Monday, October 13, 2008

Day 17 Ishkashim -- Khorog

Distance: 110kms

A hard but smooth day which had me in Khorog by 3pm. I endured one of the hardest-to-stomach breakfasts I have ever eaten: a large bowl of salty milk with a tablespoon of pure fat added for `taste'. I was instructed to soak bread in the liquid and eat the concoction and managed just over half a bowl. I retched with every gulp and no doubt slightly offended my hosts by not finishing the bowl.

On the road I saw more of Afghan village life than Tajik. As I went through one village a drunk guy grabbed me by the arm and invited me for vodka. When I refused he became aggressive and tried to pull me off the bike. Luckily, at that moment, a car came around the corner and distracted him. As he released his grip I pushed him away and pedalled away.

The final climb towards Khorog was brutal - 15% and almost 1.5kms. After six hours of riding all that was left was to find accommodation at the Pamir Lodge (of course it was at the top of a hill). The lodge had been built by a Pakistani scholar who was in residence and was an oasis. Set in lush gardens the lodge was incredibly relaxing. I was fed fresh bread on arrival, with fresh honey, and about a gallon of tea. I scrubbed up for the first time in almost a week and did same with cycling gear. It will be hard to leave here tomorrow and head back into the heat...

No comments: