Scary Pamir Highway

The Pamir Highway is one of those road trips that you're supposed to do before you die. Its simply raw scenery at its most beautiful with towering mountains bordering Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and China. The road is one of the highest in the world with many passes exceeding 4,000 meters.

We are on this road to get from Kyrgyzstan to Tajikistan by way of Osh to Murgab. Our trip to leave for Tajikistan was a bit of a scramble as at the last moment our friends from Osh Guesthouse arranged a car for us to head out. The car didn't induce any confidence building as it was an old Volvo but with visas in hand and time expiring decided to take our chances.

The trip started out unassumingly enough, communicating with hand gestures and our broken Russian sharing the car with us, the driver, and his friend. The plan is to head to Sary Mogul spend a night with the drivers friends and then make the remainder of the journey to Murgab to avoid traveling at night. A few hours into the trip, heavy snow started to come down on a narrow pass shared with a few passing Chinese trucks. Our driver tried to pass one of these trucks and in his haste got the car stuck in snow. That wouldn't have been so bad had it not been for the low visibility, night time, and the fact that the truck that he tried to pass was pulling something big. As the truck went by, the last few feet ploughed into the car and our car went careening off the side of the mountain. Our lives flashed by and I didn't even realize that I was screaming.

Some good deed paid off and the car ran into a huge snow bank that stopped its fall. The truck kept going. We were now literally stuck in one of the remotest places on earth with heavy snow falling, darkness, and not a shovel in sight.

After trying to flag down a few trucks one did stop and with a rope tied to the front of the car, it was finally freed from the snow's grip.

The house at Sary Mogul was warm, had lots of blankets, and a bed prepared on the floor. We were served a delicious meal of fresh butter, nan, chai, and biscuits after which we turned in for the night with the sounds of the family nearby.

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