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Photo by George Guille, It's going to be a long 300km... Bolivian Amazon

I haven't been everywhere...
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Photo by George Guille
It's going to be a long 300km...
Bolivian Amazon



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  #1  
Old 16 Mar 2021
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Bartang AND Wakhan - Which way is best?

Like most, this year's trip from the UK to Mongolia has been postponed until 2022. I want to ride both the Bartang Valley AND Wakhan Corridor before carrying on to Mongolia. I will likely be there at the end of June, start of July.

Clearly it will have to be done in a loop so one of the routes will have to be done twice. I'm thinking of doing the Bartang Valley first in case it's impassable for whatever reason.

Is there anyone that's done this before and have any advice on which way is best or does it not really matter which way round it's done?
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Old 16 Mar 2021
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We went West to East up Bartang Valley.....


.......... and got turned around in there somewhere due to a high and fast water crossing. No idea what the conditions would have been coming down from the high end.

We turned back and headed East in the Wakhan valley instead.




If you do make your loop you can go east on the regular Pamir Highway- paved/dirt/potholed- instead of repeating a leg of your loop.

.................shu
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  #3  
Old 17 Mar 2021
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Pic from the Bartang valley in 2019, heading W-E (actually SW-NE)...




Tip: Travel early or late in the season and in the mornings. Water levels are lower as the temperatures are cooler and snow/ice hasn't melted so much yet.

I teamed up with a couple of cool Italian guys. Of the 300 or so km: day 1: 80km (only 30 dirt), day 2: 220km, mainly dirt = only one night on the Bartang. Most people go SW-NE as it's up hill and hence easier to ride.

Bikes: Yamaha ttr600, BMW r80gs (or g/s?), Honda xr650l with soft bags. All modified to be fit for purpose, hence the ability to complete the Bartang in 1.5 days.

I also rode the Wakhan valley E-W. It was good, but compared to the Bartang, only very average.

As there are 3 routes: M41 ("Pamir Highway"), Wakhan and Bartang, you can ride all 3 depending on where you're coming from/heading to.

Last edited by chris; 24 Mar 2021 at 20:47.
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Old 19 Mar 2021
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Chris, image restrictions - we can't see it.
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Old 19 Mar 2021
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grant Johnson View Post
Chris, image restrictions - we can't see it.
I could see it...

Is this edited new shared location visible?
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Old 21 Mar 2021
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Thanks for the info/advice, really appreciate it.

Think it will be Bartang W/E (hopefully passable), loop back on the M41 then the Wakahan W/E too.
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Old 24 Mar 2021
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Here a map of carvanistan which I did find at qvartzbulance.wordpress.com which shows even more details of the route options and visualize the surrounding countrys a bit better.

It shows even more options to drive.

Here I did start to collect informations about, too because my own trip planning:

https://vanlife.4x4tripping.com/2021...s-and-map.html

Surfy
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  #8  
Old 25 Apr 2021
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Bartang is much remoter than Wakhan valley and also more adventurous. I don't think, that Wakhan can become unpassable - at least not with a motorcycle, but Bartang's road condition can easily become unpassable.
Both routes are sparsely populated/not populated in the east, while you find more and more population in the western part.
There is also quite an altitude difference on both routes. The eastern part is at ~4000m (~12000ft), so if you are not used to the altitude yet, it might be worth starting from the west.
Make also sure that you have enough petrol. 2018 you could only find fuel in Murgab, Sary Tash (Kyrgystan) and Khorugh - maybe in Alichur with some effort.
We came from the east and did Bartang first, returned on the Pamir highway and did Wakhan afterwards. Since Bartang is definitely the greater adventure, Wakhan was almost a bit boring for us, after we had passed Bartang before. The scenery is still great though.
Coming from the west should be easier allover. Khorugh is a nice base, where you can get everything you need, also information about the road conditions and money. This is much harder/impossible on the eastern side - even in Murgab.
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Old 26 Apr 2021
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German couple who rode Bartang Valley in 2019 with 2 Huskies. Sadly in only German but good for an impression, I think.

https://youtu.be/ZFLBUyAlPJw
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Old 2 May 2021
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Go big or go home. Do the triple ... the Wakhan, Shakhdara and Bartang valleys with only 65 km of route retracement. See map below.
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Old 18 May 2021
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I didn't know about the Shakhdara Valley. That route looks like a great option, thank you!
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Old 21 May 2021
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There is another adventurous road into Wakhan valley via Zorkul lake.

https://de.mapy.cz/zakladni?planovan...c=%5B%5D&rut=1

However, you need to apply for a permit for that in Chorugh. 2018 we tried to get one in Murgab, what was not possible. They told us we might also get one in Alichur, but I wouldn't rely on that. We gave up in the end - so another reason to come back.
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Old 21 May 2021
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3 Valleys Route in GPX

See attachment for track details, in particular of the entrance to the Shakhdara valley, as it isnt a "road", just a jeep track until you drop down into the actual valley
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File Type: gpx 3ValleysTJ.gpx (740.8 KB, 106 views)
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Old 22 May 2021
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and here is another and interesting variation for the Zorkul Lake road. We tried to get in from the far south east end, but got turned around due to a lack of permit, so we went back north. Half way back to Murghab we found another road going West with no check point. Starting point at N37 50.006 E74 38.749. I am not sure what would have happened when arriving at the military post on the other (west) end. We took it anyway and it rode our way to the "hardly a" village of Tseshtebe. Only the last couple of miles around N37 45.135 E74 19.179 were rocky from what I remember. From there onto Jartu Gumbez and stayed the night. We hit snow the next morning. Not too much but it made going further way too difficult due the slickness of the road mud. We waited it out for a day and then turned around and went east and north back to the main Murghab 04 road, spend the night back in Murghab and from there on to Khorug. If you go this way don't forget to ride up to the old observatory at N37 55.842 E74 09.119.

Shu, maybe you can add a few pictures, I do not have them with me.
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File Type: gpx Tajikistan routes.gpx (1.02 MB, 76 views)
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  #15  
Old 22 May 2021
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khpostma View Post

Shu, maybe you can add a few pictures, I do not have them with me.
Teshtebe, a few houses, not much else...



Heading out for Jarty Gumbez.......



Many wide river crossings with rounded rock in the stream beds....



Snow in Jarty Gumbez turned the road into impassable muck.....




................shu
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