準備完了, ready to go
Finally, I got my all visas ready. It took me total 2 weeks in Dushanbe. I'm very happy to get out of my headache of visas. Uzbek visa took 6 days and cost me $20. Turkmenistan visa took 7 days and cost $55.


In here, Adventure's inn, I met many interesting people; Japanese back packer, Shimo-san and UK cyclist, Jamy who I met in Cambodia. Japanese cyclists, Wataru kun, Mogi kun and Akira san. I had a lot of fun with them.

Akira san, on the road for 9 years so far, has a super heavy bike, 100kg!!. It looks a track.

Wataru, cycling around the world and also same age, makes a movie. It must be seen.

For about my schedule for next 2 month, heading west to the Uzbek border and going straight to Bukhara. I will leave my bike at a guest house and take a taxi or bus to Xiva. Come back to Bukhara by 12th and will get into Turkmenistan on 13th. Then cross desert in 5 days and got into Iran on 17th. Until middle of Oct, I will be cycling in Iran.

Many tourist told me that Iran was really nice country, so I'm super looking forward to seeing around this country.

Now, I got too relaxed so need to push myself a bit to take off. The border is about 60km away from here. I am going to Uzbekistan once again, but going with my bike in this time.
[2012/08/28 21:11 ] | Tajikistan | Comments:(0) | Trackbacks:(0) | page top↑
Visas in Dushanbe, ドゥシャンベでのビザ
I came back to Dushanbe from Tashkent on last Saturday. It took me 16 hours by bus and taxi. I used the border nearby Khujand in this time. This border was also crowded by local people. There were a bit stressing mood; I saw some workers shouting and through passport of Tajik, Tajik out side of custom fighting each-other . For me as tourist, it was okay, so I went through without any problem.


Now, I'm staying Adventure's inn again and it's day 3. Here is many Japanese tourists so im enjoying talking and sharing meal with them.

Today was a day for working on my visa. I visited embassy of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Those will take 1 week processing. I'm hoping to get those on time next Tuesday.

For Azerbaijan visa, I could get today since I had applied before I went to Tashkent.

I will be very happy to be out of my headache for visas after getting ready for Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan visas.

Well, what I should do until next Tuesday....
[2012/08/21 07:52 ] | Tajikistan | Comments:(0) | Trackbacks:(0) | page top↑
Annoying visa, 面倒なビザ
My guest house here is Adventur's inn that is on the lonely planet. This is popular because the owner allow us to put tent, $6/night, in this property. There are no cheep accommodation in Dushanbe so this guest house is a bit over crowded.


Also, Pamir is still closed for tourist so many cyclists stay here to wait for the road get opened.

In Dushanbe, I need to apply Turkmenistan transit visa.

From now, a bit complicated explanation.

For getting Turkmenistan transit visa, I must have a visa for next country you go which can be Iran, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.

For my case, next country after Turkmenistan will be Iran. However, I must apply Iran visa in Tashkent, Uzbekistan (for getting Iran visa, need to get letter of invitation, LOI from Iranian agent. Must contact them and they gave you reference number which you apply with it in a embassy). I have a reference number but it's only for Tashkent. Cannot be changed.

Because of that reason, I came up an idea; applying Turkmenistan visa with Azerbaijan visa. My friend told me that it is easy to apply Azerbaijan visa in Dushanbe and takes only 2 days.

However, when I went to Azerbaijan embassy, a person in charge had been on his holiday. He won't come back soon. There were another guy working on visa. He told me I could get a visa in 3 days but even though I wait for 4 days, I couldn't get it. Even he asked me other document to prove my hotel reservation after 4 days waiting. Seems I need to wait more.

So that, I decided to go Tashkent in advance by car and get Iran visa first. Then come back to Dushanbe to apply Turkmenistan visa with it.

The reason why I want to apply Turkmenistan visa here, not Tashkent is that it takes 3 weeks at least in Tashkent and some people won't get it. This is the worst place to apply.


[2012/08/10 22:40 ] | Tajikistan | Comments:(0) | Trackbacks:(0) | page top↑
Dushanbe, ドゥシャンベ
Took 4 days for 300km from Kuala Khumb to Dushanbe. I got now into Dushanbe. The road was unexpectedly harder than Pamir Highway and the road in Wakhan. I think this road might be destroyed anytime by river. Now, Im in a big town so can refill my energy here. I think I lost some weight because Tajikistan was not good place to enjoy food...I need meattttt...


