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↑
the last 4000m pass, 最後の4000m越え
Left Murghab after taking a day off. The home-stay where stay charged me everything including Chay and Bread I had, so I payed about $12/day unexpectedly; normally, Chay and Bread are free. I payed anyway without complain.


From here, will keep going on Pamir Highway for awhile and then take a secondary road going Wakhan Valley.

As my opinion of Pamir highway so far, it's much easier than I expected; mostly paved and it's pretty much easy ride once got up high elevation. Even though there were not much upping down, the view was absolutely incredible. Now I know why so many cyclists come.

From Murghab.

At the day second since i left Murghab, I passed Khargush pass, 4344m. This pass was on the secondary road going to Wamhan Valley, and it was pretty rough in some sections. This pass should be the last pass over 4000m. I don't think I will go up such high pass in this whole trip. I can't imagine how many times I passed over 4000m so far.....
ムルガブ出発2日目、ワハンに抜けるルートに入った。ダートで結構しんどい。ここで、Khargush 峠4344mを越えた。これがおそらく今回の旅最後の4000m越えになるんじゃないかと思われる。ワハン渓谷は標高2700m前後だし、その後はドゥシャンべまでひたすら高度は下がる予定。いったいこれまで何回4000m越えしたんだろう。見当もつかない。

The secondary road. Power line was disappeared.

Khargush pass.

I camped out by the Bank of Pamir river that divides Tajikistan and Afghanistan. I got tired of eating fish cans so started cooking real food recently. Today, I cooked vegetable soup. I used a easy cook seasoning from Rossia that I bought in Bazar. This worked very nicely.

[2012/07/23 18:46 ] | Tajikistan | Comments:(0) | Trackbacks:(0) | page top↑
To Murghab via Acbaital Pass, アクバイタル峠を通りムルガブへ
It was true that Pamir highway was cyclist's heaven. Ive seeing at least one cyclist everyday. For cars, i don't see much; one or two every 2h.


Pamir is like a complex of dry brown mountains, pure blue sky and white cloud. There were pretty much soundless once I stopped. I felt that this place is like the way of a heaven. Actually, the average elevation of Pamir is over 4000m.

After Karakyul lake, I passed the pass named Akbaital. It was 4650m and my highest record for passing a pass with gravel road by bicycle. When I passed Akbaital, it was snow a day before. I camped out right before the pass so my tent got snow in the morning. However, it was very nice to cycle along the snowy mountains next day.

Then, I reached the first decent town, Murghab. There were many homestay which cost mostly $6/night. I picked one. They were nice Kyrgyz family and take care of me a lot.

In this town, people are mostly Kyrgyz. When you check the world map, you see very complexed borders in these areas. I think histoliculy, this area has been a melting-pot. According to Kyrgyz, Pamir belongs to Kyrgyzstan. Tajik says south west of Uzbek belongs to Tajik. Uzbek says part of Kyrgyz, Jalalabird where I stopped, belongs to Uzbek. Seems those countries "Stan" don't have good relationship. However, it's fun to go through this area with thinking about how people create history.
[2012/07/19 23:16 ] | Tajikistan | Comments:(0) | Trackbacks:(0) | page top↑
Pamir Highway, パミールハイウェイ
A road going towered to Tajikistan from Sary Tash is called Pamir Highway. I'd been thinking to cycle this road for long time.


I got known about this road when I cycled north America, 2009. A cyclist told me that there was a very beautiful area in Central Asia; Pamir.


Since then, I'd never forgotten about this area. This was one of the "MUST" area for me.


17000km and 10 month from at the beginning, I finally reached this road.


The day of leaving Sary Tash was perfect. I started cycling on Pamir Highway.


25km from Sary Tash, there was Kyrgyz border control. Tajikistan immigration is 20km away from there, and I must have cycled cross a pass.


This pass was over 4000m. It's been long time since I did such highpass. On the way up, the view was very nice so I took so many photos.


