On the Pamir Highway

Marjolein Katsma

Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Share this page Photo © 2009 Marjolein Katsma | Text © 2010 Marjolein Katsma


Tags for this photograph:
travel, bus, transport, 4wd, russian, tajikistan, minibus, murghab, kara kul, pamir highway


I’ve mentioned the Pamir Highway before… it’s the major road through the High Pamirs in Tajikistan and its most important connection to Kyrgyzstan and the market city of Osh.

Just as with the Pan-American Highway though, the concept of “highway” is entirely relative here: there are stretches of the road where it’s just barely metaled, and it’s constantly subject to damage from melt water and land slides.

From Dushanbe our group traveled with two Russian-made minibuses and one jeep, all three all-mechanical (a driver needs to be able to do repairs in the middle of nowhere!) and all four-wheel drives – really needed when it’s steep, or when the road or a bridge turns out to have been replaced by just a river bed… Our very capable and friendly drivers also washed their vehicles every day, and the windows sometimes even in-between. We regularly switched places (but taking preferences into account) and I took this photo of what became my favorite bus on the Pamir Highway between Murghab and Kara Kul, because it so nicely illustrates what “highway” actually means here…

Taken on the Pamir Highway between Murghab and Kara Kul, Tajikistan 2009
Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1

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