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Korea, Russia, Stans To East Europe (page 55)

Bartang Valley Day 2

Rise and shine, stunning day to book, the tent heated up soon as the sun hit it, my romantic morning start broken quickly by a belly urge...not happy.

After belly urge sorted and breaky was downed we continued down the valley, the track getting narrower in places as the canyon tightened.

Stunning little villages dotted at this end of the valley

Riding down the valley one mountain stood out and just drew us in, Peak Lyapnazar towers 5990 metres and makes it presence felt whichever way you look at it. 

The upper end of the valley was smashed by a large earthquake in 1911 creating the world highest lake called Sarez-Lake so only half of the inhabitants are there now and only on the lower half.

The upper valley still bears the wounds from the large quake and many remains of shattered buildings are still a reminder of the power that took them down. 

She stands well up in the heavens
The road leading to the mountain included some river crossing, luckily the next river crossing had a bridge or it would have been awkward
Yeah ha, nice easy bit and 45 making easy work of it

We took the zig zag road to Rostov, the high village at the base of Peak Lyapnazar, on the way up we came across 4 Landcruiser taking a tour of fossils to the top, they had parked right in the middle of the track and usually probably never see another vehicle.

Given it was step I did not want to stop as it is difficult to get going again on a steep hill and at altitude so I rode along beside them up and over rocks much to their surprise, all worked ok and they took pics and video in amazement/amusement.

We were too early for lunch at their only guest house which does lunch so we peeled off back down the hill.  

There she is.
The small village of Rostov in the background

Scoffing our lunch which was dude fud of salami, cucumber, cheese, some cheese top bread and sitting with an epic view of the valley in the sun...perfect.

Still heading down we had 126 km to go to the end of the valley, the road in places carved from hard rock and the residue pushed into the bubbling mass of water to remake the road.

This meant mind on the job as a wheel on the wrong rock and skip of the side would see the bike disappear and it would be final. 

The river is right next to the road and in places the road is wet from the water
I can only imagine what happens in the winter here and more so the snow melt!

The road follows the river down and in some places climbs over bluffs, the lower end of the road is defo easier than the top and as we dropped elevation we gained vegetation so there are these cool we bits of paradise along the way.

This is typical at the lower end
Felix riding down one of the straighter sections

At certain points you just stop just to take in the weird things that are there, this small overhang with a lime waterfall was well cool. 

Yeap inside the waterfall, the things I do for you guys
Limey

No trip would be complete within a random smashed and stripped Lada, this is the demarcation point for the asphalt road from gravel road.

Felix jumped on top for a triumphant seat 

Young punks ....no respect for parked cars
Reflection of direction

The happy lads at the end of the valley, we hightailed down the main Pamir Highway which in essence is just a shitty of asphalt road in very bad condition, 498 km between fills, it will be interesting to see how much 45 takes to fill tomorrow. 

We win!!!!
Finally at Khorog we found a great hostel which was earned, we had a crazy cozmic cat flatmate who was very cool and playful.
Twomotokiwis
Author of this article: Twomotokiwis
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