Day 78 – WAKHAN VALLEY: 30km from Langar to Langar

Distance / 距離: 26.68km
Time / 時間: 2h 28m
Average speed / 平均速度: 10.8km/h
Distance to date / 今日までの積算距離: 3584.6km

I don’t know what I ate, but I spewed harder than I can ever remember last night. In three separate ‘movements’, my body produced a symphony of agony. The first bout emptied my stomach of the big meal of pasta and potatoes that I had cooked in the evening. It was here that I started to drink plenty of water to keep myself hydrated. However, the following two bouts emptied any water that I had taken.

By morning, I was out of water, with most of it on the ground, and very little in my system. Of course unable to stomach breakfast, I had to start pedalling with very tired legs and no energy. My situation worsened the further I pedalled. For 15km there was no water flowing in the streams that had at some stage gouged stream beds into the hillside.

Finally, after resigning to the fact that I would have to plod on without water, I came across a small spring trickling water out of a crack in a rock. Here I filtered a litre, added some sweet drink mix, and skulled the lot. It was no miracle cure, and I still felt weak, needing to push the bike at a snail’s pace up the otherwise hardly noticable short uphills where the road would follow the ridges and gullies of the hillside.

Let's ride on rocks! Wakhan Valley, Tajikistan / 岩の上に自転車で走りましょうか?(タジキスタン、ワカン谷)

VERY big - Wakhan Valley, Tajikistan / でっかい!(タジキスタン、ワカン谷)

Food poisoning is not good for cycling in remote places - Wakhan Valley, Tajikistan / こんな離れたところで病気になったら、気分わるくなるものです(タジキスタン、ワカン谷)

I rolled into Langar just before lunchtime and checked into the first guesthouse I could find. At US$17 a day (including meals), it was rediculously overpriced, but I was in no condition to shop around.

Langar, Tajikistan / タジキスタン、ランガール村

I gobbled down the fried potato and onion dish they served me for lunch and promptly passed out until evening. At 6pm, my temperature was 38.0 degrees celcius. I could only stomach the soup for dinner. After my previous experiences with central Asian pasta, I had to try hard not to throw up at the sight of the potato and pasta salad…

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8 thoughts on “Day 78 – WAKHAN VALLEY: 30km from Langar to Langar

  • Chris J

    Hi Rob!
    Glad to see you made it out the other side of that two or three week tunnel of no updates. Lots of hard times, but none of us ever doubted you would pull through. Pictures are fantastic as always, and the story gives us all reason to once again appreciate what we take for granted. Hope you will be reaching more “civilized” areas soon. Keep up the fight!

  • Rob Thomson Post author

    Aunty Lyn, I’m not sure how much weight I have lost at this stage. No one has scales! Maybe I should ask at the hotel I’m in at the mo, perhaps they have some I can borrow. I can certainly see my ribs much better than I ever have before! As for the recumbent, it is immensely comfortable. Even the roughest roads have been no problem (when I can pedal on them, rather than push). Perhaps the only draw back is that the front wheel of the bike gets a bit light when going up very steep bits. This means that steering ability practically disappears, and this has caused me to fall off a couple of times. Overall though, I wouldn’t trade the recumbent for an upright bike. It is a marvel of engineering!

  • Rob Thomson Post author

    Joeru, thanks for the encouraging comment. I’ll look you up in a few years – no doubt you’ll be in business somewhere, and no doubt I’ll be in need of a job, broke from all this galavanting!

  • Joeru


    I think by the time you finish your trek, you should be given a medal or something; and I know I would hire you if you needed a job and I ran a company. I shared your site with my family. They loved the photos (I have 9 siblings and like 30 nephews and neices so that means a lot of people have probably stopped by)

  • Joe

    The streets of Beppu have nothing on what you are seeing out there. Do you think you will be able to come back to civilization after seeing all this great scenery? Keep on trucking (and hopefully not spewing).

  • Rob Thomson Post author

    Chris J, Dushanbe is treating me very well – very civilized indeed! The road out of here is not going to be though! There is a 3600m pass in order to get out of this valley. I am looking forward to it though. This week of rest and gorging myself on all kinds of food has helped me regain my strength. I am looking forward to the flat desert roads of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan though (I just hope it isn't a head wind!).

  • Rob Thomson Post author

    Joe, I was thinking the same thing – will I be able to give up this life of hard challenges in the wilderness? Mind you, a life really lived in the city is probably harder work!