Day 7 Pamir Highway - Off to Murghab

Published: April 24th 2018
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It is 220km from Bulunkul Lake to Murghab, but with the sealed highway it only took us 3.5 hrs with a couple of stops; one at the 'holy' pond of the white fish spring, a freshwater spring pond full of fish, a little hut next to it serves up the fish, but it was too early in the day for us to contemplate eating so we passed.

It was strange to be on seal after so many days of rough unsealed road, even if some parts were not so good. The scenery was pretty cool - typical high altiplano, but we've been a bit spoilt lately so it didn't blow us away.

Murghab sits at 3,618m, and with Khorog, is the only town in the Pamirs. It's known as one of the few points of civilisation, although a question of definition could be raised. It is on Kyrgyz time, one hour ahead of Tajik time. We're also now seeing a lot of men wearing Kyrgyz hats.

The guidebook is not very complimentary, but we like it. It has pretty white buildings sat at the bottom of some hills. We explored the container bazaar - literally shops in all sorts of containers but mainly small shipping containers. There's also a Lenin statue and a war memorial which looks to be for the 2nd World War and we had a walk out of town down one of the nearby valleys.

There is one hotel, the other options are homestays, but we still have plenty of homestays to come and we are at the point where we really just want a room with a door we can lock and a proper bed. It smells damp which we realised must be because they wet the carpet to keep the dust down. But the showers are really hot and the beds really comfy which made up for the terrible barely warm food. The place is buzzing with travellers - Mongol rally guys, bikes, people like us in rented 4WDs and drivers and hitchhikers and everything in between.

Additional photos below
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25th April 2018

Murghab Shipping Container Market
Really cool pic. I only saw it at dawn where only 3 dogs and a couple of guys setting up were around. Their way of protecting their goods from the dust storms I saw examples of and the numbing cold of winter.
29th April 2018
Murghab container market

The container market
A unique experience.

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