Since we had to wait so long for our GBAO permits, we only had 14 days left on our visas, which meant we had to fast forward a bit of the Pamir. We decided to get a ride with Kieran and Marley to Kalaikhum, a city 390km from Dushanbe (South Road distance). And since we didn’t get out permits until 2pm, we weren’t on the road until 4pm for our 11 hour journey.
Once the permits were sorted, Jared organized a driver to pick us up at our hostel. We had 4 bikes and 20 plus bags to fit in but after packing and rearranging, it all fit in.
Note: for any cyclists looking to skip this section a car/jeep will cost you $0.70-$0.85 USD per kilometer. We were charged $310 USD for our jeep based on 390 kilomters on the South road. Drivers did not want to take the shorter but very very crappy north road
We were told the ride would take 8 hours, but that was grossly underestimated. Getting out of town took longer than expected, plus we stopped for dinner around the half way point. Then we had a few checkpoints to go through once we entered the GBAO and that slowed us up as well. Plus the road went to complete crap and it was dark which made it hard for our driver to see, really it was the perfect storm for a long long ride.
We rolled into Kalaikuhm at 3am, an 11 hour ride, and we were all completely shattered. We found our guesthouse with little problem and passed out as soon as our heads hit the pillow. In the morning we were greeted by a fantastic breakfast in the morning to fuel up for the road ahead.