We entered in Tajikistan through the southern border and we headed to the Capital, Dusanbe. There a present was waiting for us. TERNUA our sponsor wich takes care of us and provides us all the clothing we need sent us a parcel with the equipment we needed to stand the cold weather of the mountains: two sleeping bags and two warm jackets. In off to enjoy the road.
In Dusanbe we recieved an unexpected bad new: the Pamir Higway was closed for more than 3 months already and nobody knew when was opening again. The reason was that in May the drug dealers killed a Tajik general who was trying to get much more money than usuall from them to close the eyes and to pretend that nothing happens in the area. The president sent more than 3.500 soldiers to keep the control and they killed some Pamir people and closed the road.
The Chinesse embassy in Taskent gave us 20 days to enter in China. We missed the Pamir Higway and we didn´t want to miss the possibility to enter in China on time, so the next day withouth resting, we left toward Kyrgyzstan and after China.
This time the plans we made where going wrong, the first 200kms where tougher than we thought , and our legs where bourned out. Still worse, one day because we ate poisoned food we got so sick that we almost couldn´t cycle and of course not rest at all, we where running out of time!!.
Realizing that we where not going to make it on time, against our way of thinking we had to take a track to get 100kms closer. But the truck just drop us 30kms forwards because he had to take another road. And the end we regreted to had taken the truck but we made a decisition thinking it was the best for us.
Finally we made it, we arrived to the border just 4 hours before the closing time, but there and then…….came the worse new: because it was chinesse holiday the border was closed for 10 days!!!! still 4 more days to open it!!!! ….
-” Our visa tomorrow is going to be expired!!! how is possible all of this? who is playing with us? is this a jocke? where is the camera?.”
Anyway we decided to wait the 4 days thinking that maybe there is a special treatment in those cases but my friends, china is china: they put the visa in the computer, if it say “ok” you pass, if it says “no”, no way. And it said NO.
The officers at the border behave like machines, there is nothing which can make them to change.
Very sad (much more ungry than sad) we entered back in Kyrgyzstan. We left the bicycles in one small village close to the border and we made the 1.000kms until Biskek in three days hitch-hiking converted this time in backpakers. It was a new experience for us and we enjoyed a lot meeting all types of people in a diferent way.
The only posibility to get the chinesse visa in Kyrgyzstan is through travel agency and it cost 150 U$. In other countries it cost 40U$… good business betwen the embassy and the agencies!!!.
The situation coudn´t be worse…. “and now, what?” we where asking to ourselfs, and suddenly the sky opened and the Polish couple we met in the backpakers told us that the Pamir was re-opened. We could not believe it!!! and even better, there we could get the Tajik visa and the permit in the same day, under the payment of 75U$ (of course).
Withouth thinking twice, we got it, forgetting about the rest of the things.
– “Here and now”- we decided- “and later we wil think about China or whatever”.
At the same time we met a couple of spanish who were going to cycle the Pamir too and we decided to do it together so, we hitch-hiked back until the border, took the bicycle and we went until Sari-Tash (the town where the Pamir Higway starts, and the town we cycled through few days agoin our way to China).
After all those adversities “The Life” was gifting us the best of all, one of our dreams, the possibility to cycle that magnificent road :
The Pamir Higway.