After the pass, I'm already in Pamir highland. The contrast of dry mountains, high snowy mountain range and crear blue sky was incredible. This was exact what I check about Pamir by google earth.

峠を越えると、そこはタジキスタンはパミール高原。乾いた大地と雪山、真っ青な空には綿飴のような雲がポツポツと広がっている。それは正に、Google earthを使って見ていたパミール高原そのものだった。

At the first day, I camped out nearby Karakyol lake. This lake was very beautiful so I stopped at local guest house next day and stayed one night instead of keep going.


Well, how I should make a route in Tajikistan.

[2012/07/17 19:16 ] | Tajikistan | Comments:(0) | Trackbacks:(0) | page top↑
Out of Kyrgyz, キルギス最後
The hospitality of Kyrgyz became a bit too much for me after Osh. Especially for kids, they were always trying to talk or chase me whenever I passed a village. They sometime tried to high-five. It's exactly what they knew from westerns. It reminds me Kids in Lao acting same way.


I will be out of Kyrgyz soon. I cycled couple of days from Osh and reached to a village, Sary Tash, where an immigration of Kyrgyz is.

From Osh, since Osh is in Falgana basin, I cycled up mostly. There were couple of big passes, and snowy mountain ranges between Kyrgyz and Tajikistan was appeared after passing the last pass. Sary Tash is 3000m upper sea-level, so it's quite cold. I wanted to use all of my Kyrgyz Som and it was cold, so I stayed at a guest house at the end of my stay in Kyrgyz.

I stayed in Kyrgyz for 34 days total. I was supposed to stay here for about 2•3weeks at beginning, but I ended up such long time because so many things to do here; mostly outdoor stuff. I really recommend this country for people who like outdoor.
[2012/07/16 19:15 ] | Kyrgyzstan | Comments:(0) | Trackbacks:(0) | page top↑
Osh, オシュ
50km from Jalala bird, the road became pavement. I felt thank for how pavement is nice for cycling. From this point, the road was joined with Osh highway. However, the traffic became much heavier, and many crazy drivers go very fast.


Many cyclists go on Osh highway. I think my route is better even though it's very difficult; better than this cars on Osh highway.

Anyway, I'm now in Osh. The first thing I did.....was ...

I've been thinking to get my hair cut...very nice.

The life in Kyrgyzstan is done soon. I was supposed to stay in Kyrgyz for 3 weeks but will end up about 5 weeks. I take a day off here and will leave tomorrow. Then next is Tajikistan. It's 3 days away from here
[2012/07/14 11:57 ] | Kyrgyzstan | Comments:(3) | Trackbacks:(0) | page top↑
One a very rough road, 険しい道のり
It was very hard work on the way to Jalala Bird.


The road was loose gravel and rough in many sections, and there were a lot of upping down. I normally don't complain but this time was not... At the last pass between Kazarman and Jalala Bird, I took a whole day to just go up.

However, the view and people were so nice!! I got invited for drinking horse milk, Kumus, many times.

On the way down from Son Kyol lake.

This is how switch-buck is like... I was pleased that I didn't need to go up on this...but this afternoon,, I needed to go up again in similar switchback .

Pretty dry in south of Son Kyol.

Grassland again on a top of pass, people let me stay at their summer home. People and animals in grassland do same; laing down on grassland which is the best way to relax...

The last pass between Kazarman and Jalala bird.

From the pass, keep going down till Jalala bird. I had a big lunch with meat and Coca-Cola...so nice..

In this area, more Uzbek lives. Family I stayed at Jalala bird was also Turkish Uzbek. They are looking different from people in north and east of Kyrgyzstan. They are still nice..

[2012/07/13 15:50 ] | Kyrgyzstan | Comments:(0) | Trackbacks:(0) | page top↑
To Son Kyol, ソンキョルへ
To Son Kyol lake, need to go 50km from Kochkor and turn right at an intersection. Then keep going on the gravel road.


On the way there, I met a Japanese I met at the Guesthouse in Kochkor before I met Eric. We had a bottle of vodka at a night.

