Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Day 463-469: To Ak-Baitai pass

21km of washboard terrain out of Bulunkul

Had enough of bumping on the washboard road and took the dirt track on the side of the road instead

A small section of steep climb towards the end to join back onto the M41

Back onto the M41 and finally see Asphalt!!! After many weeks on unpaved roads, this felt like a "kiss the asphalt moment"

 Massive yaks right in front of me... "nervous"

Luckily the yakherd chased them off the road... after many ''please rescue me'' eye signals to the herders

Its just me and the nature... just us... loving it

Alichur... once the sun set, the temperature plummeted... trembling down into the village, my fingers and toes were getting numbed and painful, barely able to wriggle them



 Tagaibek with my bike... 


Taking a break by the roadside, enjoying the view and silence

Met Ania & Szymon ( from Poland going on the opposite direction. They eventually went to Bartang valley, back to Kyrgyzstan then to India and will be in Nepal by end of the year.

 Photo credit: Szymon
I am really tiny.

Skies on fire... oh dear, sun setting, temperature dropping... better hurry!!!


Sarytash 223km away from Murghab meaning I will be out of Tajik soon :(

Fuel refill anyone?

Up to the well known guesthouse

Erali guesthouse in Murghab

Was told onwards journey is towards the snow capped mountain area "_"|||

I met the swiss brothers Stefiano & Emanuele and their guide Nurali here again! 
Problems with their jeep and them waiting impatiently on the bench

My worn out booty

Welcome snack 

Murghab town at a glance

Right after I settled down in the guesthouse I was told 'cyclist, cyclist'... 
And was super surprised to see a Solo female cyclist!!! Yay!! This is Anne ( from Germany who just started from Kyrgyzstan.
I think the very first few things I told Anne was... hey they have Banya (sauna/hot bath) here
Not forgetting to mention, Anne had no prior touring experiences too. Big thumbs up! She has just reached Oman at the point of writing.

Yak meat with fried potatoes for dinner.
Tipped by Tiphaine & Marco (, America Space is a place in major towns where you can find/surf Internet for free. Location in Murghab (38.168177, 73.965984)

Those colourful containers is where you will find the Bazaar

Shops in containers

The last place to stock up... but finding fresh produced was difficult here... the fruits and vegetables I found looks pretty liveless or already half rotting apart from these carrots and potatoes.

It was hard finding what I need in the bazaar but if you cross the road behind the bazaar there is a shop beside a 'restaurant' where you will find bread, 1.5L water etc

Locals have to regularly withdraw water from the well

Then the next day... another cyclist rolled up and before I could even give her a big welcome at the door she shouted are you Phoebe? I was like Ya, how do you know hahaha
This is Tara from Canada ( Its not her first trip and probably not her last too. This time round she did a section of Asia and at the point of writing, she should be in Africa doing Cairo to Capetown. 

Another night of sumptuous dinner... rice with Yak meat

Fantastic host

What are the odds of having 3 solo female cyclists under one roof?


Erali's mum who took great care of us

Osh 415km, my next target... Osh Osh Osh

I didn't want to climb the next big pass late in the day so I camped at around 4300m, hiding behind a pile of rocks

You probably can't tell, but all my bottles were frozen *thirsty*

 Ken from Japan cycling towards France on his Trek bike... did you see logs? He is carrying logs for fire

 Not far from the Ak-Baitai pass. 

 Ak Baitai pass is the highest point of M41 Pamirs highway @ 4655m
Because of the altitude I was very exhausted, was breathing really hard while cycling
Thought I had acclimatise...

 The last kilometre to the top. It was at this corner before taking this shot that I struggled to ascend. I pushed and slide back, pushed and slide and bike fell twice. No progress and had to unload to push up and reload again to carry on... bahhhhh

 No signage on the top for me to pose a shot with

 Hurrah!! Highest pass to date. Crazy headwind, I didn't want to stop here too long

 Here we go... as everyone already told me, descending on washboard terrain

A night at around 4200m. I didn't sleep well... it was so cold and my flat mattress (leaking somewhere) made it worse..woke up counting my fingers and toes to check they are still intack

09 Oct 15: 41.09km [Sunny]
10 Oct 15: 107.27km [Sunny]
13 Oct 15: 59.04km [Cloudy]
14 Oct 15: 30.43km [Sunny]


  1. Such desolation...and such raw beauty. Worth every hard pedal stroke, I'll say. From the pics it doesn't look it but I'm sure it must be numbingly cold, esp at night.
    Looking forward to your next post. Cheers :-))

  2. Definitely worthwhile. Yes freezing especially in the tent.