Wednesday, June 17, 2015

On The Road To Khorog

After spending a couple of nights in Dushanbe and seeing some of the sites it was time to head out on towards the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region and the Pamir Highway.

It was the best day of the whole trip so far.  Over a few mountain passes with the last bring us along side Afghanistan with only a raging torrent of a river's separation.  The roads ranged from sublime valley bottom pavement to bone rattling potholed gravel with the odd sandbar and shallow water crossing thrown in.  The scenery left everyone gobsmacked - there really has never been a more appropriate use of that word.  

Our accommodations for the night in Kaliakhum were in shared rooms in a rustic home stay built almost on top of yet another raging torrent of a river.   Tajikistan has a lot of water and it is no wonder a lot of regional and world economies are looking with great interest here.  

 The next day's ride down to Khorog was another tough but great day.  150 hard miles along the river with the road surface varying between dirt and broken pavement and back to dirt.  A noticeable increase in traffic especially of the oncoming heavy truck variety.  Again the scenery  and vistas are incredible. 

Every town we ride through the kids come out in throngs to shout and yell and wave.  They are also sticking their hands out to high five the moving motorcycles... probably not the safest thing and I have rethought my active participation in this activity and decided to just wave and smile.  And of course we continue to attract crowds wherever we go.

For the last day and half we have been riding along the border of Afghanistan with nothing more than a river separating us.  

It is absolutely fascinating to observe the comings and goings of daily life on the other side.  Don't think I have seen any modern conveniences outside a couple of motorcycles with everything seemingly being done through manual labour.  The next day would get us a better look as we cross over for a day trip.

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