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Friday, 18 October 2013

DAY 16, ALICHUR – KHOROG (250KM)

6th June 2013
While having breakfast, I discussed about Wakhan Valley route with 3 other guests at the home stay. They were two Swedish guys who travelled by campervan, and another Dutch who was a backpacker. They had taken the Wakhan Valley route just before arriving Alichur. They agreed that the route was indeed very challenging, but incredibly beautiful. Their weary faces were a solid proof to their statement. In the end, I made up my mind to forgo Wakhan Valley and took the classical Pamir route via M41 all the way to Khorog instead. This was a very hard decision to make as I had spent hours on end of time researching on Wakhan Valley and I really wanted to ride this route. However, I had to accept the fact that being a female and riding alone at this very secluded route where its difficult to find human sharing the road, didn’t give me much option.

With the Swedish and Dutch guys
Before I exited Alichur, I had to report to the province guard where my passport details were recorded in the officer’s log book. This was a normal procedure in Tajikistan, especially in Gorno Badakshan region, where should a tourist went missing, they could track him/her down from the record. I saw the dirt track going to Lake Bulunkul and silently regretted my limited time, or else I would love to spend some time at this beautiful lake.
 
Lake Bulunkul from a distance
 
I also passed the junction to the dirt track going to Wakhan Valley and let out a heavy sigh. How I wished....how I wished...HOW I WISHED!!!! 
The junction to Wakhan Valley.....HUWAAAAAAAAAAAAA.....

The road deteriorated as I’m nearing Koi Tezek Pass (4272m). Again, I had to ride on dirt and gravels rattling track, but this time, the distance were longer - 40kms. I had to go really slow, sometimes, only 15kmh as the wind was very strong and the rattling was really bad. I’m afraid if DREAM’s fork and absorbers couldn’t take the pressure. Once I reached the peak, I stopped for pics and to enjoy the awesome view, but I can’t stay long as it was freezing cold. The temperature was 2 degrees, but the wind chill factor made the temperature felt like minus.
 

Koi Tezek Pass
I started to descend the pass and at times, the descending was very steep and I had to ride with extra care. Once I successfully made it down, the strong wind disappeared as I am now riding through Gunt Valley. The view was nevertheless beautiful, as I rode fast on an improved paved road along the Gunt River. The awesome view made it hard for me to keep my eyes on the road.
Improved paved road.....can u imagine the bumpiness? :)
I love to see the clouds casting its shadow on the mountain
Weird view....but this is Tajikistan...unique in its own special way.....
Gunt River


I passed many small villages, and as always, the locals, especially kids were thrilled to see me. They waved and some even tried to block my way because they wanted to talk to me. Their features changed drastically from Mongol-Chinese type of looks, to Arabic-Hindustani looks. Guys and gals, they were all beautiful people.
The flag on the kid's bicycle caught my attention
I also saw lots of herders with their big number of goats, sheeps and yaks sharing the road, so I had to slow down and made my way in between them. I reached my destination, Khorog, way before sunset and after checking in at the guest house, I send DREAM to a nearby workshop for his first service since I started my ride in the Central Asia. So far, DREAM had been a darling and never gave me any problem. However, the challenging ride had caused its brake lamp, signal lamp and the V-oiler hose gone faulty. So were my laptop and my GPS.
 
How about me? Even though tired and weary, I’m good and my spirit still roaring.
p/s: A more detailed story about my journey will be told in my upcoming book. More beautiful pics of course. STAY TUNED.....
 

2 comments:

  1. assalam anita..saya juga seorang wanita..cukup bangga dengan azam dan cita-cita anita..keep writing as I will waiting to hear about it..so proud of you..

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wslm norhanim....thank you very much :)

    ReplyDelete

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Band: NASTIA, Title: ANGGUR (taken from EP 'EKSPRESI')
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