7 days on Central Asia's Pamir Highway
A weathered sign indicated our altitude on Tajikistan's Ak-Baital Pass -- 4,655 meters above sea level. Barren mountains stretched in every direction, casting shadows over the second-highest international road in the world.
China loomed over the eastern horizon. Kyrgyzstan was behind us. To the south lay Afghanistan and the fabled Wakhan Corridor. We were heading south, along the Pamir Highway, officially known as the M41.