During the summer of 2018, I undertook a two-month tour of Central Asia, principally to ride the Pamir Highway.
I remember reading about the Pamir Highway in an old edition of the Adventure Cycle Touring Handbook. It was reading those few paragraphs that were the deciding spark of inspiration to propel me towards my own cycle trip. I read and I thought to myself: “hell yeah, I want to do that“. For various reasons to do with seasonal weather windows and visa issues I never did ride across Central Asia during my around-the-world trip. So this trip felt like unfinished business for me.
I didn’t want to carry a laptop with me this time so I didn’t blog during the trip. I did take lots of photos though, all on my iPhone. Here is a link to a small selection of them:
You’ll notice there are quite a few pictures featuring other cyclists and several tents pitched together. That’s because I cycled a lot of this trip with other I cyclists I met en-route. At various times I cycled with anything from 2 to 9 other people. Although a very remote corner of the world, The Pamir Highway is famous in adventure cycling circles and attracts riders from all over the globe.
There was some tough cycling at breathlessly high altitudes and along horrendously bad roads during this trip. The temperatures ranged from around +40°C to -5°C. The scenery was simply stunning and provided countless “wow” moments. The people, although very poor, were uniformly friendly, generous and hospitable.
If you’re moderately fit, with a robust bike and can carry a good amount of food and water, then I can highly recommend some variation of this tour. It absolutely lived up to those words I’d read and remembered from all those years ago.