From Kara-kul (Tajikistan) to Sary-Tash (Kyrgyzstan).
Cooking time:  From 2 to 4 hours. Depends on the wind, and the way the birds are flying (or maybe the lazyness in the air). 
Difficulty: 3/5

Dish Introduction

Here we would like to recommend a special dish, something for the most adventurous palates, this is the highest office-border in the world. And it require a good amount of understanding and not fall on their game of making you pay for everything. Here we go, the border in between mountains!

Ingredients

  • Passports.
  • Tajik visa printed and stamped.
  • Police papers from the enter of Tajik border.
  • Some dollars or Tajik sommonies or Kyrgyzstan soms.
  • Car documents.
  • No Kyrgyzstan visa needed (for us).
  • Good resistance to shaky road.

Method

-1st Step;  Exiting Tajikistan.

You are at high altitude, water boils at lower temperature, so keep calm and don’t worm to fast. It requires some diplomatic skills to remove all the bones, and focuse one the main ingredients!

  • Well done, if you arrived at this point is because you had drive the M-41 with all the multiples variations. Hope you enjoyed as munch as we did.
  • You are goanna find a close gate all decorated with big and nice goat horns. We stop the car, and even before getting in the border with our car, they already try to get money from us, demanding a paper that we didn’t have, some kind of transit check document. Do not pay anything, we are not sure what was all this about, but nothing serious for sure.
  • Don’t be surprised, the border is very modest, rural, and simple. They are gonna use only pen and paper, and the office is the same place where they eat and watch tv. In this second office, they are gonna write, slowly and accurately all your names and car specifications.
  • After that, a quick, very quick luggage control. Your are good to enter in the border area. Someone is gonna try to stop you and make you pay for a disinfection fee and some kind of paper work. Be determined and say that you go to the Kyrgyzstan border. Actually, keep in mind that you should not pay anything at all in Tajikistan.
  • The road condition inside the border is terrible. A short drive and you arrive at the passport control. Another quick check inside of your vehicle, mostly looking for some cigarettes for themself. A nice stamp on your passport and they take away your visa, out of the country!

No mans-land… is quite strange but you are goanna cross 20km of horrible condition road. Is suppose to be taken care by the Tajiks, but it is a slow cooking road.


-2nd step; Welcome to Kyrgyzstan.

  • Just crossed the metal gate, if there is another vehicle inside you will have to wait.
  • First stop is passport control, we had to wait 15 minutes that someone fixed the computer. At least they have a computer…
  • Passport stamped, picture taken from us, and with a friendly and nice smile, they will send you to the costumes control.
  • Once we got there they claimed not to have light, and say that we have to wait, maybe 2 hours maybe 2 days, is hard to know how much irony they put in their sentence, so we had to park our car in front of a gasoline generator that they are not using. After 1 hour light was back.
  • You will find a guy with a price of entry tax printed on the wall. Motorbike 500COM / car 1200COM / truck and bus 3000COM .There is not much you can do, they will consider your van like a microbús, and you will have to pay the higher price. We manage to lose our fee to 1500COM after big-time discussing. Give it a try.
  • They will give you one year of a permit to freely drive around Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Russia. We didn’t really understood how did that work, but apparently is like this, ask and maybe they will explain it better to you.
  • Pas the last metal gate.
  • Enjoy the amazing snowy mountains around, the green fields, the sheeps and the new country!

Tips to make this dish a bit more digestible

  • Do some hiking in the sorrownding mountains. Specially before crossing the border. You can enjoy a lot this lonely part of the Pamir, just be careful with the wolves!
  • Don’t pay absolutely nothing in the Tajik part
  • Easy to exchange money at Sary-tash.
  • Be patient! And take time to ride in between borders!