Days Km: 120, Total Km: 11122
Back in Dushanbe we were finally treated to some good luck. Firstly we arrived back just in time to enjoy a burger at the ‘Pub. Secondly we met a lovely and truly courageous german girl, Lea riding around the world solo on her triumph, i thought we where tough. additionally she had a spare 21 inch tube she very graciously gave us. And thirdly we met a lovely Italian couple that would be joining us for Pamir take 3. Yes take 2 also failed but you’re bloody going to have to read to the end for a change to find out why and not just look at the pretty pictures..
So with new tubes and bellies full of burger it was time to hop in another 12 hour taxi back to our lonely bikes. This time a bit of an upgrade on the share taxi front, we got a land cruiser! They still crammed us in however. And so with cramped legs but fresh smiles we arrived back at our bikes in the late evening and got to work getting them whole again. Once done it was then straight to bed, by bed I mean floor, with excited anticipation to get back on the road the next morning!
The first day of new tubes was a nice easy one to Khorog the town we were originally aiming for 3 days earlier. It was great yet tentative riding. Waiting for the inevitable wiggle of the handle bars that precedes a flat after every bump we hit. All the friendly smiles and excitable children soon had us relaxing however and we managed to finish the day with happy hearts as we pulled into the Pamir lodge.
Not much to report here, a day of laundry and rest. Chatting to all the the other fellow travellers passing through.
So the first stop after Khorog was a quick hop to the hot springs 30km away before pushing on further down into the waykan corridor. You’re never going to guess what happened next. I’ll give you a hint.. Bruce’s rear wheel… Yup a flat. Just as we rolled into the springs..
Not to let a silly thing like our 15th puncture get us down we patched it up, or in this case put a slightly wrong sized tube in and hope for the best, then proceeded to allow the sulphurous spring ease our woes. Voluntarily at first and then rather forcefully when the locals wouldn’t let us out as we hadn’t been in long enough.
It wasn’t long after that the day turned from not great to pretty bad.
There’s something about the look of a two wheeled motorcycle that makes dogs in the part of the world absolutely bonkers.. or perhaps its a certain tone below the audible range created by the bike that drives them crazy but either way when riding past even the most placid dog it becomes a mad chase of vicious barking canines. Today those canines caught up to my leg. Fortunately due to the protective riding gear no serious damage was done and all I have to show for it is a slightly bruised leg, a very tiny cut, some wholes in my riding pants and a ripped pair of board shorts that were hanging on the back of the bike to dry, which where probably the saddest loss as I now find myself completely short-less..
Unfortunately the bugger did break the skin and draw blood with those very impressive canines of his. So whilst I’m almost certain he wasn’t rabid, getting hit over the head by Bruce with a rock as our plastic tent mallet would probably take too long, whilst I froth at the mouth on the side of the road is not exactly how I pictured I’d go. So on top of it all we now have to juggle being in half decent cities on the right dates for my 6 scheduled rabies vaccinations.
For anyone traveling through Central Asia on a motorcycle I’d recommend a precautionary shot. It seems every blighter out here wants to eat us.
And so back we limped to Khorog. Bruce with his rear wheel slowly deflating again, and me imagining how I was going to spend my last 2 weeks of sanity before I turned into a Zombie…