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Korea, Russia, Stans To East Europe (page 56)

Shahdara Valley Day 1

Crazy, hard, bad road….they were some of the words being echoed as to why I shouldn’t go.

Looking at the red rag as every crazy bull does made me want to see it more.

Felix was up for it so plan A was stuck too, I have my powerful antibiotics and zinc pills, charcoal pills and some cheap whiskey so I was ready to take on anything.

The first part of the valley is asphalt, broken and potholed with gravel stretched in between, soon enough we were clear of the town and stopped for a lunch break, even in the middle of nowhere I had 4G service to catch up with Ellen which was well cool.

Already looking good
This is where we disappeared into the trees...was nice and shaded

Wasn’t long before we hit the mountain and gorge scenery which was reward enough already, our first POI was Lake Ozero Drum Kul which invloved a reasonable zig zag detour, we met a truck coming down the road so we gave choice really LOL

Size does matter .....he won

Making it nearly to the top Felix was leading and took a wrong turn and we ended up in someones back yard, she (the lady) was not happy but the dudes were curious about us so there was an uneasy sortof but not quite welcome, we turned around to go up the proper track which ended up only 20 meters from where we had gone nonetheless we had corrected things.

This is what curious looks like

The valley terrain that greeted us was very abrupt and stunning, we then had to walk about 40 minutes over the moraine that blocked and formed the new lake. This came about from the 1911 earthquake which shredded the mountains of Tajikistan, the volume that came down utterly immense.

The other one that was formed called Sarez Lake which was the biggest impact from the quake, makes for very interesting reading. 

Felix wasnt feeling great and me getting better from parasitic food poisoning we were a right pair of old farts. 

Towards the lake
Looking back down the valley we had come up.
Fossil and old decide who is who

Our walk was rewarded with some great views and a relax in the sun.

Looking slightly healthier
The bigger picture

Finishing our walk the aim was hot pools further up the valley, we arrived just a little late to find them as we had to set camp and cook however the scenery along the way not too shabby

The night started off warmish but we were at 3982 metres and it did not take long to chill down very fast, at 4.00am I had to put on longjohns and my beanie, the morning proving the cold as the 5 Litre water bag on the bike was frozen.

N o i c e

When we arrived just on dusk there was a stiff breeze so we set up in an animal camp, was good shelter until the breeze backed off but of course is froze down hard.

Camp, photo taken in the morning and I was already packed.

Brilliant sunshine pushed me outa bed as my tent was on the sunny side of our "yard" ....Felix was still under the covers so I went for an exploratory walk and found the hot spring, I piled in and it was shoulder deep, I couldn’t have had a better start to the chilly day with being warmed through from the hot water and in the sun.

The small hot pool, about 1 x 1 metre and 800 deep
The view...awesome
Author of this article: Twomotokiwis