14degrees off the beaten track
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November 6th, 2006 | categorizilation: all categories,Tajikistan

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Distance / 距離: 60km
Time / 時間: 06:30 – 17:00
Ascent / 上り: 570m
Descent / 下り: 830m
Distance to date / 今日までの積算距離: 3980km日本語要約:一日狭い谷に走っていました。途中に小さい町がたくさんあって、食べたいものが以外に買えました。今日もテントなしで寝ています。

I didn’t pitch my tent last night. I just slept in an apricot orchard under a leaf-less tree. Therefore I woke up in the morning with dew on the outside of my sleeping bag. There was dew frozen on my bike, so you can imagine how keen I was to get out of my nice warm sleeping bag…

I must say that I am feeling very good about this whole cycling thing. I am enjoying the uphills, loving the downhills, feeling strong on the flat, and even being relatively friendlly to the locals when they are the 1 kigillionth person to ask ‘Where are you from? Where are you going? How much does your bike cost? (Standard answer US$500) etc etc.

Crazy road sign near Ayni, Tajikistan

I think this has much to do with the good rest I had in Dushanbe, but also to do with the fact that I am now free from the lingering thought that ‘I must get over the Pamirs before the snow comes!’ Also, this whole travelling on a bicycle without a speedo thing is really great. No nice average speed data to get uptight about. I am able to just go at my own pace, without a screen telling me how incredibly slow I am going up the hills.

As for the terrain here, I am travelling along an extremely narrow valley/gorge, sometimes only tens of metres across, only widening after the rock walls extend 100m or so upwards. A lot of ups and downs where the road climbs over large bluffs, but for every metre climbed, there is the thought that the river is going down, so I must eventually go down too.

Narrow gorge on the way down the Anzob Valley, Tajikistan

There are plenty of places to either eat or buy food along this road from Dushanbe to Penjikent. After near to two months in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan on roads that offer only major cities with not much in between, it is a luxury to be able to pull into a (very basic) cafe and order a plate full of meat (the standard fare). My yoghurt addiction is also well attended to, with well stocked stores along the way.

Tonight also I am sleeping under the stars. It appears dryer here, so hopefully my sleeping bag won’t get dewed.

Sleeping in the open near Ayni, Tajikistan

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    Permanent Link     Comments (3)

Comment by Aunty Les — November 12, 2006 @ 8:28 pm | post a comment

I must say that crazy sign makes you think about the hazzards ahead! Glad to hear that your time in Dashunbe just hanging about has done you good.

Comment by Mum — November 13, 2006 @ 1:54 am | post a comment

I know the sign bottom left. Get lots of them here in OZ usually with the % gradient as well. Hills are VERY DANGEROUS to negotiate don't you know!

Comment by Lee — November 16, 2006 @ 1:59 pm | post a comment

Hey man,

Yoghurt is a brilliant, fantastic, excellent idea for your tummy. Gotta replace those bad bugs eh. I had no idea you'd be able to get your hands on any.

Yoghurt; also ginger (scrape a bit off into boiling water to make yourself a sort of tea) and peppermint should help.

Glad to hear things are more pleasant. Yay for you.


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