The last stretch on the Pamir Highway: Murghab to Osh
Going into the M41 Pamir Highway, I knew it would be a lot of driving. Murghab to Osh would be the last stretch and I was was looking forward to a last, long day on the road. The scenery from Khorog to Murghab was great and I heard to Osh it would be even better.
The route would take us along the Tajikistan-China border, through a pass and then beyond into Kyrgzystan towards the country’s second-largest city, Osh.
We started the day early at 6am (Murghab is on Kyrgyzstan time, one hour ahead of Khorog and the rest of Tajikistan).
We first passed the Ak-Baital Pass (4655m), followed by the Kyzyl-Art Pass (4282m) where the Tajikistan-Kyrgyzstan border post is located.
At one point we were just 8km away from the Chinese border. On the Tajikistan side it was secured with barbed wire.
We then drove past Karakul, a lake situated at 3’960m above sea level, slightly higher than Lake Titicaca (3’812m).
The Tajikistan border was located at the top of the mountain at over 4’000 meters. I could not the most popular spot for a Tajikistan border guard. I was waiting to get stamped out while a Swiss cyclist who has been on the road for a year was waiting to enter the country.
The road then continued for 20km in no-man’s land until we reached the Kyrgyzstan border. I’d like to congratulate Kyrgyzstan for being a role model when it comes to immigration:
- No visa needed at all
- No useless immigration form/card to be filled out
- No stupid questions asked
Just a quick scan of the passport, a stamp and I was in.
After a quick lunch in Sary-Tash, we buckled up for the remaining 3-4 hours to Osh.
We finally made it to Osh at around 4.30pm and I was certainly looking forward to a day without driving. The Pamir Highway was absolutely worth it and I found the people and nature fascinating!