Hi All,

Marc here, I safely made it after a rough trip from Samarkand to Dushanbe. So what happened since the last update?

First of all I got sick again (Giardiasis was playing up) but I staid at the small farm of Abdulaziz and his wife Nilrifar and after some nourishing shorpa, black grapes and Lauchai (thee with LOTS of sugar) they got me up my feet again in no time. Thanks for the hospitality :-) The next day I visited a wedding with my host and had a great time there. Sadly he next day it was time to say goodbye as Tajikistan was calling me.

Tajikistan, what can I say about it? First of all it is a vertical country with beautiful high mountains and steep gorges. And then there are the Tajik “roads” and they are the most awful, most disgusting, absolutely the WORST dirt ‘tracks’ I have EVER encountered. Flooded, sandy, bare rocks, earth slides, deep holes, small patches of asphalt with loose stones, you name it, they have it. To call them roads is to much, basically they are just gravel tracks with big holes with sometimes a lonesome piece of ancient soviet asphalt. To reach Dushanbe I had to cycle on these ‘roads’ and climb around 2000m to the top of the 3378m high Anzob pass, the main aim of my first days in Tajikistan. Because of this it took me 4 days to reach Dushanbe. Despite the steep serpentine climb and the very rough downhill (washboard all the way to Dushanbe, my poor butt) the ride was fantastic through deep gorges and high alpine like landscapes. You want the real stuff? Forget the alps and come to Tajikistan :-) Your butt will hurt a lot but the scenery and the people are just fantastic!

Now I am recovering at Goulya’s and Claire’s place and organising a lot of stuff before I leave in 1 or 2 days for the Pamir. Yesterday I had my last wisdom thooth pulled as it was rotten(they somehow had ‘forgotten’ to pull it the Netherlands) and it was quite different than in Europe. Here you go to a clinic with rows and rows of dentist chairs and on the beat of some Russian techno music they pull it out in no time. Costs: 55 somoni (around 20$). Furthermore I organised my Kirghiz visa and after a loooong search I finally located the embassy in a small back alley. It is located at 38 36.022N 068 46.989E. Can anybody tell me why they always hide all the the embassies in small alleys and such?

I also received my parcel with electronics from germany and one parcel for Toon (I will send it to Kashgar) and after installing all the electronics I can now charge all my batteries while cycling :-) 12V legpower is enough to charge 4 batteries in around 4 hour. Thank you Wolf!

I plan to leave tomorrow or the day after and will head for the Pamir. I will have to cross some mean passes (4000m+) but the road is supposed to be ‘good” although in some areas rather remote. I thus will do some shopping and by lots of cookies, rice, potatopowder, pasta and whatnot as stores are going to be scarce (around every 100km).
I will thus be without internet until the 1st or 2nd week of September when I hope to reach Kashgar so in the meantime enjoy the pictures of beautiful Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. 

Cycle the world,


  1. August 7th, 2007 | 19:26

    o lalaaaa - what kind of *roads* there are in the big wide world…
    so sorry for you!! but at last you passed them all, and it will be better and better.. only a little higher and higher *LOL* - crossing our fingers for you!!!!!!!!!!!! and will see you happy and successful in your next great aim..
    take care!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ify

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