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Old 10-12-2013, 07:52 PM   #86
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Joined: Dec 2012
Location: Newcastle
Oddometer: 51
To the Little Pamir and back to Eshkasheim.

After a couple of days resting the feet in Sarhad a tourist 4x4 comes in loaded, the first vehicle to make there it for a week now. I'm not too bothered about not having the Ural with me here, sure it would have been great to get it all this way but my experiences that I had walking was something i would've had to trade.
The tourists that arrive have an arranged Buzkashi game in which i have a free ticket, Its really quite a mess of a game not having any defined limits for the playing field. On occasion you inevitibly find yourself in the middle of it with a half dozen horses galloping straight towards you at full tit. The game goes on for over an hour with music and dancing on the sidelines.
I meet Moritz a german tour guide who is by himself, he's on a scouting mission for future tourist expeditions to the same area in the little Pamir that I'm heading to. The next day, 7am our pack horses and donkeys arrive with their handlers. Once laden we head up out of Sarhad over the steep pass. When I first arrived in Sarhad I planned for 4 days in into the Pamirs, by the time I had left it was up to 7 and by the time I got back to Sarhad some 10 days later I could only have wished for more.
I could ramble on about 10 days without a bike and bore you all, So I will just leave the photo's do the talking this time.

Buzkashi Boys.

No Sports shop here; Take a goat, off with its head and empty via it's throat then you're ready to play.


I'm sure he was riding a minute ago.

My horseman Hoib Nazar; when he wasn't pulling his horse along he was making tea, when he wasn't making tea
he was smoking hash. By our return journey he was multitasking.

Into the great wide open.

Dinner party's at shepherds huts. It was a rare occasion having pasta but really its just flour & water just like my bread and tea..
After 2 weeks on this diet I was really looking forward to getting my bike back to Khorog for a long Kebab and Beer session by the river.
In fact I think I repeated this over and over to Moritz everyday.

Horse vision, Argh! where are the handlebars!

Turning back every now and again to hear thunder, there was some rough weather coming.

Reaching the start of the Little Pamir 4 days later. China's border to the left while Pakistan's Irshad pass is off to the right.

Kygyz Kid's kicking a ball around at over 4000m. The Kygyz live all year round above 4000m, their children have the
highest infant mortality rate in the world with only 50% seeing their 5th birthday.

Kygyz Summer Camp. The Kygyz live through 10 months of winter up here but snow in late July is a bit ridiculous.
Over a foot had fallen over night and half of the next day. My plans for returning over a different route with
high passes and Wakhi traders homes to Sarhad shattered. We would have to return the way we came.

Even though we had to return the way we had came, It was still an unforgetable journey.

A different breed of an ADVrider.

The closest I got to seeing a Marco Polo.

Having left the last Shepards hut on my 10th day at 4.30am we had 2 steep passes to climb and descend before reaching Sarhad some 4 hours later. I meet Moritz back there as they returned 2 days earlier than I and he was waiting for a 4x4. I scoff down some bread and tea and pay my horseman and guesthouse and thank them both for the marvelous time. I re pack some items that I had left at the guesthouse while reminding Moritz about my mission for Kebabs and cold Beer as he was questioning my haste. I left within 15minutes of arriving, this time I would return back to Sargaz on the other side of the river bank. This would give me the opportunity to meet some more villages and with the road in good shape I made quick progress back to Sargaz. Fat dripping kebabs and cold beer being the carrot that dangled in front of my eyes, In the 2 days walking back to the Ural. I had half expected to see the Ural Butchered up into a donkey wagon or something...

Even though river levels had dropped and there was some traffic on the roads, There were still plenty of crossings on my return to Sargaz.

The Original Tablet.

One more night Before I'm reunited with my Ural. It feels like xmas eve.

A father and Son ride for days down the valley.

Returning in the early evening to Sargaz I walked through into the yard to see it leaning happily beside the same wall under the same heavy canvas horse blankets I had left it in. I was woken the following morning by a Swiss couple that I met in the little Pamir. They were cycle touring the Wakhan, they too were heading back to Eshkasheim and back to Khorog. I'm sure I even told them I would see them at the Kebab and beer garden as now it was constantly on my mind, (I later was to find out I had lost 8kg from this forced diet)

After breakfast of yet again yes more bread and tea I uncovered the Ural I wondered its been 2 weeks here in the cold all alone, was it going to start for me?
I reconnect the battery, turn the Ignition on and whisper some sweet nothings to her; the dash light illuminates, fuel on... kick.. nothing, then nothing again, then seriously 3rd kick she rumbled back into life again! albeit with a bit of blue smoke out the back of her and my hosts looking on with excitement. I sit there for a few minutes warming her up before checking fluids. I pour in a 1/2 litre of oil and top up with fuel, fit my bags and canister once again. I pay up and push on for Eshkasheim, it was now 10am, I doubted that I would reach the border in time so i would have to settle for my kebabs and beer tomorrow.
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