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Cape Town, South Africa
July 2, 2022, 3:48 am
Partly cloudy
Partly cloudy
59°F
humidity: 82%
wind speed: 20 mph NNW
sunrise: 7:52 am
sunset: 5:48 pm
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Botswana
July 2, 2022, 3:48 am
Clear
Clear
3°C
humidity: 74%
wind speed: 2 mph NNE
sunrise: 6:42 am
sunset: 5:22 pm
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July 2, 2022, 4:48 am
Cloudy
Cloudy
57°F
humidity: 89%
wind speed: 0 mph E
sunrise: 6:36 am
sunset: 6:39 pm
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The Pamir Highway

PHOTOS: If you want to see the photo’s full-size, click the photo, it isolates to a new page and click it once again.  Use browser’s “back” to return to blog.
CURRENT LOCATION:  Upper right corner is my Delorme inReach Explorer satellite tracks provided by SPOTwalla.  When activated, it provides a real time track of my travels.  The tab “All-Star Motorcycle Circus & E” opens for more options.  “Adjustments” enables the viewer to select more days of the tracks.

The tracks are archived back to my arrival in Heidelberg, April 16.

Use the zoom slider on the left to open up the map to see our entire route. The two tabs in the upper right “Map/Satellite” switches the map illustration with satellite photos.

GlobeRiders has it’s own BLOG “Silk Road Adventure 2015 LiveJournal!”  There is a complete description of the excursion, rider bios, updates of the ride, and an active satellite location link.
Day 32, Wed, June 1 – Dushanbe Tourist
Yesterday’s Anzob Tunnel of Terror was the main discussion at dinner.  We’re at the Serena Hotel, Rudaki Avenue, Dushanbe, Tajikistan for 2 nights.
We’re on a tourist bus that takes us to the city’s main square.  First we stop at a 40-meter monument to Ismolili Somoni, the founder of the Tajik Nation.  When the USSR controlled Tajikistan, there was a statue of Lenin here.  All of Tajikistan is systematically erasing everything Russian from monuments and names of streets, squares, and cities.

40-meter monument to Ismolili Somoni, the founder of the Tajik Nation.

There are Lions on both sides of the Ismolili Somoni statue.

A war memorial

The president's residence

18 miles outside of Dushanbe is the ancient city of Hissar.  This area features an 8th century mosque.

Ancient city of Hissar.

Madrassa, a place of education

The Hissar Mosque

Reconstructed city walls

Our route out tomorrow is on M41, known informally and more commonly as the Pamir Highway. The route has been in use for millennia and forms one link of the ancient Silk Road trade route.  The Pamir Hwy traverses the Pamir Mountains through Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia. It is the only continuous route through the difficult terrain of the mountains and serves as the main supply route during Russia’s failed occupancy of Afghanistan.  The Pamir Highway is known as the second highest altitude international highway in the world (4,655 m).
Day 33, Thu Jun 4 Dushanbe-Kalaikhumb, 359 km (223 miles)
Super test of adventure bikes!  The road M41/Pamir Hwy heads due east out of Dushanbe.  It’s an occasionally semi-paved road that’s mostly dirt, light gravel, and sand.

The Pamir Highway

Afghanistan is on the other side of the river.

The rugged, beautiful mountains were a surprise. I was expecting desert!

VStrom on the Palmir Highway

Kalaikhumb is a small village at the intersection where the Khumbob River joins the Pyanj River on the Afghan border.  Tonight we stayed at what is described as “Guesthouse/Homestay” in Kalaikhumb.  This was the best in the little village.  It’s basically a 1-star home along the river where various areas are converted into sleeping areas – indoor and outside.  This seemed to be a trucker’s lodging.  A few rooms had cots, the rest had mattress’ on the floor.

Homestay patio. The area under the canopy slept 6 people. Meals were served in the same area and at the tables next to the river.

Breakfast

One of 6 sleeping areas.

It had 2 toilets — a western porcelain stool with flusher and a porcelain squat hole-in-the-floor unit.  No toilet paper.  Behind a second door, a tub with shower.  No guest towels!

Door on left is bathtub with shower, door on right a western porcelain toilet. Across the patio was a porcelain squat toilet. The sink at the left was the only running water. All dishes and cooking water came from this water source.

Homestay patio from the other side.

While walking through the village we find a brand new luxury hotel.  Hopefully this is where next year’s GlobeRiders Silk Road 2016 will stay.
Day 34, Fri, June 5 – Kalaikhumb-Khorog, 235 km (146 miles)
Departing Kalaikhumb we gas up at the edge of the village.  There are gas stations but sometimes they don’t look like gas stations.  This one is a tanker trailer with gas distributed with a pail!

David D fueling up from a tanker truck.

John R & Ken S

Selfie

The historical Pamir Highway, officially called M41, is an amazing challenge for adventure motorcyclist. While most of the road has a paved base, long portions along the river are full of potholes, gravel, rocks, shale, mud and dirt.  All the mountain passes are dirt! .  The road is heavily damaged in places by erosion, earthquakes, landslides, and avalanches.
The length of the road is 1,252 kilometers between Osh and Dushanbe, going through the Pamir Mountains

It’s one of the world’s most famous routes for the adventurous travelers and lies mostly in Tajikistan, the highland country of Central Asia.

Sorry, not many photos!  The main goal was to get down the road safely.  I was concentrating on my line over dirt, gravel, mud, and potholes.  Keeping my aluminum wheels away from huge potholes, rock ridges, minimized my photo opportunities.

The road along the river was mostly 1-1/2 lanes dirt/gravel, which occasionally went to a single-lane with steep drop of into the water.  On coming traffic was an occasional tractor/trailer or 4WD Expedition vehicles.

http://www.dangerousroads.org/asia/tajikistan/430-pamir-highway-tajikistan.html
We stay at the Hotel Lal, 5/1 Azizbekov Street, Khorog, GBAO, Tajikistan  N37 29.431, E71 32.626
We are here for 2 nights.  I gave this hotel 1-star.  Interesting place with a couple dozen rooms.  Has little bar/restaurant on same property.  Some of the rooms were OK with private baths. We were assigned to rooms with shared bathroom/ showers however, there was no water the first day (no showers) and on the second day, water for a couple hours but no hot water!

On the way to the hotel, we ride by this mother-of-all pothole.

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