Tajikistan: The Roof Of The World

6 Posted by - July 5, 2015 - Bike Tour, Pedal, Read, Tajikistan, Travel
All told, we spent a month and a half traveling in Tajikistan by bike. Part of this time was pedaling some of the highest mountains in the world--the Pamirs, known as "The Roof of the World"--and through one of the most remote regions in the world—the Wakhan Valley. It was here that the wind tore at my face, the cold permanently numbed my fingertips, the roads disintegrated to sand and I anxiously camped a literal "stone's throw" from Afghanistan. It's where I first uttered the phrase, "Today is the hardest day I've ever had on a bike." And then said it again and again, day after day. It was here that I fell in love--with the landscape, with the people, with the culture. And, despite several severe bouts of food poisoning, didn’t leave until a death in the family forced me out. In this part of the world... ...roads look like this. _R9A0321 ...homes look like this. _R9A0045 ...campsites look like this. _R9A0109 (4) ...hospitality looks like this. _R9A0053 (2) ...entire kitchens look like this. _R9A0197 ...solitude looks like this. _R9A0318 ...showers look like this. _R9A0234 ...celebrity status looks like this. _R9A0050 (3) ...meals look like this. _R9A0367 ...the 9-to-5 looks like this. _R9A0528 ...transportation looks like this. _R9A0396 ...decorations look like this. _R9A0450 ...and perspective looks like this. _R9A0059 It was entirely different from the "world" I come from--and without exaggeration it was one of the most unforgettable experiences of my lifetime. _R9A0551

7 Comments

  • Chris July 9, 2015 - 5:07 pm Reply

    Pamir Highway 4eva! Hope you guys are doing great. The night shot turned out incredible!

    • b_puliti July 14, 2015 - 4:44 pm Reply

      4EVA!! Thanks so much, Chris! It was so great to meet you and ride for a bit together, especially here. Hope you haven’t melted in the desert, yet! 😉

  • Johnny White September 30, 2015 - 8:43 am Reply

    Oh my! Everything about the Pamirs look divine! The views are simply awesome. I could wake up and ride to these sceneries everyday of my life.

    But was it really that cold there? Anyway, I think that’s a part of the complete experience. Thank you though for this. This is another entry to the bucket list.

    • b_puliti October 4, 2015 - 12:38 pm Reply

      Hi Johnny! Yes, it was super cold up high, flurrying at times. The intense wind made it feel even colder than it was, I’m sure. Despite the weather, the beauty of the landscape was incredible!

  • David brittain July 25, 2016 - 12:35 am Reply

    Hi Beth.
    Your pictures and article in adventure cycling are inspiring to a fellow bike traveler. I was disapointed in the brief space allowed f.or your article. I want to hear more . Have you written about this in any other publication ?

    David brittain

    • b_puliti August 12, 2016 - 1:03 pm Reply

      Hi David! I’m so glad you found the article inspiring! I should have another piece coming out in Dirt Rag soon!

  • Jeffrey Waldo August 31, 2016 - 8:24 am Reply

    Hi Beth. Saw your article in Adventure Cycling Aug/Sep edition. The great photos remind me of my time in Central Asia, Afghanistan, and especially Tajikistan. A question – you mention the Wakhan Valley in Tajikistan. From my experience this valley is across the border in Afghanistan. Or did you have a chance to visit the incredibly beautiful Lake Zorkul Nature Preserve on the Tajik-Afghan border which abuts the Afghan Wakhan Corridor Nature Refuge (and is at the junction of the Big and Little Pamir mountain ranges) ?

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