A ride to Pamir - August 2017

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by macias1989, Sep 23, 2017.

  1. goodcat

    goodcat Changing latitudes, altitudes and attitudes

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2015
    Oddometer:
    4,062
    Location:
    British Columbia
    Riding into Pamir and surrounding areas?
    Now that takes some big balls haha

    Your photos are not showing.... maybe its trouble at my end?
    #21
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  2. rattis

    rattis Long timer

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    Apr 3, 2010
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    East of the seas of Kattegat
    Good pics and I drool with envy.
    #22
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  3. MrKiwi

    MrKiwi Love my Tranny

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    Jul 22, 2010
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    New Zealand
    @goodcat Might be trouble your end, I can see them.
    #23
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  4. Seba1

    Seba1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    170
    Location:
    Ljubljana,Slovenia
    Bravo Guys,just great !

    Dreaming about this trip for a long time. Show us some more beautiful photos.
    #24
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  5. macias1989

    macias1989 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    55
    Location:
    Poland
    Day 14 18.08.2017

    That day we wanted to reach Chorog. We were going on M41 all day long. The road pretty quickly changed into gravel one. There were a lot of holes and rocks. On the way to Kalaikhum we there were a pretty high mountain pass. Landscapes were different, because the peaks and slopes were mostly covered with grass in different colors. The road near the pass was surrounded by minefield. We met there a local motorbiker on small, Chinese moped. He told us that 18yo boy stepped there on a mine and died few weeks before.

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    We expected to cover some serious distance, but the road turned out to be pretty hard, we had a lot of photo stops and we had to end the day much earlier than we’d thought. We eat diner in Kalaikhum, did some shopping and rode towards Chorog until dark. We managed to cover 20-30km and camped near the road on a small grass field.
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    Track 238km
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    #25
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  6. plumer1kt

    plumer1kt Adventurer

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    Feb 11, 2015
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    Location:
    athens,greece
    i'm waiting for the bartang valley.......:lurk
    #26
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  7. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
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    1,689
    Camping? What about the minefield?
    #27
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  8. cristiano

    cristiano Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2013
    Oddometer:
    321
    Location:
    Italy
    I'm always IN for Pamir rides ;-)
    #28
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  9. Johnnydarock

    Johnnydarock Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    485
    Location:
    Redondo Beach CA
    Excellent! Keep it coming.
    #29
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  10. rider1150gsadv

    rider1150gsadv Jack of all trades, master of none...

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
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    Ft Likkertail , USA
    Awesome RR!! :lurk
    #30
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  11. macias1989

    macias1989 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    55
    Location:
    Poland
    The minefield was only around the mountains at the pass. Since Kalaikhum we rode on maintained and relatively busy road and we camped there, so no danger at all :)
    #31
  12. macias1989

    macias1989 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    55
    Location:
    Poland
    Bad news. We had limited time for the adventure and we had to choose between Bartang and Wakhan. I have also limited offroad skills and I wasn't sure if I could do Bartang... It has to wait for another time :) hope it will be soon :1drink
    #32
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  13. sirroslr

    sirroslr Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2017
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    23
    I went through Bartang valley in august and it was amazing , I have never seen something like that. Accommodation on a tent ⛺️ was super safe and you don't need super off road skills


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #33
  14. macias1989

    macias1989 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    55
    Location:
    Poland
    Day 15 19.08.2017

    That day we were going to ride along Afghan border. The road was much better than the day before. It led all the time next to the river. Traffic was higher. The road was even used by big lorries. It was expressive, how they could drive such a big vehicles on narrow road, which very often was on the edge of a cliff over the river. Passing them was exciting, especially when we had to ride on the edge side. I also noticed that road surface near the edge was smoother and provided better view on the river. And the views there were amazing!
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    People in Tajik villages were very nice and some of them spoke some English, which made us easy to communicate with them. There were one person, whose face will stay in my mind for ages. Mr. President! His photos were everywhere in Tajikistan. On billboards, posters, buildings and even inside private houses!
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    The next day we were going to ride in Wakhan corridor - one of my main destinations of the trip!


    Track distance 219km
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    #34
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  15. macias1989

    macias1989 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
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    Poland
    It is going to be my main destination during my next trip to Pamir, definitely! :-) I want to see lake Sarez as well. We left many beautiful spots in Tajikistan and much more in Kyrgystan, so the next trip is a must! :clap
    #35
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  16. plumer1kt

    plumer1kt Adventurer

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    Feb 11, 2015
    Oddometer:
    442
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    athens,greece
    there are no bad news on a report like this one!
    i'm planning to do bartang valley next summer with this:-)
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    maybe we'll meet there!
    yes you don't need super off road skills.
    any info or report about your trip?

    i'm collecting as much as possible info for that trip and still waiting mr.mota's review.
    keep going @macias1989
    awesome trip so far...:clap
    #36
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  17. macias1989

    macias1989 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    55
    Location:
    Poland
    Day 16 20.08.2017

    That was the day! We were going to ride in Wakhan corridor. We woke up excited and set off pretty early, because we expected a lot of rough gravel and very small pace. We wanted to get to Murgab, so the day was going to be long.

