Posts Tagged ‘Denav’


I walked through the door piercing the surrounding high wall, and entered touring cyclist paradise. Vero and her house and garden are famous – all touring cyclists come here before setting out on the Pamir Highway. And here I am, little Matthew. I’m about to set out on the Pamir Highway!

Vero giving us tips on the Pamir Highway

Vero giving us tips on the Pamir Highway

Three young French cyclists ushered me in, bikes in hand. These bikes looked hard-core, with tyres wide enough to fit on a small car. As I entered in further, more bikes were hanging around. In front of me was a beautiful verandah with armchairs and couches, and a big garden full of cyclist’s tents. Another cyclist was sitting on the verandah reading. A parrot in a cage welcomed me as I was shown inside.

I had heard of Vero from other cyclists on the way. Famous like Akbar in Marand, all cyclists find themselves staying here. I spent the evening sharing stories and dreams with the other cyclists, and before I knew it, it was bed-time.

Its great to be cool again. After my heat-stroke (was it that?), I stayed in Denov for a day, mostly lying in front of the fan, or sitting inside the air-conditioned supermarket. In the evening the cool change rolled in, and it was wonderful. I cycled to Dushanbe through the haze into a headwind, but was happy. It was cool again!


Surreal scenes of waterfalls, greenery, skies with fluffy clouds. In the foreground lions, maidens with milk jugs or kingfishers with freshly caught fish. These posters hang proudly in every café, hotel and restaurant. Today I dreamed about the cool water in the scene, tried to ignore the whoozy stomach and lethargy, and lay down to rest in front of the fan. Today was scorching.

Waterfall paradise

Waterfall paradise

The sun was blazing down, the road rose and fell in an undulating, dry, barren landscape. The road surface was horrendous, and I felt nauseous. It was 12:30 and I pulled into the first café I saw and flaked out on the carpet couch. I couldn’t face anything to eat. I just sipped on a cold bottle of Coke.

Midday rest

Midday rest

After a couple of hours, I managed to put away an ice-cream and some salad, and didn’t feel so hot and lack-lustre. Then a commotion outside. A second cyclist – Maxime from France. A cycling partner for the day.

Then we ran into another 3 cyclists coming the other direction. We chatted in the shade of some trees, putting off the departure back into the heat.

Before the heat struck, it was a lovely descent from Boysun into a surreal landscape – big bumps in the landscape, and a mountain range of plates of rock sticking up from the plains at an obscure angle.

Bumpy landscape

Bumpy landscape

Donkey

Donkey

The road has everything

The road has everything

Tomorrow Tajikistan if I am up to leaving the hotel.