Tajikistan·September 5 - 18 2021
Same awesome crew, different continentSOLD OUT
Salam! We tried to lose you guys in the freezing deserts of Iceland but obviously failed, so now we're raising the stakes. Starting on the far-flung border of Afghanistan, you'll be running about a marathon a day (can't be too precise as Nick's organising again) across Tajikistan to the border of Kyrgyzstan, through scenery that makes you feel like a gnats cock resting on Ivan's manhood. Iceland was supposed to be a one-off. An excuse for Nick and Danny to snuggle close on cold nights and get some Insta porn. But something happened in September 2019. You know it. We know it. Connections were made. Boundaries crossed. A family was born. You're on the guest list because you're part of that family. No one else is invited. We’ve upgraded the poo bucket and bought more veg and snack, but it's the same basic idea: explore seriously remote regions, tred untouched trails, sleep wild and live life. Bartang is longer (220 miles), higher (4,500m+) and there's a totally different culture to explore. This is our family holiday. This is 2021 baby!!!
Yup, just like with GNR the schedule doesn't include actually getting there (or back), so you'll need to get yourself to Dushanbe, Tajikistan first. You can arrive whenever you like before the 5th, but there's a hotel waiting for you if it's on Friday and/or Saturday.
Getting to the Bartang Valley is no small feat. On Sunday we start our two-day bus journey to the valley entrance. En route we pass stunning scenery and have time to stop and explore. We'll stay in a small homestay in the village of Qalai Khumb.
Today we'll get to the Tajik-Afgan border town of Rushan and the start of the Bartang Valley. It's nothing but a tiny turning off a tiny road. Don't go the wrong way - you know who I'm talking to.
Staying in local village homestays we'll wend our way along the Bartang river. Expect to see no more than one car per day and always locals. Tourists don't go down this way. We're heading for the tiny village of Siponj. Don't bother Googling it.
Off to the equally small village of Basid today, through spectacular canyons and over beautiful passes. Iceland eat your heart out. Glad it's all being filmed! Picnic lunch on route.
Run to Roshorv village, where we will see Lapnazar Peak (5990m), it's the only mountain in Tajikistan that you can see from top to bottom. Check out the Juniper trees and local way of life. Up till now we've been staying in homestays, now we break out the tents.
Today we will enter Ghudara valley where the landscape opens out onto wide breathtaking plains. We'll pass an ancient fortress in the village of Savnob and a cave where beautiful girls used to hide from foreign invaders. Watch out for sand storms...and beautiful girls.
Today we will have a rest day and chill out. Explore the village, eat everything in sight, do nothing, or have an impromptu marriage proposal.
Today we'll run through Tanimas valley and pass by Kok Jar (no sniggering), one of the most stunning and mind-blowing parts of the trail. This will be one Kok of a day as we gain height steadily.
Very wild camping for a couple of nights as we leave even the smallest villages behind. We might see Marco Polo sheep herds en-route and will pass next to a large meteorite crater.
Wild running in the middle of freakin' nowhere leads us to Karakul on the border of Kyrgystan and China. Here we'll leave the Bartang valley behind and join the legendary M41 Pamir Highway.
Out of Karakul and heading towards the high pass into Kyrgystan at 4,280m (14,042 ft. for Jackie and Bea). Our bodies will have acclimatised to the high altitude, but we'll still be working hard today.
Today we'll tread the M41 Pamir Highway, running next to clapped out cars, vans, trucks and bikes. World-class scenery as always, just with a slightly more surreal vibe.
It is our final day of the run and also the shortest. We'll reach the border of Kyrgyzstan, cross over and (hopefully) be met by a local team on the Kyrgyzstan side who will take us to Osh by bus. Party and shenanigans in Osh.
Head home from Kyrgystan. You can stay and explore longer if you like, but at some point you'll need to get an internal flight from Osh to the capital Bishkek, and from there back home.
Food, accommodation, transfers
Team equipment (tents, etc)
Remote region permits
Home stays with local food
Warm sleeping bag