    The road to Iskhasim was good. It was possible to ride 60-80km/h. We started early, so all the villages were empty. There were only unfriendly dogs, which sometimes were chasing us for few hundreds meters.
    We filled up the tanks in Iskhasim. The next fuel stop was supposed to be in Murgab, so we had enough fuel to get there. After Iskhasim we stopped near memorial of Polish motorbiker - Izzy, who died there several years ago.
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    Then the road became to be gravel one. But it seemed to be well maintained. It was quite smooth and covered with stones. It was possible to keep 60km/h with no problem.
    The views were great and there were more and more picks covered with snow on Afghan side.
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    Border crossing with Afghanistan:
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    After last village the road started going up and up. Suddenly my transalp stopped to ride. It lost power almost completely. When the road was flat it was going 30km/h at max. The height was only 3200m and it was a 4300m pass in front of us. I got pretty nervous… But I adjusted the carburetors and it got better. I stopped and restricted fuel even more and I could continue, but I wasn’t sure if it could go for the next 1100m of height.

    I could only maintain revs between 2,5-3,5k RPM, the power was low, but it was going and I managed to get to the pass. But the fuel consumption was enormous!
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    On the pass we met a Polish couple on bikes. They’d been riding from 14 months! After a long talk we got to M41, but it was late and we had to find someplace to sleep. We stopped in Alichur and stayed in a guesthouse with shared room, without water and toilet for $10/person. At the beggining owner wanted from us even more. We talked with other travellers, locals and went to sleep at the height of 3900m. Fortunately none of us had any symptoms of altitude sickness and we could sleep quite well.
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    Track 353km
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    #37
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  18. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    981
    Location:
    Chicago physically, Colombia en mi mente.
    What a truly amazing adventure and excellently documented in your ride report.

    The only thing you did wrong was not call me. I would have loved to tag along.
    #38
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  19. MrKiwi

    MrKiwi Love my Tranny

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
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    5,055
    Location:
    New Zealand
    The photos are great, can really get an appreciation of the trip you are having. Thanks.
    #39
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  20. macias1989

    macias1989 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    55
    Location:
    Poland
    Day 17 21.08.2017

    The night in the guesthouse was very cold. Comfort temperature of my sleeping bag was 5’C, I slept in a t shirt and it was still chilly. In the morning, while I was packing my stuff I found out that I lost ma gloves… I’d probably dropped them in front of the hotel in the evening and someone had to take it.

    We expected an easy ride to Murgab and then to Ak Baital pass. I had only 5l of petrol and we had 110km left to the nearest fuel station. Transalp was using a lot of fuel there and I was afraid I wouldn’t do it.

    The road was asphalted all the time to Murgab. I got used to landscape pretty quickly. We were riding through a plateau and passed just one mountain pass.
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    We bought fuel in Murgab and started our ride to Ak Baital pass. The road was still good and monotonous. We met a herd of wild yaks near the pass. One of them almost hit Tomek, which he was passing the animal.

    We stopped near the sign informing about the Ak Baital. It was 2km before the highest point. It was gravel and pretty steep part.Fortunately my mighty transalp, doing crazy 30km/h at max, managed to reach the top! We stopped there to make some photos and to be at the height of 4655m. My breathing was faster and I felt some strange noise in my head. Then we rode towards border of Kyrgyzstan. On the other side of the pass was another sign and we met there 2 independent motorcyclists from Kazakhstan. It was funny, because they were sharing information with each other, where it was possible to find a forest in Kyrgyzstan. They should come to Poland :)
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    Top of the pass, my favourite photo:) :
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    The rode to the border was easy and we had spectacular views in the mirrors, because we eventually could watch Pamir mountains from the north! Picks covered with snow were amazing! The next stop was near Karakul lake. On the east side of the road was a fence, which is a border with China. I walked to it and crossed it and took a photo of myself in China :)
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    Then we continued to the border crossing, which was located on another high mountain pass Kzyzl-Art (4280m). Road to the crossing was in bad condition, mostly gravel. The border crossing was in bad condition as well. It was some kind of a joke. One man started to shout that there was a problem because we didn’t have some important map with our route. He ordered us to ride back to Murgab, go to the bank and buy the map. Of course he had a solution and for some small bribe, he could let us go without it. We didn’t pay anything, because it was an obvious scam. We left him and went to the next barely standing building where the custom officers were. Then we wanted to go to the last stop - passport control. When we were walking toward it the first shouting man came out again and started shouting even louder. The mountain pass, where the border crossing was located was over 4200m. It was windy and cold there, so we decided to negotiate with him and we gave him 50somoni/motorcycle (less than $6). It was much lower than he wanted at the beginning. In my opinion the guy wasn’t even a border officer. He just had some contract with border guards, he had a key to the gate - so he seemed to be important, he was trying to get us much bribes as he could and then he shared it with officials. We met a polish motorbikers and they paid there $40/motobike!


    Then there was a really bad road. After several km asphalt started and we got to Kyrgyzstan. It was straightforward to enter Kyrgyzstan, but it took some time. They let us wait inside the building, so it was warm at least. We had to pay $10/motorcycle, but it was an official fee with visible prices on the walls and checks. It was funny, because they ordered us to take off our boots, when we were entering the official building :)


    We got to Sary Tash, where we stopped in a great hotel ($13/person with breakfast). We eventually had a warm, clean shower. Real toilet and wifi connection, which was stable and it was possible to communicate with friends and family!


    Track 339km
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    #40
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