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Leaving Dushanbe towards Pamir. The first 100km are perfect. Then the mountain trip really starts. Only gravel roads of the worst sort. Getting not even half way to Khorogh we find a city in the middle of nowhere. Suddenly perfectly paved streets, roundabouts and even a traffic light! And - of course - a hotel. Not a first class one, but good enough for a night with other teams and a group of people who are doing the Pamir on the bicycle.

 

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The heat is waking us up and we start the next horror trip ... border crossing. Entering the processing area is rather easy, then we are separated as usual. Passport control at the Uzbekistan side is still harmless, but then the customs hit with full strength. First the guy doing the paperwork does not understand that 1300 is a bit less than 1500, then the car analysis. At least this time only a single guy is doing the scan, so I have a chance to keep a watch on him, not to loose any more stuff as at the Turkmenistan border. But this guy is a pro. He finds all our technical equipment and scans mobiles, tablet and PC. Every single photo, every single video. Of course he finds some files which are not conform with his laws (who is interested in these laws when leaving the country?) and forced me to delete everything - not the offending files but everything. And that after two hours of waiting for him to wipe the touchscreens. At least he is now bored enough, not to be interested in the rest of our equipment, so this saves me at least unpacking the car as I had to do at the entry. Pissed off to hell I continue towards the Tajikistan side. Loosing track of Korbi, who still suffers the medication I continue to the Tajikistan side of the border. Over there the processing is much smoother but they did not tell me about Korbi. I saw him last on Uzbekistan side and have no idea where he is. But the force me to go on. No other chance than to leave the border area, where he is waiting outside. Offended by some locals who tried to force some money out of him, we quickly load his bags and hurry off.

 

Dushanbe - we get to the hostel where many other Ralliers are already waiting and mor to arrive. Back to the internet we learn that the black market at the Uzbekistan border is completely different from the rest of the country, the gave as only about 20% of the regular exchange rate. Finally our own fault for not being informed. Otherwise Tajikistan seems to be quite OK, having a good dinner at a chinese restaurant, sitting together with lots of teams and other people, most of them travelling per bike it is a quite awesome evening. Looking forward to the weekend, when we plan to start the Pamir!

 

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Korbi is still not fit, so we decide to stay one more night in Bukhara. Nothing special to Report on a break day apart from the fact that I use the slooooow Internet Access to update the blog and upload some Pictures. Go to my Facebook page to see the Pictures. Will update this page with them only with faster Internet.

In the meantime we get more and more Reports about the Tributes to the roads: First Teams had to give up due to heavy damages, one Team here in our Hotel Needs to wait for a week to get spare parts delivered.

If something is going to happen later, I will update this artikle.

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Resuming our journey we are heading south because the shortest route does not work due to closed border. Travelling on roads between perfect highway and worst rough gravel we approach the Tajikistan border. Of course it is getting dark. Reason enough to make a break for a last usbekish beer, followed by stops in several shops (magazines in local language) to get some beers and vodka we reach another closed border. At least we pass the first barrier and find some other teams also camping in the border area. Beers and Vodka do not see the next morning.

 

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Due to the heat everybody gets up early and we leave quite early compared to "normal" days. And the day is our friend: some kilometers further we find a fuel station. Fuel is available and the guy running it also accepts money. Nothing can stop us now on the way to Bukhara. Arrived there we find a central parking place, a bank which changes Euros into sum and a restaurant for lunch. From there we go to the old town for sightseeing. That´s when thing start to turn around. Korbi shows an allergic reaction and we need to catch a taxi to bring him in an emergency to the next hospital. Thanks god the reacted immediately and helped him before it was too late. After a couple of liters of infusions the situation is stable and the normal asian business starts: Endless paperwork. At some times we have up to 10 guys from the police in the room. We need to get our documents from the car, which is not so easy, because the street we left the cars is closed in the meantime due to a football match in the nearby stadium. Accompanied by a policemen I am able to reach the car with a driver and bring it to the hospital. The others are already waiting at the cars and tell me that they already found a place for the night and will tell me the address. Back to the hospital the paperwar continues. A million of photos and copies of our passports, several handwritten reports (they are for sure not the fasterst writers!) and endless discussions. At least I know the copyshop near the hospital very well, as I need to go there with everybody who wants to take a copy of any of our documents. They even copy the copy of our route plan. Finally we can leave the hospital, but not before paying 100 Euros (and of course another tour to the copy shop to copy the receipt...). In the meantime we also have the address from the hotel. The problem is that we cannot go there because the streets are still closed. Another taxidriver is needed for help. He leads us through the narrow streets of the old town. Not without needing to go back a several times because some streets are really not passable for cars. The place for the night is a really nice location with a very helpful family leading it. Korbi is still a bit dizzy from the medication but seems to be in a relative good condition.

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