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Posts Tagged ‘pamir highway

31 Aug, 2009


Posted by: Scott In: The Rally

The next morning we were awakened around 8:00AM by Valler’s nephew banging on the door. It was time to pick up the car. The truck was waiting outside, so we hopped into Valler’s car and drove off with the truck to the mechanic’s place. Surprise surprise, it was the same guy that we went to a few days earlier, the guy who had ripped us off. He took a look at the damage and offered to fix it for $200. I said that wasn’t going to happen. Valler’s brother reiterated that they would like to buy it. I talked it over with Collin, and considering the damage, we didn’t think it was prudent to continue on with the car in the state it was in, even if we got it fixed. While it was on the truck bed we looked at the underside of the car and the damage was extensive–there were many things we had never even noticed before. Add to that the steering, rust, engine overheating, gas leak, destroyed catalytic converter, and other miscellaneous problems and it was time to retire Buster to pasture. They had a deal. Valler’s brother handed us $300 and said that he would have the other $700 that afternoon. After we got all of our possessions out and into Imomdad’s father’s car we let it go with Valler’s family.


30 Aug, 2009

The Rescue

Posted by: Scott In: The Rally

It took another hour or so before we got back to Khorog. Along the way Valler stopped at a few small villages where he saw some flatbed trucks parked, but we couldn’t find anything available. Valler had said earlier that he was working on opening a hotel and restaurant in the city, and that’s where he took us. Walking in it was clear that there was still quite a bit of construction to be done, but it looked like it was turning into a nice place. He said we could rest there for a bit and gave me the keys before taking off.


29 Aug, 2009

The Death

Posted by: Scott In: The Rally

We were stuck in the mountains, almost 10,000ft up, and it was getting dark. We had to get out of there or face a freezing night in the car. Changing from our shorts into warmer clothing, we tried flagging down the first vehicle that passed to no avail. The second vehicle did stop–we were very lucky. We explained our situation and he offered to tow us to the next town. Collin got in the guy’s car–I got our tow rope out and took our first shot at towed. Due to the bumpiness of the road it came undone pretty quickly. We tried again. Same thing. We took out our other tow rope, which had a clamp on it, and attached it to the first one. That too fel off. We tried tying them together, and it seemed to be working. The guy was driving pretty fast, and controlling the car with minimal steering capabilities was tough. After going just a few miles over extremely bad roads the wheel starting making even louder noises and our steering went kaput. I honked the horn nd signaled to stop. We couldn’t do this anymore–it was destroying the car. The wheel was basically being dragged against the car and had lost a fair amount of its tread in the process. It would be in even worse shape if we tried to continue.


28 Aug, 2009

The Pamir Highway

Posted by: Scott In: The Rally

M41, or the Pamir Highway, is the highest elevation roadway in the world. Winding through the Western Himalayan range from Southern Tajikistan to Osh, Kyrgyzstan, the road takes one through some of the highest elevation passes traversible by vehicle (4,655m/13,965ft). This was one of the things we had been waiting to do the entire trip.


27 Aug, 2009


Posted by: Scott In: The Rally

Nestled between the mountains of Tajikistan and Afghanistan and bordered by the Gunt River, Khorog is the capital of the GBAO (Gorno Badakshan Autonomous Oblast) region of Tajikistan. As the location of the Aga Khan Central Asia University it is home to one of the most educated, English-capable populations in all of Central Asia.


26 Aug, 2009

To Khorog

Posted by: Scott In: The Rally

We had slept three to a room on futon mattresses while numerous flies, moths, and other insects buzzed around us the entire night. Again, we didn’t such a restful sleep. We stocked up on water (only gassy water available here–seems people don’t usually drink bottled water if it isn’t carbonated) and headed out towards Khorog.


25 Aug, 2009

To Khalaikum

Posted by: Scott In: The Rally

The next morning we awoke early and set off towards the east. We traveled through ever increasing heights, as we entered the western reaches of what is technically the Himalayan mountain range. Our goal was to reach the city of Khalaikum by nightfall, and then continue on from there to Khorog the next day.




In the summer of 2009, two guys from Metro Detroit traveled 10,000 miles from London to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia in an effort to raise money to assist underprivileged Mongolian families in becoming self-sufficient.

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