[2012/08/05 22:04 ] | Tajikistan | Comments:(0) | Trackbacks:(0) | page top↑
Going Along Panj River, パンジ川沿いを行く
Keep cycling along Panj river flowing Afganistan border. The elevation went down to 1300m now. Its a bit too hot to sleep. Before about 2 weeks ago, I slept in sleeping bag. Now, I can't sleep with it. Dushanbe where I am heading is about 800m upper sea-level, so it must be very hot. I don't want to go....

ひたすらアフガニスタン国境をパンジ川沿いに進む。現在標高1300m前後、気温もうなぎ上り。2週間前までテントの中で寝袋に包まってたのに、今じゃ暑くて寝苦しいくらい。ドゥシャンベは海抜800m、暑いだろうな(´Д` )

Now, I'm staying at a guest house in Kuala Khumb. It is right be a river so nice place to relax. However, I got my body bite by bed-bugs. It itches a lot....

[2012/07/30 21:46 ] | Tajikistan | Comments:(0) | Trackbacks:(0) | page top↑
After Gun Shooting in Khorog, 銃撃戦後のホーログ
Cycled about 40km. I reached Khorog. I originally thought to take a day off here, but this is absolutely not the right time to be....


There were many bullet marks on some buildings in city center, barricades on the street and armored vehicles blocked the roads. It was very strange atmosphere.

I heard that the gun shooting has been stopped because the Tajik government and gangs started negotiation. However, the gun shooting might start anytime. I should go through here as soon as possible.

In town, I got some food quirky and left here.

Today, I cycled another 40km and stopped at a place where many apricot trees were. I ate a lot of apricots. Tajik are always fun.

After Khorog, the atmosphere became normal. Looks it is only Khorog problem. The all way of communication network have been cut still. I wonder when I can use Internet.... Seems Tajik government really wants to hide this circumstance.
[2012/07/29 21:35 ] | Tajikistan | Comments:(0) | Trackbacks:(0) | page top↑
Hot spring once again, 温泉再び
Today, I received a good ? news. Seems the gun shooting has been stopped now; the troops opened the town. I saw many taxis going Khorog in this morning. All backpackers took off not to miss this chance.


So that, I decided to take off but not to Khorog. I will visit a hot-spring again because the distance to Khorog was too long to make in one day. On the way to Khorog, I should check the situation very carefully.

In this time, I visited the place called Garmchashma, 70km from Ishkashim and 6km from main road.

The way to there, the valley became narrower. Panj river became more rough, and more easy to see Afghanistan side now.

The kids have been very friendly. They suddenly start running towered me once they saw my bike and tried to talk.

In Garmchashma, the first thing I saw was a big lime stone sculpture and smell of sulfur. I checked in a cheep hotel near hot-spring at first and then went to a spring.
ガルム・チャシマに到着するとまずデカイ石灰棚が目につき、硫黄の臭いがプンと鼻につく。まずは温泉目の前の安宿にチェックイン 30ソムニ。

This spring remind me Kusatu hot spring in Japan; a lot of sulfur spring coming out. I went to a inside bath at first. They don't have time limit so i could relax more.
草津を思い出す。硫黄泉がガンガン出てる。まずは室内風呂。泉温 40度くらいで丁度良いし、時間制限無しだからゆっくりできる。

Then next was a bath outside. The bath was huge and full of big guys. There were about 50 of big Tajik guys without shade on their stuff. I couldn't take any photos because too many people looking at me.

Most of them kept watching me but I went to the bath. Expectedly, I was surrounded by many big guys, and they asked me so many questions, like where are you from, where are you going, why you don't shave your under hair, etc.... It was kind of fun to communicate with such big Tajik guys in naked. Japanese call "Hadakano Tukiai" for going bathing with other naked people.

