“Hmmm… no not yet… no”
The sound of birds have just woken me up and the sun is already relentlessly hot. I’m lying on the tapchan (sorry no English wiki article) in the garden of my hosts. My head felt alright which is a wonder concerning all the empty bottles lying around. I vaguely remembered that we danced in the garden until the police came and hammered at the door until we were quiet. Police - party poppers as always.
So this was the beginning of my recovery week in Dushanbe. I did this and that. Cooking in a proper kitchen was a highlight for example. So far on the trip it was seen as an insult if I wanted to help in the kitchen even though I stressed that I would love to learn some local recipes.
After I had done my stuff for the day I went to the hostel and helped my fellow cyclist with their bicycle repairs. I somehow made myself a name as a handyman with everything that has to do with bicycles. So I spent my afternoons fixing broken wheels, finding spare parts, welding frames and fitting bicycles to the rider's anatomy. I really enjoyed this especially because the payment was in form of beer.
So when I finally left for the mountains I felt relaxed, motivated and full of energy.
From here on I will let pictures do most of the talking - they just capture the magnitude of this place much better than any writing.
We decided to cycle the so called northern route via the Saghirdasht pass from Dushanbe to Khorog which is infamous for being in bad condition and steep. The beauty of this route is that it is momentarily not passable by car. So no traffic to worry about - what a treat!