Dushanbe - Khorog
Unfortunately, after days of climbing up here on terrible roads, the weather had closed in and we saw nothing. It began to snow very lightly and we didn't want to hang around to see if it would pass. We rugged up for the first time and bombed it down the huge downhill winding down into the gorge on the other side.
Darkness had drawn in as David and I sheltered in the abandoned building above. As we were cooking dinner a coal truck slowed down and was waving frantically to us from the road. I walked up to see what he wanted and this big beaming smile of a guy fell out of the passenger side.. this was Chi. CHi had been picked up by a truck on the other side of the pass after a located his tent precariously on the narrow, gravel road with falling rocks and not much room for vehicles to pass. The truck driver woke him up and bundled Chi and his tent into the truck and delivered him to the next safe place. And there happened to be two perfect 'garages' to shelter both our tents..
We were on a dreadful stretch of sand road with trucks and lorry's hurtling by in both directions, when a convoy of UN vehicles passed by. Moments later they had pulled up and were taking photos of us emerging from the plumes of dust. They happened to have extra security vehicles escorting them and so offered us a ride past through the bad section of road until their turn of f to Afghanistan. Fantastic group of people and really interesting chatting to the Tajik security guard who lived in the Pamir's and told us lots about the area.
We were in a very remote area when we saw these two ladies sitting on a mud bank just outside their home. They gestured to us to come and drink çay and before we knew it, we were given two bowls of delicious vegetable broth with homemade bread. They sat and watched us eat, packed us a bag with more naan and tomatoes to take with us and off we went, amazing!
The villages of Afghanistan were just breathtaking. So remote, no power lines, often only a narrow donkey track as access. but each village was like an oasis, green and lush and self-sufficient with fresh water and a little bit of land for cultivating. Some of the villages looked like a scene from a Caribbean island..
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