The good news is we are at a lower altitude and it doesn’t feel like we’re freezing to death most of the time. The better news is we’ve experienced some of the most spectacularly scenic rides most of us ever will and we loved it. Forgotten are the steep climbs we had to endure and the cold, cold mornings. The only thing we remember is the view from the top of the climbs, the impressive mountains surrounding us after descending to the bottom, the plates of flowers next to the road and the beautiful azure of the Gunt River as we followed it downhill all the way to Khorog.
It has been a truly spectacular couple of days and as most of us bask in the Tajik sunshine with a cold beer in hand we can look back at this week with pride and joy. Riding on rough roads, at altitude in frigid temperatures has made for some of the toughest riding most of us have ever seen but it has been worth it.
There’s no such thing as a free lunch and we were made to work for the feeling of accomplishment we are feeling now but that makes the taste of success just so much sweeter.
Tomorrow we set off on the next leg of the journey toward the capital of Tajikistan, Dushanbe. We’ve learnt to never call a day easy before we are safely in camp, but the next week at least promises warmer temperatures, less climbing and more new scenery to marvel at. No amount of research could have prepared us for the scenes we are seeing every day and we can barely wait to see what’s next.
— Catharina Robbertze