I can see tarmac!! No! I was dreaming...

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November 1st 2013
Published: November 1st 2013
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Cycling around Bulunkul, in the Pamirs.

The area around Bulunkul is one of the loveliest in the Pamir area. Most tourists call it the Lake Area. After 5 tough days on the Wakhan Valley with Sacha, we decided to cycle the loop within a day and made it but, once again in the Pamir, it was very challenging! We expected the 35km to be smooth and easy but it was all up and down with extremely sharp up hills in sand or gravel. We were kind of lucky because it didn’t rain or it wasn’t foggy in the morning, but unfortunately no blue sky, which would have completely enhanced the colors of the lakes. Next time?

The best thing about the Bulunkul Lake Area was that we were absolutely alone. After stopping for tea, bread and yoghurt in the village of Bulunkul, we rode off into the desert and it was just the 2 of us for hours. You will see the pictures and understand what I am talking about. The scenery was a bit different from other parts of the Pamir with wide flat spreads of ochre desert and tall mountains far away in the background. When suddenly, out of nowhere, we ran into Peter (from Germany) and James (from the US) we had met in Khorog. While we were on the Wakhan Valley, they had followed the main road so they reached Bulunkul before us even though they left Khorog 2 days after we did. It’s funny that in this part of the world you end up meeting mostly foreigners, and usually the same people over and over.

I would highly recommend the Lake Area to anyone who intends to travel the Pamir. There are beautiful places to camp next to the lakes with thick grass and clear streams that provide water to drink, cook or bathe… Watch for mosquitoes though!

Voici une des plus jolies régions du Pamir au Tadjikistan. Malheureusement le ciel était un peu gris lors de notre passage. J’étais toujours en compagnie de Sacha, de Genève. Apres 5 belles mais difficiles journées sur la Vallée Wakhan le long de l’Afghanistan, nous étions fatigués mais voulions vraiment visiter cette région des lacs autour de Bulunkul. Comme c’était juste un petit tour de 35km, nous pensions pouvoir le faire aisément dans la journée. Nous l’avons fait, mais pas aisément car ca montait rude, avec beaucoup de sable ou de gravier (et puis Sacha avance comme un papy ;-) En tout cas, ce fut une belle journée au milieu du désert et des grands espaces. C’était un peu mon « Paris-Dakar » et je pense que vous comprendrez plus a la vue des photos. Un des moments les plus drôles de la journée fut, qu’au milieu de nulle part, nous nous sommes retrouvé nez à nez avec nos amis Peter et James (allemand et américain) que nous avions rencontré a Khorog auparavant. Alors que Sacha et moi étions sur la Wakhan (et son sable), Peter et James empruntaient la grande route et alors qu’ils étaient partis 2 jours après nous, ils sont arrives à Bulunkul avant nous. Dans cette région du monde en été, on rencontre beaucoup d’étrangers sur la route, et en général on se rencontre plusieurs fois (Peter et James m’ont ensuite rejoint a Karakol, et un mois après je reverrai Peter en plein cœur de Bishkek au Kirghizstan).

La route continue au Tadjikistan…

Additional photos below
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Sacha from Geneva
the ugly competition is open!the ugly competition is open!
the ugly competition is open!

Peter (Germany), James (USA), Sacha (Switzerland), Jeremy (Tajikistan!)

1st November 2013

Ha ha !
Il est au top ton ami !
2nd November 2013

We love your blogs
We are fans. What a wonderful experience.

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