Day 2 in Murghab

For today, I had to make an executive decision:

1. Continue the Pamir highway and stay another night in Murghab.

2. Take a day off and search for hot springs mentioned by Lonely Planet.

3. Head back to Osh, escaping from Murghab and Tajikistan.

Option 2 prevailed.

After breakfast, I strolled through the local bazaar, where I am the subject of many curiosity from the locals.

Many of the shops are located in shipping containers.

I bought some snickers at the sweet shop for later consumption.

Chilling at the water pump.

After lunch, I drove to the hot springs Lonely Planet mentioned. The road starts off along the Murghab river…

(This hill was making a fistpump).

The route is very pretty and I met a group of South Africans.

We split off in search of the hot springs.

However, after a difficult drive and walk to get there and finding the hot spring, I realised that the bridge to reach it had been washed away.

And as much as I tried to cross the river, all attempts failed.

And I had to head back.

At which point, I needed help to push the car out of the valley (very helpful onlooker).

(More mountain hands)

The route back is stunning and I am starving for dinner.

The usual tomato and cucumber salad followed by this delicious vegetarian dish based on potato. (Wasn’t able to find it on wikipedia)

The border village of Sary Tash

Right next to the hotel in Jalal Abad is the bazaar, which I visited early in the morning to gather supplies

I bought bread and very very dry dried apricots and pistachios for the road to Sary Tash, a small village near the border with Tajikistan.

Foreigners attract a lot of weird looks here.

The route goes through Uzgen where I drove past another bazaar.

Lunch break in Osh, the 2nd biggest town of Kyrgyzstan and also an important checkpoint of the Silk road.

The restaurant (or institution) had apparently been victim to a battle of the dishes. At the time I ate there, the restaurant was empty so fortunately this didn’t happen.

Osh is a lovely city to stay in and nicer than Jalal Abad. Due to the strange borders decided by Stalin’s “divide and rule” mentality, a high proportion of the population is Uzbek.

On the way to Sary Tash, I stopped at a car repair in Gulach to check the tire pressure

The road to Sary Tash is very long and slow to finish but eventually I arrived.

A little boy led us all the way to a guest house

On the sign posted for this guesthouse showed shower facilities but I wasn’t quite expecting this…

And the room was slightly more cramped than the picture suggested

I met a group of cyclists from Grenoble and Lyon + a hitch hiker from Taiwan who had arrived from Tajikistan

Everyone is exhausted (cyclists and passengers)

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