Globebusters Ace to Ace report:
GlobeBusters’ Ace to Ace Expedition, from London’s iconic Ace Cafe to the grand opening of the new Ace Cafe in Beijing, has completed the isolated, sometimes inaccessible, high altitude Pamir Highway.
Led by double Guinness World Record holder Kevin Sanders, on a 1200cc Triumph Explorer GlobeBuster Special Edition adventure bike, the international group of fifteen motorcyclists spent eight days crossing Iran, then followed the ancient Silk Road deep into Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, before joining the Pamir Highway.
The road gets its name from the sparsely populated Pamir Mountains in Tajikistan, including the Ak-Baital Pass at 4,655m – the second highest altitude international highway in the world. Altitude is not the only challenge facing travellers along this historic route. Most of the so-called ‘highway’ is primarily dirt and severely damaged in places by a mixture of erosion, earthquakes and avalanches. It’s also a volatile part of the world that still suffers from the aftermath of civil war some 20 years ago, and is a primary route for drug smuggling from Afghanistan into Russia and Europe.
Pioneering adventure experts GlobeBusters have been alone in bringing riders there for the past six years, with well-established networks of local contacts and guides to ensure the team is taken care of. “It’s got more than its fair share of challenges, but the Pamir Highway & Wakhan Valley has to rank as one of one of the world’s greatest adventure rides” says Sanders. “It reaches almost 5,000m, runs the Tajik-Afghanistan border, and in some places feels nothing more than a goat track”.
“The other year landslides cut off our route out of the valley, meaning back-tracking and detours, so it’s great to have been able to ride it, in its entirety, this time round. The views of the magnificent Hindu Kush are breathtaking and it’s a major highlight of the expedition.