28 May. Murgab. 200 km
Woke up surprisingly early and easily. Feared I would have acute mountain sickness that each fifth ascending traveler will regularly have, but I felt great. Today, I must look for meteorite crater and the ruby stone. For some reason, was sure I would that day)). Both targets were not that mystical, like the cave fire, but they required luck and fortune, or star smiles to be exact. I visually learnt the crater location during Google Earth maps review sessions, but the ruby...
Morning weather reminded me of an old local saying “All terms of year may change in one day in Pamir”. So it was. Went to café to have breakfast, it was clear and warm. When I left café, a cloud suddenly appeared that generated snow like some ice nebulizer.
Snow stopped when I was leaving the village. Sun came out. Then hid again and the rain began. Nothing uncustomary to Murgab.
Asphalt ends right after qishlaq. Salt marshes begin with a slight hint of the vehicle trail on surface of an even mountain plateau…
Nasty weather again
Soon I ran into some sort of a mining or some minerals extraction field.
Serpentine road runs separately in the Mountain – my knowledge tells there is a ruby mine around here).
Did not hope to find it that fast. So I left the mine for later, and went on to crater. Drove a long way… some more… it would not show up. Chose the tack and tack riding manner so not to miss it, would not help…Decided to go back and full throttled to almost hop into an earth mouth. It was that crater! Happiness got soon replaced with strange anxiety feeling. I swear the place conveyed some feeling of extraterrestrial cold. It took me a long time to pull together to approach the crater. It is about 50 meters in diameter and 10 deep. Edges however already collapsed for rain and wind erosion. .
I did not find history of how it came there. But I dared to go down to its bottom. So cool! Crater-cool!!
Back for rubies!!!) I came to that mine and began to skid to abandoned mine along rock and gravel serpentine road running in upwards direction into the mountains.
Soon I got tired. I had not passed a third of the whole distance, but felt unrealistically tired. Tired from happing together with me bike from one side to another, and most of the times tending to jump into the abyss, tired of skidding, and tired of breathing too. Besides, I feared to damage wheels with some sharp rocks. So I jumped off me bike and took a couple of minute walk to see whether I would find a ruby. I did not so I just took off to pass through other session of skidding and hopping. I am done here. I want to get back to Murgab ASAP.
Much later, it turned out I made a major mistake in my quest. So, it turned out good I did not make it on top of that serpentine and the mine, for it was an abandoned Uranium Mine!
General impression of today’s trip is good.
Made it safe to Qishlaq.
All Murgab houses are flat-roofed. Rains are rare here.
Murgab. Television center.
Victory Day Monument
Careful! Man with a kid drawn later!
Tajik Currency - Somoni.