After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. – Nelson Mandela
I have often thought of this Mandela quote on a hard day’s hike, hoping that this peak was the last.
"Killer Of Hindus" - the Hindu Kush mountain range, where the great game players of Russia and Britain cam face to face. Yamchun Fort is in Tajikistan, the mountains Afghanistan.
Trees and greenery cling to the mountains which rise up in Afghanistan.
A small hamlet near the town of Vrang.
Yoged, Tajikistan, is a pleasant one horse town on the border with Afghanistan, where we broke the ardous journey to Khorog, the gateway to the Pamirs.
The Panj (Pandyzh) River seperates Tajikistan on the right from Afghanistan. Many on the Afghan side are Ethnic Tajiks, who have fled persecution for quite a while.
The Pamir Mountains in central Asia feature a number of 6 and 7 thousand metre peaks. The Pamir Highway between Khorog (2200m ASL), Tajikistan, and Osh (963m), Kyrygyzstan, rises to 4655 metres. Cyclists are surprisingly common.
The Pamir Highway, which joins Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, is the second highest in the world, and one of the more stunning drives around.
The Rasht Valley runs through Tajikistan from near Dushanbe towards the Kyrgyz border.
While horses can be arranged with some effort, we were content to walk around in Garm, Tajikistan.
Margeb, also spelt Margib, is an isolated old town in the Yagnob Valley, 120km and a century or two from Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
While the road (and the driver) into Margeb, Tajikistan, were a challenge, the hikes into the mountains were a stroll.
Golden light touches the mountains viewed from our guesthouse, Haft Kul, Tajikistan.
Haft (seven) Kul (Lakes) in Tajikistan.
Kulikalon Lakes, a gorgeous camping spot in Tajikistan, surrounded by the massive peaks in the Fann Mountain range. We found it tough going, but serious climbers were using this route as a practise run for the 5000m+ peaks around us.
Tajikistan is the most beautiful country I have visited. Blue-green lakes, massive mountain ranges make for tough but rewarding hikes, like this one in the Fann Mountains.
Alaudin Pass, 3650m ASL, is just up ahead. At this point I was resting every dozen steps. A few yers earlier I had coped reasonably well at higher altitude in Ethiopia. Was it age, or lack of acclimatization ?
Alaudin Lakes was our finishing point for our Fann Mountains hike in Tajikistan.
The Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, is close to excellent hiking, like at Ala Archa National Park. Lodges at the entrance are 1500m ASL, Semenov-Tian-Shansky Peak, 4,895.
The Kyrchyn Valley was the "athletes village" for the World Nomad Games 2016, held in Cholpon Ata, Kyrgyzstan. A real festival atmosphere prevailed, with traditional yurt homes, lots of grilled lamb, as well as archery and other events.
A rewarding view for some truly mediocre horse-riders, in Barskoon, an ancient but now sleepy town on the souther shore of Kyrgyzstan's (Lake) Issy Kol.
Jeti Orghuz, the start of some cool days hanging around nomads riding and hiking, a wee 25 km from the town of Karakol, Kyrgyzstan. The name means "Seven Bulls."
Some of the smaller hills in the Jeti Orguz area, Karakol Kyrgystan.
Lunch break on a day hike in Kyrgyzstan's Altyn Arashan mountains.
For the better prepared and hardier, Kyrgyzstan's Karakol offers a multi day hike through Jeti Orghuz, two 3800m passes to Altyn Arashan pictured here. Our day trips from Altyn were perfectly good for us.
Sunsets on a red road in the hills of lower Laos, on a cycling trip from the Mekong.
Morning light from the top of Borneo, Mount Kinabalu.
The views from the top of Malaysia's Mount Kinabalu, 4101m, the highest peak between Burma and New Guinea.
Some of the scenery which can be enjoyed by day-trippers around Cradle Mountain.
The Overland Track is a 6 day, 65km hike across Cradle Mountain/Lake St Clair, through some of Tasmania's best landscapes. A short day trip from Cradle Mountain gives a small taste for the less experienced like me.
Tea estate, Haputale, in the hills of Sri Lanka.
While Australia's mountain are overgrown hills, they are still great for hiking and nature. Mount Baw Baw, near Melbourne, is a skiing area in winter.
Struggling to even call it a hill, but these granite outcrops at Kooyoora State Park, Australia, were much more interesting than their size suggests.
Gariwerd is the original name for the area commonly called The Grampians, in western Victoria, Australia. The local aboriginal people have a 30,000 year connection to the land, which has excellent hiking rock climbing and wildlife, as well as ancient rock art.
Khao Yai National Park in Thailand. Big forests support healthy gibbon populations.
Nam Nao translates as "cold water", and Thais flock to this national park to experience the cold and enjoy the sunrise. It got down to 2 degrees when we were there.
Once known as The Olgas, Kata Tjuta is a series of rocks in central Australia, bubbling up from the flat arid land around it.