Cycling Pamir Highway - August/September 2022

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MDias
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2022 9:39 am

Cycling Pamir Highway - August/September 2022

Post by MDias »

Hi all,

I would like to cycle the Pamir Highway this summer and have been closely monitoring this forum for a couple of months, but still have some questions regarding safety and border crossings.

The original idea would be to start in Tashkent, explore some historical sites in Uzbekistan and then cycle over to Tajikistan through the Panjakent border and then cross into Kyrgyzstan at the Kyzyl-Art Pass.
I have read mixed reports about the Panjakent border and that Kyzyl-Art Pass is closed. I don´t speak Russian so it doesn´t help for the border crossings.

Second options, if these two borders are closed, would be to fly directly into Dushanbe cycle the main stretch of the Pamir highway including the Wahkan Corridor and then find a transport for me and by bike in Murghab back to Dushanbe to fly out of Tajikistan.
The main open points I have at the moment:
- Are GBAO permits currently being issued?
- Is internet access re-established in GBAO? I am not sure if even in "normal" times you are able to use it, but I would like to be able to communicate with my family and friends outside.
- Is it realistic that I can find a transport for me and my bike from Murghab back to Dushanbe? What would be the price for this?
- What is the security situation in the region, especially close to the Afghanistan border?

Finally, any fellow cyclist planning to cycle the Pamir Highway in the time frame? Would love to discuss plans and meet somewhere on the road.

Thank you very much in advance!

Cheers,
Miguel
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couchpotato
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Re: Cycling Pamir Highway - August/September 2022

Post by couchpotato »

1. GBAO permit is being issued officially. I got mine a couple of weeks ago together with E-visa. But it seems a few others are having problems of obtaining e-visa. You should be able to apply GBAO permit in Dushanbe as well.

2. Internet connection is mostly back to normal. But once you go further away from Khorog, the connection will get weaker like normal time. I had no cellular connection at all in Karakul, and barely enough for a Whatsapp message in Alichur. Also, connection is very weak once you go outside a village.

3. Shouldn't be a problem. If fail to find share taxi and Jeep in Murghab. You can always hitchhiking using lorry or truck. It isn't difficult at all. I saw the locals did it a few times. Once in Khorog, there are tones of share-Jeep waiting to take you to Dushanbe. Not sure about the cost giving fuel price has risen a lot recently. In 2018 it was 250-350 somoni(about $25-35) from Khorog back to Dushanbe.

4. Security along the Afghan border isn't a big issue. I won't be worried about it.
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matt2matt2002
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Re: Cycling Pamir Highway - August/September 2022

Post by matt2matt2002 »

This is really great news.
Now I can make cycling plans myself.
Thanks for the visa information.
Matt
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MDias
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2022 9:39 am

Re: Cycling Pamir Highway - August/September 2022

Post by MDias »

couchpotato wrote:
Tue Apr 05, 2022 1:34 pm
1. GBAO permit is being issued officially. I got mine a couple of weeks ago together with E-visa. But it seems a few others are having problems of obtaining e-visa. You should be able to apply GBAO permit in Dushanbe as well.

2. Internet connection is mostly back to normal. But once you go further away from Khorog, the connection will get weaker like normal time. I had no cellular connection at all in Karakul, and barely enough for a Whatsapp message in Alichur. Also, connection is very weak once you go outside a village.

3. Shouldn't be a problem. If fail to find share taxi and Jeep in Murghab. You can always hitchhiking using lorry or truck. It isn't difficult at all. I saw the locals did it a few times. Once in Khorog, there are tones of share-Jeep waiting to take you to Dushanbe. Not sure about the cost giving fuel price has risen a lot recently. In 2018 it was 250-350 somoni(about $25-35) from Khorog back to Dushanbe.

4. Security along the Afghan border isn't a big issue. I won't be worried about it.
Thanks a lot for the answers! Where you there this year already? I always see seasonal info during the summer and then nothing more until the next travel season!

Any fellow cyclists in the region in August? Would love to meet in Tajikistan!
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couchpotato
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Re: Cycling Pamir Highway - August/September 2022

Post by couchpotato »

MDias wrote:
Wed Apr 06, 2022 6:42 am
Thanks a lot for the answers! Where you there this year already? I always see seasonal info during the summer and then nothing more until the next travel season!

