Through the Pamirs down to Khorog

Khorog (Tajikistan), 06.06.2013
Never before did we have altitude sickness, and these days we’re suffering quite a bit from it. Slight headaches, pain in the arms, heavy breathing, extreme fatigue. Also the Range Rover didn’t recover today. What a pity this beautiful landscape has these side effects. We left Murghab at 09:30 after a stroll through the local market. Initially we made slow progress, the car and the roads don’t allow for much speed and we were in “panorama mood”, “look here!” and “did you see this and that?” At lunchtime we tried to stop several times to cook a hot soup, but the wind up here didn’t allow any gas stove fire. So we prepared a quick canned delicacies salad with fresh cucumbers.
As we stood at the side of the road we met two Swedish guys who are touring the area in their old Discovery, check out They had heard about us in Baku at Crystal Motors and here we met, on the Pamir Highway. They also had performance issues with their car and told us about other travelers hey had met and confirmed the same. While we spoke a the roadside a Toyota Land Cruiser passed, leaving behind a huge black smoke cloud. So much about the effect of the altitude on cars. But it was quite reassuring that it was not just our car that was making trouble.
We spent most of the afternoon driving along the highway. At some point the descent to lower valleys began, first trees appeared, grass, villages with proper houses. Spoilt by the high altitude plains and mountains we were bored by the greener landscape. We knew we had reached Khorog when we crossed a monument with an old soviet truck from the 1930’s, the first one to drive the entire Pamir Highway to this town. We stopped for some pictures and got back into the car. As the engine started again something had changed. The Range Rover had gotten his power back, the warnings were gone. We couldn’t believe this, the engine can do 4000-5000 rpm again, acceleration works, speed is back!!!
Khorog is nothing spectacular, just a mountain town with police station for visa changes, an afghan consulate that issues visas, ATMs to get cash, and little more. Contrary to what we expected we didn’t find any WiFi here. And the search for a restaurant also proved to be difficult, and the place we finally found was disappointing. As we ate, we debated our options to escape into the mountains ASAP again.

Trip data for the day
– Km driven: 326
– Hrs on the road: approx 8h
– Diesel l/100km: 9,1





Author: electroboris

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