My level of exhaustion reached a new height today. I got going okay, even receiving breakfast from the loving family in whose backyard I camped. Baatovar (the boy) again had fun riding my bike and Ruzigool (the girl) pottered around and brought me the breakfast. Then it was back to the slow grind of rough roads and short climbs and descents that characterise this section of the Pamir Highway. I broke the day up into sections of 20km, but by the time I reached 60km my body was telling me it was done for the day. My mind forced it to keep going. A final burst of energy from knowing I’d made it spurred me on over the last hill and I had a very relief-filled descent into the town of Kalai Khumb. My wheels had been turning (not including breaks) for over seven hours. The first thing I did was stop in at a shop for sugar in the form of four mini Snickers and an icy pole. I then rode through town in search of a place to stay. It seems there are two main options in town, situated right next to each other. By the end of the night I was completely satisfied with my choice of accommodation, having had a delightfully hot shower and having been served what seemed like an overly extravagant meal: fresh bread; a brothy soup containing a delicious stuffed capsicum; plates of fried potatoes, tomato and cucumber salad; and a spread of watermelon, yoghurt, apricots, apples and cherries, all washed down with green tea and pomegranate juice. I gorged myself until I felt sick. The only thing left to do was crawl into bed with the welcome knowledge that I don’t need to get on the bike tomorrow.
|Distance ridden today||83.14km|
|Average cycling speed||11.4kph|
|Total distance ridden||20,590km|