two days also was confirmed today: The Afghan side is definitely more beautiful because it is a lot greener and has more sunny spots than the Tajik side. So cycling on the Tajik side was not only politically the right choice, but it gives us much better views of the opposite side. Besides, the road on the Tajik side still seems to be a lot better than on the Afghan side.
Outlook for tomorrow
Tomorrow will probably be similar to today. We will continue towards Khorog and enjoy the beautiful scenery again. But first we spend another night on a terrace, and there are also dogs around. But this time I blocked the access to the terrace with my bike. Let’s hope that is enough to keep the dogs out.
Max elevation: 1685 m
Min elevation: 1363 m
Total climbing: 1221 m
Total descent: -940 m
Total time: 08:23:54