We had planned a day off in Murghab but having seen the vast quantity of entertainment in offer were all in agreement that a half would be plenty. I decided to spend part of my rest morning cleaning my dusty bike, preceded by the obligatory nail clipping to reduce the grime which inevitably gets stuck in, then washed a few clothes and headed to the still freezing cold bazaar with Alex at 9:30. Just a collection of recycled shipping containers, this is quite an amusing sight, though sadly not full of much delicious produce – not that our standards were too high at this point!
We settled for some bread, biscuits and noodles and walked back up the hill to the guesthouse we had slept in; somehow, the altitude feels much more painful walking than cycling! As we headed out just after lunch (bread), we crossed a cycling couple from Lisbon who warned us of the road ahead. We were about to face the highest pass of the second highest road in the world, at 4655m. We cycled on 50 kilometres before going to sleep in a culvert (I thought it was a great idea) honestly believing we must be incredible to have made it that far so easily… Could the pass tomorrow really be that hard?!