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Old 01-09-2012, 12:10 PM   #16
Gripforce
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Fantastic photos!

Thank you very much!!
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Old 01-09-2012, 09:21 PM   #17
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Thanks for sharing

This is great!
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:15 AM   #18
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Epic travels.
Thank you.
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:42 AM   #19
Mara Loochezarny OP
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Mysteries of the Pamir

26 May. Garmchashma-Khorog. 40 km
In the morning Adri told he could not proceed, as his leg was aching bad and he needed a doctor or a couple of days to rest. It was a sudden blow to our plans and it took place in Horog, where I did not want to linger. But Adri is 55 years of age and I had to do some serious thinking, for we still had a long way ahead. Began to rain but we went to hot springs. The place is a fenced territory with a swimming pool and a stalagmite in the middle of it, to 4 to 5 meters above water surface. Water was coming out from the top of stalagmite. Water temperature is 80C degrees on exit, but while it runs down it manages to cool down to 30-35C

Garmchashma hot spring.


One won’t decide to jump their at once, cause it is too hot. The rain turned into the snow and I chose to dive. Adri was taking his bath hoping the hot water would help his ease the pain. The magic spring however did not. Went down to Khorog and I had a contact phone number on me, for just in case. Rang the guest house owner, his name was Tair. The lad met us and took to his place. Tair owns a real Pamir House, with wooden columns, wooden ceiling and wooden dome. Not many local people have houses of the kind and such attribute is publicly recognized as coolness.

Pamir House. Khorog










Kazakh,Tajik, Kyrgyz )


There was another visitor in the house. A Kyrgyz shap, named Said. From Murgab, by the way. Said deals with tourism. He took Adri to a local hospital. The Doctor there failed to diagnose what was going on with Adri’s leg, but gave him an injection of something and advised full relaxation and quietness for a while. So, Adri eagerly lamed back for that very relaxation and quietness. Myself and Said took a tour of Horog.
The town is a Region Capital. A small town, but densely populated. Lies close to River PIanzh, all surrounded by Mountains. Some urban districts exist on the tight grip to sloping sides of them Mountains. In the past, Horog was famous for the following places of interests – Botanical Gardens known all over former USSR and a small jewelry with its own boutique. The jewelry dealt with precious and semi-precious stones. I did not care much about Botanic. As for the second place of interest, it eventually turned out the jewelry was long time ago abandoned and forgotten. Wanted to buy my wife some garnet jewelries, because Pamir Garget is special for its rich and juicy red color. There are rather vast sites in the Pamir valleys where you can collect garnet from surface.
Adri’s leg became a torture by evening. He could scarcely move his foot. During supper, we took our map and began to think for what to do next. And decided Adri would proceed to restore his stamina and I would go to precious Murgab for two days, as planned initially. Adri, once OK, would come to Murgab and we go travel back to Kazakhstan via Kyrgyzstan.
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:59 AM   #20
Mara Loochezarny OP
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Mysteries of the Pamir

27 May. Khorog- Murgab. 311 km
311 kilos from Khorog to Murgab. Road is not bad. At, least no rivers and other water related nuisances, likewise those tormenting our nerves just a few time ago. For just in case, I woke up as early as I could to took off at 6-00. Adri woke up too to help me push my loaded bike outside Tair’s kitchen garden. I left Khorog and hit M41 again. Landscape did not change, while I was driving thru rare villages.

Kids walking in my direction on their way to school. Don’t know where that school exactly is but distances among villages are multi-kilometered



First 100 kilos of the road were not bad and not so curvy. I could maintain 110-112 kilos an hour almost without cutting guns.





Pamir and his heavy breathing began to manifest themselves in some one hour. Please note, Pamir and Tajikistan are two different notions. Pamir is a realistic highland, very poorly populated in the eastern part of Tajikistan. Its official name is Gorno (High) Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast. The rest of the country is a blooming garden. GPS altimeter was continuously showing elevation count. Vegetation was getting more rare and rare. Mountains were turning more stern.







Koyteze - the first pass is eye catching. Gravel serpentine runs into slope.

GiziMap data show Koyteze’s top elevation point is 4252. In about half an hour GPS showed 4221 and elevation count stopped. (?



Pamir highway. Koyteze Pass.




Grey snow was on mountains and some spots of the road. Next several dozens of kilos, the road would never go beneath the level of 4000. The road was badly damaged, most likely by nature, not vehicles. Then asphalt began again. It was knobby but not fractured, so the drive was fun just like rollercoaster.
I descended from pass to 3800 meters and suddenly saw a fantastic view of the Alichur valley. Murgab District starts here. For me personally, Pamir, this wild, lifeless, windy, misty and majestic country starts from here.

Alichur Valley. Murgab District.








"Rock Elephant " a little way before Murgab.


Strong tearing blows of wind make my bike bed just like an old sail ship. Really cold. I decided to put my rain coat on, in addition to several layers already. It turned to be tricky – the wind was tearing the coat in pieces so I could not put my arms and legs into the sleeves. So I turned from road and hid behind the slope. Then I heard ia sharp sound. My bike got carried away with the wind! I left it steady on earth, but now those 160 kgs of metal were lying right before me. Pamir, generally, is one big wind. Wins when you stand, sit, wind and beer, wind and juice…..
Alichur Valley is a most beautiful place. There one will see big Yak herds. In a Alichur roadhouse one could have some yummy fried fish from a local river. Things look closer as they are when you drive, an interesting optical illusion. Mountains, Yaks are all close and you drive and drive and they won’t disappear.
Traffic there is like this – no cars I saw on the road.
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:19 AM   #21
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Pamir

Mountains here are not as high as Fun Mountains or Gissar Giants. But the road grade lies on the level of not less than 3700 above sea.



I could not wait to see Murgab. And finally I saw it. As if it never left my life. During the three years of isolation here, I learned every house, every cliff and every stone there. 20 years passed, nothing changed. And the two most characteristic local colors were in place, too – bright blue sky and ginger-red-yellowish surface, like on Mars.

Murgab kishlak on the horizon.


River Murgab.




I saw local kids and took my toy bags. Trust me, I did not ask them kids to pose, they just like to be onphotos.


House where I lived.




Had lunch in a good village café and took off for Rangkol Lake


Murgab kishlak with Mount Zerkalky in the backgrounds



Road to Rangkol


Pamir sky is dark blue – for high altitude and tenuous air.

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Old 01-10-2012, 10:26 AM   #22
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Pamir

Thank you.
to be continued...
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:34 AM   #23
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Spectacular! Thank you.
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:38 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mara Loochezarny View Post
I saw local kids and took my toy bags. Trust me, I did not ask them kids to pose, they just like to be onphotos.


House where I lived.

Wow, you are so kind to give gifts to the local children. Look at their faces - they are so happy!

It must be a real blessing to be able to visit the home and village where you spent some undoubtedly happy years of your life.
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:22 AM   #25
Colebatch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mara Loochezarny View Post

Jizzakh samsa.


Hey privet Marat ... I never saw any Samsa that big :)

And great to see you made it back to Murgab!
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Old 01-11-2012, 08:44 PM   #26
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Wow!

Epic.

Thanks for sharing a part of the world few see.
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:07 PM   #27
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Thank you. really enjoying this.





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Old 01-11-2012, 10:20 PM   #28
ciedema
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Thank you I am planning my own Pamir trip later this year after seeing a doco on it. It good to read about those that have gone before.


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Old 01-11-2012, 10:21 PM   #29
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Great pictures.
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Old 01-12-2012, 03:55 AM   #30
Blacknblue
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It's so beautiful, I'm at a loss for words.
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