Friday, 3 October 2014

Cycling through Clouds in Central Asia: Cycling over the Highest Mountain Pass in Central Asia; Today 77 km; Total: 1193 km

May 24, 2014

It was very cold last night, but I was OK with my down jacket on in my -5 sleeping bag. I had closed all the vents in the tent to prevent the cold from coming in, but I didn't know that there will be a lot of condensation as a result. In the middle of night, I felt water on my face! The condensation was so much that water would drip on my face! I opened the mesh of the tent and part of the zipper to allow air flow. It got rather cold inside the tent, but at least it would be dry, I thought.

We woke up at 6 am, had tea and boiled eggs in freezing temperature, and took off for the pass. Radu had left an hour before we took off. Very soon, Raimon disappeared in front of us too. It was only me and Fausto approaching the pass very slowly. Close to 4200 meters, it started to be windy and snowy. The good thing was that the wind was a tail wind, helping us a little bit in our struggle to reach the pass. The last 200 meters were the most difficult. We pushed our bikes to the top.

It was a very exciting moment to reach the top: 4680 meters! The highest pass in Central Asia! It was really cold. My fingers were numb even with the "waterproof" gloves I had bought the other day from Bazar. Raimon and Radu were at the top taking pictures and playing with a dog! We had a short celebration and headed down.

The road down could not have been worse for us. It was such a bumpy road with no asphalt. After maybe 20 km, we got to asphalt. And from then, we were fast approaching Kara Kool Lake, the highest lake in Asia. It was still partly frozen, but it had created a beautiful scenery.

Around Kara Kool Lake, there was an ugly village where we decided to stay in a homestay. We had a simple dinner: macaroni with no sauce and tea. Tomorrow, we will leave Tajikistan. 

Close to the Pass

We found these hats in the homestay.

Toward the Pass

Kara Kool Lake

Fausto and I going toward the Pass

Snack Break

The Catalan, Raimon; Photographer: Radu

The Romanian, Radu

Photographer: Radu

Glacier: Photographer: Radu

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I was wondering what was this dog up to on the pass. Photographer: Radu

No Comment: Photographer: Radu

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