ztda-tourism.tj. With another minibus the journey continued to Artush in the Alplager. Actually, the car was designed for only 8 people. Somehow, however, the driver managed to put 15 people in this box. It is fabulous!
Just above the Alplager we set up our first camp in the Fan Mountains.
These are one of the most popular hiking and climbing areas in Central Asia. We walked up to the Kulikalonsee the next morning. Past beautiful mountain streams and simple lodgings for shepherds and farmers in this region.
After a short lunch break at the lake we went again a few meters up to Dushakhasee.
The lake is located at the foot of Chimtargas and is 5489 meters above sea level. the highest peak in the region. Swimming in the lake was refreshing, but I did not last long. As a neoprene spoiled raft guide you are just too spoiled.
The hardest part came the next day as we crossed the Alaudin Pass (3860m). Fortunately, our circulation was already prepared a bit for this level. I felt my body try to produce red blood cells in a hurry. On the pass blew a rather unpleasant wind, which soon forced us to descent.
The paths were originally made with donkeys. Still today the locals use the donkeys as load carriers. As a result, the trails are sometimes quite steep and go especially on the descent quite nicely in the joints. At Lake Alaudin we set up our last camp. The wind became so strong that this time we gave up a campfire and went to bed pretty early.
The thighs were already burning almost the next day and for the first time in a long time I had sore muscles again. Walking and cycling are just two different things.
Fortunately, the descent to Murgab was reasonably pleasant.
Slowly we met more people again. At a settlement people invited us straight to Çay and food.
When they offered us a plate full of meat, we declined with thanks. They had a hard time understanding that there are people who do not eat meat. Nevertheless, we were allowed to stay. Great people! Especially the bread and the delicious pastries tasted delicious. After four days you miss these things right.
In Murgab we stayed in a homestay. They even had a shower! What a treat!
The next morning we took a taxi back to Ayni, where we saddled our bikes and drove on to Dushanbe. Again, the road is perfect to drive. But my darling gut management once again went crazy, so I prescribed antibiotics again. What actually worked.
After Dushanbe there are two possibilities: Either through the infamous Anzob Tunnel (under tourists it is also called "the Tunnel of Death") or the non-paved variant over the pass. We decided for the tunnel, but had to surrender because of the steep slope before and found a peasant family a night camp.
The Iranians have been quite ashamed of building the Anzob Tunnel. Water is pouring everywhere and huge potholes line the path. In addition, he is illuminated only very sparsely. Nora and Roman had previously seen movies on Youtube. Luckily, a pickup took us through the tunnel. Through the heavy blows broke my rearview mirror and Roman lost the fuel bottle for the stove. That was pretty annoying.
During the subsequent descent, my rear wheel began to beat more and more. Already in Iran I had caught a small eight in the wheel. Meanwhile, it was quite difficult to drive with it. I hoped to find a solution in Dushanbe.
In addition, there was a headwind all the time. Nevertheless, we reached the capital until the evening. Dushanbe is called "Monday" in Tajik. With the arrival of the railway in 1929, Dushanbe was appointed capital of the new Soviet Republic of Tajikistan and was henceforth called Stalinabad. With 600,000 inhabitants, it is the largest city in the country. In the guesthouse were a few other cyclists who tried to help me repair the bike. But after a short time the problem was found: Rim rip!
Luckily Philipp and Corina from Lucerne gave me their rear wheel sinvia.ch. They fly back home from Tashkent.
Now I am trying to extend my visa for Tajikistan here in the city, so I have enough time for the Pamir Highway. Supposedly, this should be pretty nerve-wracking. We want to see!