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Pictures of our 2nd Central Asia trip 2016 to Tajikistan
– Part 2From Dushanbe to the Kyrgyzstan border June 19th to 27th, 2016
  • Tajikistan Part 1 from Uzbekistan border to Dushanbe May 31st to June 18th, 2016
  • Uzbekistan from Turkmenistan border in Dashoguz to Tajikistan border near Oybeck May 10th to 31st, 2016
  • Turkmenistan from Iran border at Bajgiran to Uzbekistan border near Khiva May 6th to 10th, 2016
  • Iran from the ferry port Bandar Abbas to Turkmenistan border near Ashgabat April 11th to May 6th, 2016
  • United Arab Emirates from Saudi Arabia border to Sharjah and the ferry to Iran January 12th to April 10th, 2016
  • Saudi Arabia from the ferry port Jeddah in transit to United Arab Emirates border January 9th to 12th, 2016
  • Sudan – from Ethiopia border to Suakin and the ferry to Saudi Arabia December 9th, 2015 to January 8th, 2016
  • afterwards:
    Kyrgyzstan from Tajikistan border in Pamir to Kazakhstan border at Karkara June 27th to July xxth, 2016
    Kazakhstan –  from Kyrgyzstan to Russia border – July xxth to August xxth, 2016
    Russia – from Kazakhstan (at Mikhaylovka) to Mongolia border (at Tashanta) and Ukraine border at Krupets August 21st to November 11th, 2016
    Tajikistan Map
                   Map of Central Asia
    latest picture: June 27, 2016
    • click a picture to see details

    085  We have breakfast with view to the Nurek
    reservoir, situated about 50 miles [80km] from
    Dushanbe. We are on our ”southern“ way to the
    famous Pamir Highway, i.e. via Kulob because the
    Khaburabot Pass (Sagirdasht Pass) – the M41
    via Tavildara – is said to be in a miserable shape
    086  After Dangara we pass rolling
    heat-baked hills in the ”southern Tajik
    wheatfields“ for some miles
    087  At Kurbon Shaid (Pingan), about
    18 miles [30km] before Kulob, lies the
    new looking Hulbuk Fortress Palace –
    a reconstruction from the 11th century
    088  From Kulob the road climbs up to
    Shurabad, a crossover of 6'500 ft. [1’980m]
    to the very long Panj valley. This is where the
    overheating problem of our LandCruiser restarts.
    Emil sucks in fuel, cools the carburetor with water
    and fixes an additional fan next to the carburetor
    089  Sweeping view from the Shurabad
    mountain pass down to the valley
    towards Kulob (green left at the back)
    090  Huge trucks, generating a lot of dust,
    and locals on donkeys are on the Shurabad
    pass ascent. Many trucks tow
    additionally a huge trailer
    091  After the Shurabad pass we are
    encircled near Chilishtak by an imposing
    rocky mountain scenery
    092  Chinese trucks, partly with trailers,
    cross us on the dusty road to the Panj river.
    They supply Tajikistan with goods from
    China and are real masters in managing
    the most critical passages
    093  Scenery at the Panj river after descending
    from the height of 6'500 ft. [1’980m] in Shurabad
    to 2'700 ft. [825m]. On the other side of the
    relatively narrow river is Afghanistan. It’s possible
    to drive along the river for about 415 miles
    [670km] (incl. Wakhan area) – in Khorog we
    have seen enough of it after 225 miles [360km]
    094  One of the adobe hamlets set among
    patches of greenery on the Afghanistan side
    during our 225 miles [360km] long drive along
    the Panj border river on a mostly dreadful
    track and through deep and narrow gorges
    095  Part of the recreation center “Chorchaman”
    that was erected at the little village of Patkunob
    before Kalaikhum. This is already since 43 miles
    [70km] (and will remain until the Kyrgyzstan
    border) the autonomous province of Gorno
    Badakhshan (GBAO), where a permit is
    compulsory that is available either from the
    consulate together with the visa or otherwise
    from OVIR in Dushanbe (38.57126/68.79722)
    096  The fuel pumps in Kalaikhum are
    empty or they don’t work. Fuel is sold
    along the road either from tankers,
    jerrycans or barrels. We bunker
    21 gallons [80 liters] from jerrycans
    097  On the Afghanistan side of the Panj
    river grain harvesting is in full swing. The
    yellow grain fields are in sharp contrast to
    the deep green trees surrounding them
    098  On her discovery tour Liliana almost
    steps on this well camouflaged cricket. The long
    spike at the back is for laying eggs (ovipositor)
    099  After the mouth of the Vanj Valley into the
    Panj River – halfway between Kaleikhum and
    Rushan – golden fields of grain reaching up to the
    slopes dominate the scenery on the Afghan side
    100  Nature is exploding along the water
    ways. Wherever we look, carpets of pink
    flowering bushes cover the plain …..
