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Dushanbe and the Fan Mountains [26.September-5.Oktober]

In Dushanbe we headed straight to the Turkmenistan embassy for the transit visa only to be turned down because 27 September happens to be the Turkmen Independence day and the embassy was closed for several days. Instead of waiting in the capital we drove to lake Iskanderkul in the Fan Mountains, through the much dreaded Anzob tunnel (5 kilometers of darkness and smog, although not as bad as expected). There we met up with Remo (@rremo86) and Laura/Alex (@overlandingasia) with whom we were already driving the Pamirs. After three relaxing days at the lake we raced back to Dushanbe for our visa and back again into the Fan Mountains with lake Alaudin as our aim. Driving to Alaudin is not for the faint-hearted. First we drove through three villages with narrow streets and multitudes of children running after us, then the track climbed up and up with steep bends, gravelly and bumpy passages and few places to cross with other cars. It was worth it, because we have never seen lakes so blue as Alaudin and the three smaller lakes nearby. At the lake there was also a massive herd of sheep and goats with several shepherds and fully loaded donkeys heading up the already snow covered mountains. Apparently they herded their flock to a village near Iskanderkul, crossing at least one pass of 4000 meters, which must have already been covered in deep snow. Before crossing into the lowlands of Uzbekistan we decided to spend two more days at lake Gushor, the 3rd lake of seven in a valley close to the border.

 

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