Also I encountered many tourists in Kochkor I had met before in Kyrgyzstan. What a small country Kyrgyz is.


On the way Son Kyol, there was only one steep pass. Then will see the lake. For compared with Kalakol, it's more glass land. I cycled the gravel road on this glass land along the lake.

I think the way to enjoy this place is more to relax on this glass land rather than hiking mountains and swimming which might be too cold.

There were many Yorts, the nomads tents, on this areas. I was many times asked for Kumus break. Kumus is a drink made out of horse milk. It tastes strange but can be addictive after awhile.

People I met on the way, 道中で会った人

Getting horse milk, Kumus. クムス取り

I stayed one night there. I stayed at nomad's tent I found on my way. This tent seems very strong, and it was warm inside.

It was very nice ride along this lake.
[2012/07/09 08:45 ] | Kyrgyzstan | Comments:(0) | Trackbacks:(0) | page top↑
The reason I stopped in Kochkor is to see my friend, Eric, from Sweden.


I met him when I did a bike tour in north America. At that time, we met at a parking area in Washington state and camped out there together.


Photo from 2009.当時の写真

He was on the way to NewYork from Oregon. Since he bought old cheep bike in Oregon, he got a lot of trouble; 12 times massive puncture at the date when I met him.
He was very annoyed and almost give up.

However, eventually, he made it to NewYork.

We kept in touch since then. After we found that we would start another bike trip, we check updates each other. We promised to meet up somewhere on the way.

After few month later when I started in Bali, he left Stockholm. In last a few month, we decided to meet up in Kyrgyzstan.

This is kind of the memorial day for us. I was waiting for him at the tourist information center in Kochkor. Then I heard someone said "I'm looking for a Japanese cyclist". I immediately knew it was Eric. He was nothing changed; tall and good looking guy.
そんな記念すべき今日、やっとエリックと再開を果たす事ができた。ツーリストインフォメーションセンターで待っていると「I am looking for a Japanese cyclist」という声が聞こえ、すぐにエリックだとわかった。相変わらずデカくてイケメンなのは変わらない。

We had a big hug and started a lot of conversation; about the route so fat, on the way to his distention. About deportation he got in Turkmenistan. about cycling Iran etc....

After changing the place to talk, we kept talking with drinking beers...what we had in last 3 years etc...

There were no reason to stop conversations. We had a lot to talk. However, he needs to fly back home in few days for his stuff, and I need to go to Tajikistan soon because the visa will be started soon. We had a only one day reunion.

We met only 2 times , but I felt he was my long time friend. I had a really good time with him.

After he return to Bishkek from Stockholm in few weeks, he will start cycling again. His distention is Singapore. We promised "Either of us should visit Stockholm or Japan and stay awhile to make more conversation" and took off different way...
[2012/07/06 08:35 ] | Kyrgyzstan | Comments:(0) | Trackbacks:(0) | page top↑
about Fish cans from Russia etc...ロシアのカンズメについて等
Ive been having a bit of trouble for explanation of what I want to say in their language. Since I went through many countries, the words are some time mixed up with different languages; Russian, Indonesia, English and Mandarin.


「これ」をロシア語で表現したいのに、「This!!」no no no「イニ!!」no no「ティガ!!」no「エタ!!」Yes!!みたいな。


Anyways, I am now in Kochkor after cycling south road of the lake.

The water of south side was even more clear than north. It's very nice to jump into the water after cycle.

In this time, I camped out for 2 days on the way because I wanted to camp on the beech. I found while camping that cans of fish from Russia were very very delicious. There are many kinds at a store, and all were very good.

I thought that the food of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan were not my favorite, so I think it's better to eat cans foods than meals in restaurants.

For about food, China was awesome; cheep, delicious and big portion. I missed Chinese food.

I wish I can expect nice food in countries where im going to on my way but don't think there will be soon.....
[2012/07/05 08:41 ] | Kyrgyzstan | Comments:(0) | Trackbacks:(1) | page top↑
| HOME | Next page>>