    101  ….. on this idyllic spot our Land
    Cruiser gives us trouble once more.
    For the umpteenth time, Emil is cooling
    down the carburetor with water …..
    102  ….. while Liliana takes the
    opportunity to explore the surroundings
    and enjoy the beauty of nature
    103  About 9 miles [15km] before Yarkh
    Lake or 27 miles [44km] before the “city” of
    Rushan, the narrow valley opens slightly and
    we find a small and levelled camping spot
    squeezed between high rising mountain cliffs …..
    104  ….. on the other side of the Panj river,
    on the Afghan side, stand two fully loaded
    trucks next to adobe dwellings and a white
    tent. A military camp? This road leads in
    560 miles [900km] to Kabul
    105  We follow further the Panj river.
    Due to the snowmelt it became a
    dangerous looking brownish “monster”,
    carrying everything down
    106  Short of Rushan, the road passes the
    idyllic treelined Yarkh Lake, formed naturally
    by the Panj river – probably the prettiest
    place to live in this otherwise forbidding region
    107  View towards the remote, wild and
    adventurous Bartang Valley, which access
    is shortly after the big settlement of Rushan.
    It’s possible to drive from here by 4x4
    directly to Karakul lake
    108  A landscape that could be in
    Switzerland – at the continuation
    along the Panj river to Khorog
    109  At the Pamir Lodge in Khorog, we
    meet the two cyclists Kaya and Lauro, father
    and son from Switzerland. They are ready
     to take off to the next Pamir Highway section
    110  Two inseparable little friends from
    Khorog. Khorog ist the capital of the
    autonomous province Gorno Badakhshan
    (GBAO) with about 30’000 people (2003)
    111  Road sign to Osh (452 miles)
    [728km] in Kyrgyzstan on the Pamir
    highway. Still a long way to go!
    112  It is impressive how tall flowers
    can grow also in such alpine altitudes
    (above ±10’000 ft.) [±3’000m]
    113  Also delicate bush roses seem
    comfortable on these heights
    114  The pink flowers grow on the ground
    compactly around a garland of leaves
    115  Our LandCruiser climbs along the
    barren high Rushan range to higher altitudes
    116  A glittering mountain torrent makes its
    way downhill, producing greenery on its sides
    – a sight that appears over and over again
    117  A suspension bridge of the old style, built
    only from twigs. Two courageous ladies cross the
    Gunt river to get from their home to the road
    118  A timeless sight: Mountain
    scenery near Vankala
    119  Where there is water, there is life. Patches
    of green along a little torrent in a field of scree
    120  The dwelling is pretty modest, but the
    satellite disk on the roof is not missing
    The Pamir region attracts each year cyclists, bikers, car travelers and hikers – it is still a real challenge.
    Here everyone stops when crossing each other and shares information. This was still the case between 1989 and 1993 in Africa
    when we crossed from North to South. Nowadays, this does not happen anymore, nobody needs obviously the others advice
    121  Two German bikers near Jelandy
    hotsprings. We spend one night together
    at an altitude of 11’800 ft. [3’600m]
    122  A German hiker. He walks
    around 30 miles [50km] daily
    123  Two English cyclists, who are on their
    way from Osh via Pamir to Dushanbe. They have
    to deal constantly with the strong headwind
    124  The idyllic alpine pond-dotted scenery
    before the ascent to the Koy-Tezek Pass
    (14’016 ft.) [4’272m] in direction Murgab
    125  A marmot is warming up in the sun.
    It has not yet spotted us!
