Thursday, September 24, 2009

Yashir Kul - Murghab - Ak Baital (Pamir Highway)

Yahsil Kul - Neizatash Pass - Homestay
Tue 1 Sep
Burbing Gasoline
The day started with pushing the bike up a hill (hard work - but the camsite made it worse it). The views overlooking the lake where just unbelievable. After that we cycled into another valley (well pushed our bikes down hehehe) to pass by a yurt. There we had our breakfast (tea and bread and yoghurt). After that pushing the bikes back up again. The ride to Alichur was again unbelievable in terms of country side and views ... marmots where passing our road, yaks were gazeing on the grass areas ... It seemed like the ride will never √©nd ... and we got desperate coz we didn´t had any more water and we were ready for a break ... but there was always another small hill to conquer. Finally we reached Alichur and found a nice plaqce to have some catfish. Before we continued we passed by a "magazine". To our surprise we found "Snickers" chocolate bars ... and immediatly started eating them. Suddenly we both smelled gasoline ... looking around to find the source for it ... before we realized it was the snickers. Having eaten 1/2 of it already ... would keep us burbing gasoline the rest of the day ... a horrible experience. We actually wanted to cycle only a few kilometers more ...but the tail wind and the scenery made us continue and continue (Yurts, Yaks and moon valley like scenery). On the map we saw that there is a homestay behind the Neizatesh Pass and we decided to make it till there. The light at that time of the day was just amazing and the pass turned out to be smooth and easy. We reached the home stay with the last light of the day and liked the place till the guy started to make fire there. After 2 min we couldn´t see anything in the room anymore because of the smoke, the fire man created. He got replaced by a lady who seemingly know how to make fire and 15min later the room was cozy warm and smoke free.
They served us great food (soup, yoghurt and tea) and we called it a day.

homestay - murghab

We 2 Sep
Today was an easy cycling day with the target Murghab. It was more or less 40 km downhill and we were looking forwqard to our Restday. We started early, packed in gloves and jackets. We reached Murghab at 11am. average 21 km per hour ...The setting of Murghab is quite nice ... In Murghab we found a nice Guesthouse and a
market (bazaar) That´s more or less all Murghab has to over. We tried to find internet - but none. We had a coffee in one of the funny tea houses at the bazaar (with separees) and watched the life passing by. 60-70% of the inhabitants are Kirgis and we asked ourselfes the question what purpose that Kirgis hat might have ... the question is still not answered. We went back to our Guesthouse and had "bird balls" together with Thomas and Michelle, a swiss couple. This night it should snow and good that we had a rest day the next day, because all ou shoes were left outside and wet
Murghab (restday)

we enjoyed waking up and seeing all peaks powedered with snow. It stayed cloudy and it would snow for the next view hours. In the evening it cleared up and we wenrt for a walk.

Murghab - Camp (close to Ak Baital Pass)
fr 4 sep
65km on the way to the pass. The area had nothing special to offer and it got more and more remote. We tried tolook for a place around 4200m high (close to the pass) to get more aclimatised and have it easy getting over the pass next day. Suddenly i found my self in a snow storm and no sigh of martin. I waited , sure that he hasnt continued but i couldnt see any sign from him. After the snowstorm calmed down a bit i suddenly saw some movement on the road maybe 2 km back, well i was sure it was martin. So I cycled back and heard that he already enjpoyed a hot tea and some bread with a familie. We cycled there ...enjoyed more tea and pitched our tent. It was the coldest night with around -10 degrees.

Ak Baital
sa 5 sep.
after a coffee and breakfast with the familie we ...exchanged some gifts batteries, tshirt soup and got some bread from the familie.
We continued. The pass was 11 km away and luckily not seriously step ...coz the altitude is already a challange. We found another "tea" around 5 km before the pass. After that we started cycling in the hight of the snow and crossed the 4655m Ak Baital Pass. On our way down we met 2 more cyclist and contined. Around ??? after the pass we turned left to cycle through the Bartang Valley. Immediatly head wind started ...serious head wind... that is what the girl 4 days ago ment when she said ...the wind started winter is coming ... this serious headwind should be 1 of our challanges the next days.
This valley is totally different form the rest we cycled so far is "wild" ... quite open (that should change in the next days. We were amazed by the country side not really by the wind ...but you can not have it all.
In the evening we pitched our tent at a creek and as soon we stopped cycling ...the wind stopped also ... hmm weird ... but true.

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