Any fellow cyclists in the region in August? Would love to meet in Tajikistan!
Will travel there in mid May to visit friends.
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CanitelRaas
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Re: Cycling Pamir Highway - August/September 2022

Post by CanitelRaas »

MDias wrote:
Wed Apr 06, 2022 6:42 am
Any fellow cyclists in the region in August? Would love to meet in Tajikistan!
I am also thinking of cycling in Tajikistan in August or September. Ideally I'd like to cycle from Dushanbe to Khorog and cross the border to Kyrgyzstan at Kyzyl Art. But if that border remains closed, I'm considering cycling a loop: Khorog, Wakhan valley, Karakul, Bartang Valley, Khorog and then a bus or car to Uzbekistan to continue in Kyrgyzstan.

Would you say the loop I mentioned would be nice to cycle or too much of the same scenery? And is it possible to get a GBAO permit for 45 or 60 days? Because I think I'd need an e-visa for 60 days. 30 days would be too short for this loop, wouldn't it?
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couchpotato
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Re: Cycling Pamir Highway - August/September 2022

Post by couchpotato »

CanitelRaas wrote:
Wed Apr 06, 2022 10:21 am
I am also thinking of cycling in Tajikistan in August or September. Ideally I'd like to cycle from Dushanbe to Khorog and cross the border to Kyrgyzstan at Kyzyl Art. But if that border remains closed, I'm considering cycling a loop: Khorog, Wakhan valley, Karakul, Bartang Valley, Khorog and then a bus or car to Uzbekistan to continue in Kyrgyzstan.

Would you say the loop I mentioned would be nice to cycle or too much of the same scenery? And is it possible to get a GBAO permit for 45 or 60 days? Because I think I'd need an e-visa for 60 days. 30 days would be too short for this loop, wouldn't it?
It depends. 30 days is doable. But it depends on how much ground you can cover per day. And if everything works as planned. So no bad weather, no serious mechanical problem for the bike, not getting very ill, etc.
After Alichur, you are getting in to pretty high altitude. There will be a few days you will stay above 4000m. So how well you have acclimated will affect your progress. Moreover, half of the cyclists I met at Pamir Highway did get stomach bugs and diahorrea at some point, me included.
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Nazrulo
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Re: Cycling Pamir Highway - August/September 2022

Post by Nazrulo »

Some updates on the price for a seat in a shared taxi between Dushanbe-Khorog and the other way round. At the moment the cost is 400-400TJS per person(compared to 300-350TJS last year ) and is subject to change (due to the sanctions against Russia). 1 USD=12.50 to 13.00TJS.

P.S. We are a local service provider from the Pamirs (Bartang and Sarez Tour http://bartang-sarez-tour.com/). We offer various travel related services in the Pamirs and Tajikistan. We can be reached at [email protected] or +992 935346054 (WhatsApp)
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MDias
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Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2022 9:39 am

Re: Cycling Pamir Highway - August/September 2022

Post by MDias »

Hi!
I am planning around 45 days for this, cycle from Dushanbe to Khorog and then via Wahkan Corridor to Murgahb. From there to Karakul and then back to Murgahb. Depending on the time it takes to cover all this ground I would consider cycling a bit further on the way back on the official M41 or getting a ride back to Dushanbe. If time allows I would then spend a week sight seeing in Uzbekistan before flying back home.
CanitelRaas wrote:
Wed Apr 06, 2022 10:21 am
MDias wrote:
Wed Apr 06, 2022 6:42 am
Any fellow cyclists in the region in August? Would love to meet in Tajikistan!
I am also thinking of cycling in Tajikistan in August or September. Ideally I'd like to cycle from Dushanbe to Khorog and cross the border to Kyrgyzstan at Kyzyl Art. But if that border remains closed, I'm considering cycling a loop: Khorog, Wakhan valley, Karakul, Bartang Valley, Khorog and then a bus or car to Uzbekistan to continue in Kyrgyzstan.

Would you say the loop I mentioned would be nice to cycle or too much of the same scenery? And is it possible to get a GBAO permit for 45 or 60 days? Because I think I'd need an e-visa for 60 days. 30 days would be too short for this loop, wouldn't it?
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MDias
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2022 9:39 am

Re: Cycling Pamir Highway - August/September 2022

Post by MDias »

Hi Nazrulo,
Is it possible to take a bike on the shared taxi?
How is the situation currently in the Pamirs?
Cheers!
Miguel
Nazrulo wrote:
Mon Apr 11, 2022 5:00 am
Some updates on the price for a seat in a shared taxi between Dushanbe-Khorog and the other way round. At the moment the cost is 400-400TJS per person(compared to 300-350TJS last year ) and is subject to change (due to the sanctions against Russia). 1 USD=12.50 to 13.00TJS.

P.S. We are a local service provider from the Pamirs (Bartang and Sarez Tour http://bartang-sarez-tour.com/). We offer various travel related services in the Pamirs and Tajikistan. We can be reached at [email protected] or +992 935346054 (WhatsApp)
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