    126  In a beautiful setting between a clear
    mountain stream and snow covered peaks:
    The village of Jelandy with its hot springs
    127  This virgin mountain scenery with its
    wide river valley remembers us of Alaska,
    which we explored in summer 1985
    128  As our LandCruiser steadily gains height
    over the Koy-Tezek-Pass, glacier-wrapped
    mountains appear at every corner
    129  The monument at the roadside of M41
    – Pamir Highway – says that we are entering
    on the eastern side of the Koy-Tezek Pass
    the district of Murgab
    Our LandCruiser is rolling towards the western Pamir high plateau with its many lakes (Bulun-Kul,
    Yashil-Kul, Sassyk-Kul, Tuz-Kul, etc.), which lies on an altitude of almost 13’000 ft. [4’000m]
    The village of Alichur with its white washed
    flat houses, about 60 miles [100km] before
    Murgab, lies south of the North Alichur Range
    133  It gets increasingly greener the closer
    we come to Murgab. Halfway between
    Alichur and Murgab, there is the Nayzatash
    Pass to cross: 13’573 ft. [4’137m]
    134  Nomads have put up their yurt
    for the summer months in this isolated
    and harsh environment
    135  Again “greenery” shortly before
    the final descent to Murgab
    136  The Murgab valley with its green
    riverside pasture sets off vividly against
    the rugged rock walls
    137  Postcard-perfect: Panoramic view
    across the green Murgab river valley with
    the first houses of Murgab and the bleak
    mountain range in the back
    138  The small town of Murgab, on an
    altitude of 11’732 ft. [3‘576m] with a
    population of 6‘500, where about 25%
    are Pamiris (Tajiks) and 75% Kyrgyz
    139  Our LandCruiser in front of the
    nondescript tourist office in Murgab
    140  Emil is waiting outside of Murgab’s
    tourist office for the English speaking lady
    who has been called by phone
    141  Murgab’s white washed “box houses“
    with the background of the bleak mountain
    ridge evoke a bit a feeling of Arabia
    142  A woman from the mountain village
    of Murgab with her typical head scarf
    143  A family is sitting outside its home
    watching the village live, it is the only pass-time
    144  They pass their time on the street (what
    they are still able to do!): Children in Murgab
    145  The most appealing village building in
    Murgab is its white washed mosque along
    the Murgab-Tashkurgan road
    146  A cemetery of a special kind: The tombs
    in Murgab are made of adobe – also along the
    Murgab-Tashkurgan road (eastern end of village)
    147  The stone mosque at the river side
    in Murgab with its two brick minarets
    148  Not a colorful market: The bazaar in
    Murgab consists of a row of unattractive container
    149  Clean, orderly and well-stocked:
    A food container at Murgab‘s bazaar
    150  Two market women gossiping at the
    Murgab bazaar while waiting for customers
    Faces of children in Murgab
    154  Saturday at the riverside in Murgab:
    Girls are busy scrubbing carpets …..
    155  ….. “Somebody has to supervise
    the ladies!“ says the boy on the pushcart
    156  ….. laundry day: Work is
    easier in company of friends
    157  Two traditional guest yurts – dome
    tents used by nomads – in front of the
    Pamir Hotel in Murgab
    158  The appealing interior of a yurt: The
    framework is made from wood, the walls are
    covered with carpets with different motifs, the
    atmosphere is warm and welcoming …..
    159  ….. the roof opening of a yurt
    160  Murgab seen from the river. There is
    no electricity in the village, therefore also any
    fuel pumps. Fuel is traded in barrels, buckets,
    jerrycans and with funnels. Only a few
    have a generator
    161  There is no hectic in Mugab with
    its character of a “pioneer“ village. Daily life
    in the simple houses happens quietly always
    in the same framework
    162  Matching entirely with nature:
    An adobe house at the foot of the
    mountain range in Murgab
    163  The white mountain peaks that rise
    east of Murgab belong already to China
    164  The fence along the high-altitude
    highway marks the “neutral zone“ to China.
