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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
 
before:
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 August 9th, 2016
Kazakhstan –  from Kyrgyzstan to Russia border – August 9th to 21st, 2016
Russia Part 2a – from Tretyakovo at Kazakhstan border via Lake Teletskoye to Gorno Altaysk Aug. 21st to Sept. 26th, 2016
Russia Part 2b from Gorno Altaysk to the Mongolia border and back to the Ukraine border at Krupets Sept. 26th to Nov. 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
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
130
131
132
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
151
152
153
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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
172
173
174
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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
Botswana
Zimbabwe
Mozambique
Malawi
Armed Robbery in Malawi on July 31st/August 1st, 2015
Tanzania
Kenya
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