As promised, a long overdue update. Avid followers of our tracking page (?) will have noticed that while our GPS is on the move, the blog is being updated from Dushanbe. Nick has headed off into the wilds of the Pamirs, but I am still in Dushanbe.
This is not only due to our dedication to quality prose and regular blog updating, as I am recovering from (very minor) surgery to solve an old problem which flared up on the ride into Dushanbe. The plan is to meet in Khorog, the entrance to the High Pamirs, in a week (I intend to catch up in a shared taxi), before cycling the rest of the route together. If this is too early, then I’ll have to hitch the Pamirs in a Chinese truck and start pedalling again in the Middle Kingdom. As you can imagine, it’s bloody frustrating to be missing part of the trip, especially the most remote and spectacular section. Unfortunately, the longer we leave it, the more likely the weather is to turn, so we have to go now. Here’s hoping it pays off!
Which leaves me, for the time being, with the luxury of a bed chez Véronique and Gabriel. Where to begin? Véronique has been incredibly hospitable. I was meant to stay two nights, but it looks like I may stay ten, while I recover. My panniers broke, and she offered me hers (I’ll give her money to buy a new pair in Brussels). And she has been a source of good advice while I recover. It’s also been great fun to spend time with her and Gabriel, whether walking in the mountains north of Dushanbe (as Nico did at the weekend), playing bat and ball or football, and shooting ‘millions’ of imaginary bad guys about to storm the house (Véro was only implicated in some of these).
Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to getting better and hitting the road again. Nico is making good progress on the bad northern road to Khorog, determined to do it in seven days. The conversation went like this:
Véro: ‘Yes, they all say they will take seven days, but actually they take eight or nine’
I don’t actually need to print Nico’s response, as those of you who know him well will know exactly was it was. At this rate he may have to wait a day or two for me to catch up in a taxi!
I’ll keep you posted on any developments – any questions in the meantime, then fire away in the comments!
n.b. bowel update for N, as he is not here to do it himself – all seems well, more than a month after the initial upset in Baku Khan’s palace, a barrage of ciprofloxasin seems to have done the trick.