Murghob, Tajikistan - Polarsteps
In the morning back from the mirroring burumkul lake, passed the salt lake to Ali Chor to get petrol. Just in case, because the first point to get petrol on the wakhan corridor is quite far and would be just about. In this remote areas it's better to be safe than sorry. So around midday we take a left to the wakhan. The scenery changes again a to dry wide open plateau along a wild river. Again some serious off-road with lots of corrugations (washboard) and sand. The beginning is tough as we never quite seen to get comfortable. We know all the tricks but it's mainly a mental challenge as you don't want to fall. So we use different techniques and during the day it gets better, even in the sand. Thing is, in sand or deep gravel your steer starts to sweep around and corrects itself if you let it be. But because you think you're gonna fall you freeze and either hold the steer or, even worse, reduce speed and brake which puts all the weight at the front and you'll fall. So, you have to stay relaxed, look far ahead (not in front of your wheel) and trust the bike. This takes a lot of effort because it's exactly counterpart from what you feel. Be Zen.
The scenery is very rewarding and at the end of the day we find a lovely camp spot at the river with even some trees!
I want to place it in IOverlander and see it's already there. I also see some other people saw a big Bear around here...... It makes us a bit nervous but we decide to stay after merijn searched the whole area for bear signs. We have a nice campfire and a wonderful starry night. When I have to to pee in the night I get out of the tent, turn around and see the shadow of a frontal bear five meters away in the bushes. I dunno what to do and the only thing I can think of is walk around the tent backwards to get to my bike and get a flashlight. Maybe not the smartest thing to do but I want to be sure what I am up against. So I point the the light and luckily I turns out to be really only a shadow......pffff.