Me and my friend have spent few days in the Wakkan valley. The initial plan was to bike this valley and join the M41 (Pamir Highway). One side of this valley is in Tajikistan and afganistan. Instead of biking the Wakkan has more people are doing nowdays, we have decided t ther and trek. This was, it would aloowed us to see both valley The plan was to get back to Khorong to get back the bicycle and bike the Pamir (normal road). We took a share taxi to get to Vrang. The goal was to get to Vrang pass. A pass that raise over 5000 meters. Unfortuanatly, as many other tourists that have stayed in the Pamir lodge in Khorog, I got sick. One of my worst hike ever !!!! I was so weak. I think I got the gardia, a commun desease in Central Asia. Of course, I have never reached the pass. I spend one day sleeping in the tent. It last couple days. I tought I had food poisonning. Its when I got back to Korong that some people told me about the Gardia and…. I was not the only one to be hill When I got back to the hostel, some other cyclists have recommended me some antibiotic.
The Wakkan valley is beautiful. The valley is wide, green, plenty of very nice people and you follow the Indu Kush range.
When we got back to Khorong, I have decided to leave my friend behind and bike the Pamir on my own. I was feeling much more confident about this country and I wanted to be 100 % free, not doing any compromises. The night before my firt pass above 4000 m., I woke up in panic. I could not breath !!!! I was feeling someone was shocking me. At first, I did not tought it was altitude sickness. I was at about 3500 meters high, which is not too much and I did not have any headache. I tought I was doing an alergic reaction to my antibiotic…I was in panic, trying to calm down and breath slowly…. Than in the morning, I have started to feel the pressure in my ears, I could not leen forward…So, It was the altitude sickness. I had never got that before !!!! Terrible !!!! Usually, you should always sleep below your highest elevation point to get acclimate. So, that morning, I have decided to push my bike all the way to the pass and sleep right after. So, I would be in a lower elevation for the night. It has worked !!!!! I put my tent near a sheperd house. I ate dinner and breakfast with a nice family.
When I got on the Pamir plateau, to things came to my mind: wow and OMG !!! It was very beautiful but the landsacpe was different that what I was execting….a big dry desert ! Will I will enjoy this lololol I told myself. I did !!!!! And, actually, the Pamir highway is pretty much one of the easiest road I have ever bike. I think its why its so famous. I believe the road coming from Kyrghistan is much more difficult but the way I did it, I almost felt I was always going down or on a flat road. There are some passes but, the road is already so high. You don’t climb that much to get over those passes. Maybe 300-400 meters.
The landscape was beautiful but the people were very different. On the pamir plateau, most of people are from Kyrghistan. As soon as you get on the top, the people’s face are changing. Their eyes are like the chineese, they faces are more round, ther wear different hat. But, their energies are also very different.. After Alichour, I have ask hospitality to pitch my tent beside two yurts. I took my bike and went offroad. The women has offered me to stay inside one of the two yurts instead of sleeping in my tent. It was cold and windy YEEEEEEE !!!!!! I was dreaming about this moment since years. I was like a child. She has left me the whole yurt for myself. For dinner and breakfast, I had share some of my food. I believe you should never pay people when you stay with them….Not everyone is agreeing with me but I believe to this….Leave no trace !!! The pamir is remote and fragile because so many people are visiting this area. You need to be careful how you are interacting with the people. When I left in the morning, she has ask me some money for my stay. I have refused and told her she had invited me inside. Then, I just left. This was the beginning of my desapointements with the kirghis people. It had never happen with any tajik people. They are so generous and kind !!! I really hope one day one of you will go there !!!!! Such a majic country !
In murgab, I spend some time with a friend. Together, we have travel some valleys on his motorbike. It was nice beacuse we have visited some roads that I would not have been doing with the bike. When I travel on bicycle, I don’t like to go back and forth on the same road.
The highlight of the pamir was the strech from Karakol to sary tash (kyrghistan). I did this section of the road with a swiss cyclist. This section is very impressive because you can see many white peak.