No Police, Ambos or Tow Trucks here. It's all "do it yourself". A little sobering when I think about how easy it is to hurt yourself reasonably seriously on a bicycle.
Eventually I find a gap in the fields of crops. It's a dry river bed, with sandhills that look pretty cozy. I set up camp, and sort some food. I'm wearing my head net, from Bivouac, because the flies are bleeding annoying. A couple of my panniers have taken a beating. The plastic screws have come loose, or disappeared. This happened in Indonesia as well, and I've heard from several cyclists that they've had the same problem. Hey Ortlieb, perhaps you need to bring back the metal screws. I'm able to repair the damage, because Ortlieb sent me some spares after the last incident.
What I can't fix, is the tomatoes. One pannier is an inch deep in tomato juice.....yuck. At least some has soaked into the bread....... I manage to safe a couple for sandwiches, with tuna.....yum. Also, something has leaked into my handlebar bag. I think it's Electrolytes. The powder has got everywhere, and even after cleaning, it reappears......bother. I climb into the sack, pretty pleased with my day, and pretty weary. It starts to lightly rain as I fall asleep.
0350, and I am woken by....... running water. What? I climb out of the tent. On both sides of my sandhill island, where last night was dry riverbed, are flowing streams..... bother. Back into the tent, and a very rapid pack up. I make two trips to the road, one with the trailer, and one with Fiona. The water is up to my knees...... yep, I'm a "dumbass".
It's 0420. May as well start cycling. At least the sandy spots are firmer.The best part of the road always seems to be the far left, away from all the corregations. Trouble is, traffic drives on the right, but at 0430, there's no traffic. A couple of times, I even venture on to a single track that follows the road. This is where the locals walk, but there's none of them this early either. At daylight, I stop and boil up a couple of eggs. I'm really low on water. All the side streams are running high and brown.
It's 0600. I've cycled 20km, and there's a small shop open. Perhaps they'll have some water. Nope, only juice. That'll do. The box is really dusty, and I give it a shake to stir the contents, as it says to do on the box. Doesn't seem really fill. I open it.... it's been opened before, and is only three quarters fill..... damn. Not much sense taking it back. She'll just put it back on the shelf for some other foreign sucker. Oh well. Only $1.50. A crowd of local men come over to chat. "Do I want chai?" one asks. "Yes please". He points to a "chai shop". "Thank you". I head off. He follows me. It's not a chai shop, it's his house.
Mum is roused out of bed. Chai, bread, sweets, chocolate, and biscuits are produced. It's great. I show them photos. Son and grand children show up. I show more photos. It's time to get back on the bike. Nope. I'm not allowed. Mum is cooking me something. I sit with dad watching "Russian's Got Talent", and fall asleep, it's 0700. Mum rouses me. She's boiled some eggs, small ones, six of them. Dad has one, I've got to eat all the rest, washed down with more chai....... didn't I just eat eggs an hour or so ago?
Finally, stuffed with egg, I'm back on the road. A Landcruiser skids to a halt next to me. A young Italian guy jumps out. "Are you Grum? I've got something for you". Two days out of Sary Tash, I had realised I'd left my adapter for powering my electronics at the Pink House. I thought I'd try to see whether the Pamir Highway communication network was any good. I'd asked French and Belgium couples to ask the Pink House folk to send the adaptor with someone coming my way........ and here it was..... thank you so much lovely Belgium, French and Italian people. The Italian lad, had lived and worked in Wanaka for eight months, and was glad to help a kiwi. Wow.
A bit further along the road and I come across the Dutch campervan. They're still asleep, it's 0930. They hear me knocking and are keen to chat. They had got stuck in the cascade yesterday, and several locals just watched them struggle to get out. Noone helped. This after the Dutch helping others previously, giving precious diesel away and being just plain nice visitors. The travel notes say that the locals are being corrupted by the sudden chance to make money. Where as only a few years ago, everything was given freely, now they expect to be paid for everything. Sad, but not so always. I offered to pay for my eggs and Chai, and they wouldn't accept.
I seem to have run out of corregations for now. Most of the road is sealed, well sort of, if you disregard the pot holes and numerous ditches crossing the road. The "Wakhan Corridoor" is meant to be the most remote part of Central Asia, and it has been fun riding it, but I can't help thinking it's alot like the Molesworth or Rainbow roads, except at 3000m. I've come along way to ride something so familiar.