Good bye Sary Tash!
I head to the Kyrgyrz border and enter the no man’s land between Kyrgyrsztan and Tajikistan.
A beautiful and quiet place, inhabited by hundreds of marmottes.
Upon reaching the Tajik border patrol, a few noticeable differences are observed with the Kyrgyz border patrol:
1. Unlike Kyrgyzstan, you need a visa, which costs 70$.
2. There is a “disinfection” process whereby a man sprays yellow fluid only on the wheels of the car. This costs 900 soms. (Later learnt that you could ask not to have this service)
3. There is also a 1200 som fee to pass customs.
4. It was mentioned that I was lucky to have a Kyrgyz car as otherwise a 120$ fee would apply.
In conclusion, Tajikistan has figured out how to solve any country’s immigration problem.
(Waiting in the cold with 2 motorcyclists from Switzerland and Holland)
(For some reason there were animal skulls on top of the customs office)
Crossing the Tajik border is time-consuming and I quickly drove off to Murghab via the Pamir Highway (M41, same road that I took from Osh).
The road starts off close to the border with China (on the left).
Above is when I crossed the Akbaital pass, 4655m altitude.
The road is very arid, with little vegetation, and although it’s well-known, I concluded that Kyrgyzstan was more interesting.
Arriving at Murghab, I passed a rather run down Gazprom petrol station
Murghab is a large town but desperately poor. I had a moment of worry when it appeared that there might not be any diesel supply in town and I might be stuck here forever.
(Interesting version of a side car)
The tourist information centre…
After going up down the 2 main roads several times, I eventually found the guest house I was looking for.
Also met some fellow travellers!