I enjoyed the hot spring where I went Wakhan Valley but this one was more fun. Also your skin will get very smooth.
[2012/07/27 22:31 ] | Tajikistan | Comments:(0) | Trackbacks:(0) | page top↑
Ishkashim, イシュカシム
I got to Ishkashim. Then first of all I found a guesthouse nearby a bazar that locals told me. Actually it was on lonely planet so I met many backpackers there. I was surprised after checking a guest book that one of my friends had stayed here


I got a bad news unexpectedly here. There were gun shooting going on in Khorog, where I need to go through, since a week ago. I met couple of backpackers who just got out of Khorog, and they told me that this circumstance has been happened over the drugs. There were police and troops in the town, and they closed all town. Basically, No one can go out and in. In here, Ishkashim, I met some who were waiting for the road open. However, this problem is getting over now according to locals and backpackers I met. They told me that most of stores already started opening and were getting back normal. But not hundred percent sure if this is true or not and also no way to find out informations by myself because all Internet connection and phone had been cut off by government...Now, I know why I didn't see any cyclists on the way here...

Khorog is the place I must go through to go to Dushanbe; there are no other route to get west. I must find out a right information...I might need to stay here longer.
[2012/07/26 22:02 ] | Tajikistan | Comments:(0) | Trackbacks:(0) | page top↑
Hot spring in Wakhan, ワハンの温泉
There were no many cars running along Wakhan valley as well. This is pretty quiet place. Wakhan has more green and cultivated lands, compare with Pamir highway.


There are always people's life where streams and branch of the river come out of mountains. Seems people had been in this valley since long time ago as the rock painting i saw shows. Also I saw a historical evidence of Buddhism; Buddhist caves and Stupa.


Wakhan has more things to see. There were hot springs everywhere along this valley. From Langar, I saw 3 different springs in different place. Springs are drinkable, and I will say springs were carbonic springs. Those places were kind of where local communicate; I saw local chatting at a spring and drinking.

Today, I cycled until noon and decided to hike up to a mountain to visit a hot spring. The village nearby was Yamchun, 40km from Langar. Fortunately, i met a local family at this village and could leave my stuff at their home while I was visiting the hot spring.
この日は午前中だけ走って、午後は聖なる?温泉 ビビ・ファティーマまで山を登る事にした。場所はランガルから西へ40キロのヤムチュン村。ヤムチュン村では運良く良い家族に拾われて、自転車なんかはこの家族の家に置かせてもらう事ができた。

On the way there, it took me 2.5 hours around. Looked could go up by a car but I walked; many local just walked on trail. There was an old castle wall left at the top of cliff. This was more amazing than I expected. It was like a castle flowing in the sky..

The Hot spring was in between cliffs, and seems spring coming out of this cliff. I was surprised how they built this building.

Looked this hot spring was famous in Wakhan, so there was many locals. They charged only foreigners? So I payed 10 somni (about $1.5) at an entrance.

It was 20min shift system; men and women. When I went there, it was time for women. I waited 10min for all women to be out.

Once got into a building, there was dressing space and a tab behind.

It was very impressing; a lot of hot spring was coming out of rock surface above.


I had been without bathing and shower for more than 2 weeks, so It was super nice.


After taking a bath, I hiked down to the village. Tonight I stayed at the local family where I left my bike.

By the way, I haven't seen cyclists since the interception of Pamir Highway. it's a bit strange...
[2012/07/25 20:31 ] | Tajikistan | Comments:(1) | Trackbacks:(0) | page top↑
To Wahan valley, ワハン渓谷へ
On the way to Wakhan, there were very few cars that passed me. I even didn't see any cars for today. I think that no many people need to go Murghab from here.


Kept cycling along Afganistan border. The valley was very deep and surrounded by over 5000m high mountain range. The road was very rough but no complains since the view was nice enough.

Took 2 days to get Wakhan Valley from the intersection of Pamir Highway.

I met a local Tajik family at the first village, Langr, and stayed at over night. Father with 3 boys works as a miner. He showed me some metals such as ore of ruby.


There were ancient rocks arts on north slope of mountain in this village. A huge granite rock was full of arts. However, some were just drawing recently someone wrote.

In here, people became more Iran looking; they have blue eyes and not Asian looking. According to my guide book, they belong to different group of Tajik. They are called "Wahi" and Ismail group of muslims. They don't have mosques and play; not normal Muslims. I think they are even close to animism since they enshrine hot-spring etc... I am lucky that I don't face on problem over Ramadan; its started 20th of this month.
[2012/07/24 18:23 ] | Tajikistan | Comments:(0) | Trackbacks:(0) | page top↑
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