Day 43 Murghab

05072009619-smallGrumpiness on being woken at 5 by noisy people in the lodge soon gives way to exhilaration when we get onto the road up into the mountains. Stunning landscape and suprisingly good tarmac making it a contender for best riding day. We stop at 9000 feet next to the fast flowing river of ice cold melt water for coffee and scrambled eggs to go with the fresh bread we picked up before leaving town. Soon we’re up to 14000 feet, after a brief stop to fit a new air filter when my bike started struggling at about 11000 feet. The mountains are spectacular and the feeling of blasting along on the bike on this road with this view at this altitude this far from home after riding more than 7000 miles is amazing. It’s also great fun having the road to ourselves. We stop for lunch (french onion soup and bread), and are just getting ready to leave when another bike appears. It’s Tiffany and pillion Anna, seems we finally caught up with her and overtook while they were in a cafe. Another superbly enjoyable blast down to Murgab where Tiffany finds the best guesthouse and negotiates a great rate. Tiffany offers to cook tonight, so we offer to buy food. Petrol is the first need, and the guesthouse owner makes a phone call then leads us in his lada to someones house where we buy petrol from a jerrycan. We find a mostly empty market and manage to buy a selection of vegetables and a bottle of vodka. Tiffany makes a really good curry with sticky rice, and we share biking stories and vodka.