    It was built by China and forms a kind of
    security zone from China. The actual border
    however lies up to 12 miles [20km] more
    to the North resp. to the East of the fence
    165  At the climb to the
    15’272 ft. [4‘655m] high Ak-Baital
    pass we encounter snow for the first
    time again since Turkey
    (May 30th, 2013). Liliana wants
    once again to know how it feels
    166  Before reaching Ak-Baital pass
    (= White Horse) on an altitude
    of 15’272 ft. [4‘655m]
    167  We reached the highest drivable
    point of the Pamir Highway: The Ak-Baital
    pass with a height of 15’272 ft. [4‘655m]
    – GPS shows 15’299 ft. [4’663m]
    168  Emil and our LandCruiser on the
    “Roof of the Tajikistan-World“, on the
    15’272 ft. [4‘655m] high Ak-Baital pass
    169  The high mountain region around Ak-Baital
    pass is bleak and entirely uninhabited. Not a
    single plant is growing; view in direction Murgab
    170  We seal our achievement of having
    reached the highest point of the Pamirs
    with a remembrance picture
    171  A range of colors in brown-red pastel
    shades: The high mountain scenery of the
    Pamir Highway towards Lake Karakul
    The wonder of nature: Three flowers, which brave the harsh alpine climate in all its forms, have unfold their full beauty
    175  The azure-blue ribbon at the foot
    of the snow-capped mountain chain belongs
    to slightly salty Lake Karakul. It lies at
    3‘914m altitude and is frozen until May
    176  Glacier wrapped mountains of the
    Tanymas Range west of Lake Karakul
    (altitude 12’841 ft.) [3‘914m]
    177  A little pond on the eastern
    side of Lake Karakul
    178  We set up camp in good weather at Lake
    Karakul at an altitude of 12’841 ft. [3‘914m],
    surrounded by the fascinating mountain peaks
    of North and East Pamir …..
    179  ….. in the light of the setting sun
    our LandCruiser is shining beautifully
    against the backdrop of the white
    mountain peaks in the South …..
    180  ….. then the sun sets and
    simultaneously clouds approach from
    the south. It’s our last night in the
    remoteness of the alpine Pamir region
    181  The sky is shrouded in clouds
    when we break off in the morning
    our camp at Lake Karakul
    182  This road monument shows that
    we are now leaving Murgab and hence
    Tajikistan in direction Kyrgyzstan
    183  With a couple of snow flakes Tajikistan
    waves us good-bye on June 27th, 2016, – a
    country that became one of the highlights of our
    almost 32 years of around the world history
    Back to the 1st part of the Tajikistan trip: Tajikistan Part 1 May 31st to June 18th, 2016, from Uzbekistan border to Dushanbe
    The African trip 2013-16:
    CapeVerde: Santiago/Praia part 1 – November18th to December 13th, 2013
    CapeVerde: Fogo – Dezember13th to 23rd, 2013
    CapeVerde: Brava – December 23rd to 26th, 2013
    Cape Verde: Santiago/Praia part 2 – December 26th, 2013 to February 28th, 2014
    Cape Verde: São Nicolau – February 28th to March 13th, 2014
    Cape Verde: São Vicente/Mindelo part 1 – March 13th to 20th, 2014
    Cape Verde: Santo Antão/Eastern side part 1 – March 20th to April 7th, 2014
    Cape Verde: Santo Antão/Western side part 2April 7th to 10th, 2014
    Cape Verde: São Vicente/Mindelo part 2April 10th to 29th, 2014
    Namibia Part 1 from Walvis Bay to Windhoek
    Angola Part 1 September 26th to October 4th, 2014
    Angola Part 2 October 4th to 22nd, 2014
    Namibia Part 2 from Windhoek to the Angolan border, back again and on to South Africa
    South Africa Part 1 from Namibia border to Capetown January 22nd to February 23rd, 2015
    3rd Major Repair of our LandCruiser FJ60 - 1982  (due to two broken sideshafts)
    South Africa Part 2 from Capetown to Tsitsikamma National Park February 24th to March 13th, 2015
    South Africa Part 3 from Addo National Park to the Lesotho border March 13th to April 7th, 2015
    Lesotho April 7th to 15th, 2015
    South Africa Part 4 from the Lesotho to the Swaziland border April 15th to 23rd, 2015
    Swaziland April 23rd to 28th, 2015
    South Africa Part 5 from the Swaziland to the Botswana border  April 28th to May 15th, 2015
    Armed Robbery in Malawi on July 31st/August 1st, 2015
    Ethiopia Part 1 – from Kenya to Djibouti October 25th to November 18th, 2015
    Djibouti October 18th to 27th, 2015
    Ethiopia Part 2   from Djibouti to Sudan November 27th to December 9th, 2015
    Sudan December 9th, 2015 to January 8th, 2016