We got up in the morning knowing that we would leave today. Rain or no rain. We had our last breakfast at Lalmo’s and said goodbye to our new friends. Once outside and all packed, Lalmo also came out to say goodbye.
We left the capital of the GBAO district in the rain. The first thing we noted when we got out of town on the M41 was a statue of the first car who rode on the Pamir Highway when it was built by the Soviets.
We leaving the town we had our passports checked by the police for security. They also check the GBAO permit.
The ride itself was beautiful, but due to the bad weather visibility was restricted at some places. We rode through some small villages and made a stop at a small bridge over a flast flowing mountain river.
One of the reasons we had to stay a bit longer in Khorog, was because the road further on got washed away. We saw what happened, but there was a way around now. The water was flowing fiercly.
Our goal of today was to check out the hot springs in Jelandy. So after a small ride of 130 km we arrived at the town of Jelandy. We found the sanatorium. This is a soviet style health center. It has rooms where you can sleep, and like turkish baths. The hot water came from the ground out of the hot springs near by. When you got close to them, you could smell the sulphuric smell, if you don’t it, it smell like rotten eggs. We checked out the sanatorium from the inside but we found it both a little bit unclean and decided to check out the town of Jelandy. This town is situated at an altitude of 3245m in the mountains.
We found a homestay at a friendly Tajik guy and his family. It was still early in the afternoon, so we had a lot of time left to go hiking. What more beautiful are could you wish for then the one we were at? We packed our small backpack with some food, water, waterproofs and warm clothes. We left our homestay and had a lovely afternoon on the mountain. Mountain walking is quite steep here. Remember you are at a high altitude. If you want to hike or climb here you must be in good shape. We immediately felt that. No problem, we just to a breather every 100m or so. The views were beautiful and we watched the sun go down from the mountain.
When we got back to our homestay in the evening, they started to cook a meal for us. We did not even ask for it. But it was great. From the limited resources they have, they made the most delicious macaroni. I can still taste it. It was the best macaroni I had eaten on the trip, maybe in my life. Our host was lying with us in our room to talk a bit, and we had tea together. When it became dark everybody went to sleep. Tomorrow we will continue one of the highlites of our trip on the Pamir Highway. Hopefully the weather will be good as we need to do some mountain passes over 4000m.