First of all I would like to thank all friends, relatives and readers for the nice comments on the individual contributions. I am very pleased about the lively interest and this is sufficient incentive to continue to maintain the blog with full vigour.
The Fan-Mountains in the north of Dushanbe are the hiking paradise in Tajikistan and are considered an insider tip for exotic trekking tours. To get there, I had to go back through the infamous tunnel at the Anzob Pass. Nearly 6 kilometres and unlit, without road surface with deep water-filled holes and gullies, parked construction vehicles and other obstacles make the crossing a ghost train ride when there is oncoming traffic. As after a full bath in full gear, one drives down the mountain again, even if one remembers the single deep water depressions, by avoiding them, one surely finds a new, even deeper one.
Already when entering the tunnel, an approx. 60 cm deep paint on both sides blocks the way for vehicles with a lower wattage.
Iskander-Kul (Lake Alexander) – according to the legend created by Alexander the Great to destroy his enemies by flooding the valley.
Directly at the lake the presidential dacha – the Camp David of Tajikistan… and 200 m next to it in a small forest my dacha.
A few groupies – Kati is in demand as always
My goal was a hike of several days to the individual lakes around the Chimtarga, with almost 5,500 m the highest elevation in the Fansky-Gori. As starting point I had chosen the alpine camp of Artuch, on the way there I stopped in Kum, the last fortress of the Sogden Prince Dewastich. Here the Arabs destroyed the empire of the former rulers of Samarkand and Bukhara in 722.
The last remains of the fortress destroyed in battle. The ascent into the side valley of Kum first runs through a narrow, rugged gorge before you reach a wide, fertile valley
Shortly before Artuch you pass the grave of Rudaki, the founder of the modern languages Farsi (Iran), Darsi (Afghanistan) and Tajik (Tajikistan)
Off the main roads, driving in Tajikistan is only possible with jeeps or off-road trucks. River crossings, rocky passages, steep slopes and ramps as well as open terrain provide true off-road adventures. During the scarce week in the mountains I was already thoroughly wet every day on the motorbike from the early morning.
The alpine camp is located in Artuch – although built for Russian alpinists, it could just as well be in the Austrian or Swiss Alps. In the camp I met Stefan from Kufstein again by chance, with whom I had already spent two nights in Tbilisi / Georgia in the same guesthouse.
Stefan, in the middle of a group of Tajik tourists.
One of the owners of the alp camp celebrated a birthday party to which I was invited. The food was excellent and, like the vodka, available in large quantities. After I learned that a hike of several days was not possible due to the current snow conditions, it did not matter that I slept half of the next day by excessive consumption of the Russian national drink.
But I came a little bit to hike anyway. Unfortunately I could not see the Chimtarga, because the next day it started to rain.
In bad weather the decision was easy to make to drive a few valleys further. Shortly before the Uzbek border, a valley stretches southwards in which seven lakes are lined up in cascades. At the 3rd lake I met Helga and Karsten from Erlangen again – they are also on their way to Mongolia with their Merzedes G – we had slept together in Samarkand for a few nights in the same guesthouse. Together we had a day’s rest there, because it was raining all the time – the two of them were very well equipped and gave me princely food during my stay at the lake – thanks again for that.
During the drive up to the last of the Seven Lakes Kati and I had our first rollover together. Unlike me, the huge boulder had not ignored that I was travelling with side luggage. The collision with my aluminium suitcase while crossing a slope led to a film-like somersault – we both survived it relatively unscathed. During the rescue of Kati some inhabitants of a nearby village helped me.
As I still hadn’t seen the Chimtarga until now, I wanted to try it via Lake Alaudin. The ascent was pretty much the most exhausting I had experienced on my journey so far – 7 rivers and creeks to cross, rugged gorges, terrain softened by the rain and wet rocks – a real hard enduro passage.
This is where civilization ends – there are only a few shepherd villages without electricity or outside supplies – people live at one with nature.
Finally I reached my destination and could admire the highest mountains of the Fan Mountains at Alaudin Lake
Right Chimtarga, 5489m – left Peak Energija 5120m
Back in Dushanbe I met David, an English teacher from the local Technical University. He has been living here with his family for 7 years now and is happy about the old tires of my Kati.
David bought his bike from some world traveller in Afghanistan – it’s old but it rides.
Before going into the Pamir, the traces of the last slip in the mountains had to be removed – by the way, the crash bar had broken for the 5th time already.
Andrei, a Russian motorcycle specialist at work.
So, today I’m off to the Pamir, the most natural and at the same time the hardest stage of my journey. I have no idea when I’ll have the opportunity to post a few lines and photos on the blog again, but I’ll do it as soon as possible, of course.
See you next time.