Day 36 – Fixing the Alto, grim towns and the Chinese Border

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Up early(ish) today to fix the Alto! Since we had bent the subframe back the night before all that was left was to fix the radiator. The Germs epoxy resin was used to fix up the radiator.

Fixing up the Alto in the morning

Fixing up the Alto in the morning

As we waited around for the resin to dry a random man wandered down from the mountains. Now our experiences with locals up until this point has been largely positive but this guy was just a massive asshole. He was aggressively hassling everyone in the convoy for cigarettes and would not leave us alone. Eventually Phil got pissed off with him as he was in his face shouting about cigarettes so Phil pushed him away. The guy then pulled a flip knife out of his pocket. In retaliation the aussies quickly pulled out their gold clubs and threw me a tyre iron. This combined with the words “Fuck off now” seemed to have the desired effect and he slunk off into the distance.

We drove for hours across the top of the Pamir with no problems from the Alto or the Panda. Looks like our repairs had done their job. After stopping for a break we noticed the Alto had a tiny leak in the radiator but nothing major so we carried on towards Murghab.

The road to Murghab

The road to Murghab

Upon arrival to Murghab it was pissing it down. Which only added to the depressed look of the town. Of all the places we had been to on the trip this was the worst looking by far. The germans wanted to find a place to buy supplies, after asking around we were directed to the main market street. As we got out of our cars used needles could be seen laying around on the floor, the street was gravel (sort of) and covered in rubbish and the shops were just old shipping containers and railway carriages. There was also a pub that sold out of date bottled beer and a shop that sold out of date western confectionery. We managed to get some potatoes and eggs and then made a hasty get away towards the border with Kyrgyzstan.

After Murghab the road headed up to the highest pass on the Pamir (4650m). All the cars struggled with the altitude but it also didn’t help that it was snowing and the track was mud. The Terios got up first time in first gear but the Alto had to roll back down and take a big runup to get past the mud.

Highest pass on the Pamir - 4650m!

Highest pass on the Pamir – 4650m!

As we headed down from the highest pass we ran into the Chinese border fence and ended up following it till it got dark and we setup camp. By this point we were only 30km away from the Kyrgyzstan border!

We did the old water test with the 20 eggs we bought to see if they were bad….14 were bad. Thanks Murghab. Still the chips were good and the few eggs we had made a small but nice omelette.

Activity around the Soulpad!

Activity around the Soulpad!