Just some 5 kms after where we camped last night, we found this valley with a nice river flowing through. Damn! Still, it was a nice way of starting the day, great views. The road had gone unpaved exactly where we had camped last night, so we only had some patches of asfalt here and there all the way to the top. The pass, anyway, is pretty easy (even with head winds… again).
One of the highlights of the day was the downhill, or better said the initial 4 kms aprox of the downhill. If you like mountain bike, you’ll enjoy this. Saddlebags take part of the fun away but still… There’s a sign saying 12% of slope, but it didn’t feel that much really (I think they’ve got the same issue with 12% signs here as what they’ve got in Kyrgyzstan with 8% ones). Anyway, if you’re going uphill, careful! Even with tail winds, it won’t be easy!
After this initial part of unpaved road, the asfalt comes back, exactly when the hardest downhill is gone. From there onwards, a nice and easy downhill amongst great mountains. Head wind forced us to pedal even downhill, but well, not much you can do about that.
And finally Djelinde. There’re some hot springs here which are quite nice. There’re some basic homestays or the hotel, an old URSS sanatorium. This last one is not nice at all, but I’d recommend the experience. Try to stay at the hall as long as you can; there’s always some weird people around. The cost is 40 somoni per person (includes entry to the hot spring), but you can find some rooms in the back for 10 somoni. Neither has a bathroom, the atmosphera is a little bit depressing, the hot springs are very basic and not the nicest ones… but it’s an experience. It’s your call now!!
By the way: there are some other free hot springs 7 kms down the road. They’re just ok as well, probably better than the ones in town, but they’re in the middle of anywhere. You’ll need to camp here or ask somebody to stay at their place (which they’d do happily).