Travel Oscars: Part II

Trip Start Nov 14, 2007
Trip End Apr 20, 2009

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Flag of Tajikistan  ,
Monday, September 1, 2008

Hello All,

Our Tajik journey is nearly at an end as we plan to be in Uzbekistan by Thursday. We thought while we wait for our flight (yes! flight!) to Dushanbe we would try and give a brief summary of highlights since we left India 3 months ago. In merely chronological order here is a top ten:

1. The Wagah border ceremony Pakistan - Could be the makings of Eurovision 'Special' entry.

2. Meeting and befriending Amna Niazi in Lahore - a fascinating city and an amazing woman.

3. Trekking in Northern Pakistan - Rupal Face, Rush Peak and Ultar Meadows.

4. Arslanbob, Kyrgyzstan - Exploring the village and Walnut forest with new friends Sein and Michiel.

5. Jeti Orguz - Altyn Arashyn trek. Kyrgyzstan, with Boo Ford (thanks also to Marcus and Betz; and Yonaton and Stav).

6. Kyrgyz shepherd food - Warm bread, impossibly thick cream, fresh home-made jams, endless Chai and Kumyz (fermented mares milk).

7. Six day horse trek, Kyrgyzstan, from Kara Suu to Song Kol via Koly Kok with Michiel.

8. Assorted scrambles up Pamir peaks, Tajikistan - Karakul promontory, Bulunkul and Wakhan Viewpoint (Thanks Taco, Lara and Kei!).

9. Bibi Fatima Hot spring in Yamchun, Wakhan Valley, Tajikistan.

10. Pamiri Hospitality - The villages of Zong and Langar in the Wakhan (to name but a few) The most welcoming people and the most interesting villages yet.

Honourable mentions:
Kashgar, China - The old city, sparkly dressed women and the first visible ladies kneecaps for 5 months.
Endless Summer Fruits: apricots, raspberries, blackcurrants, cherries, strawberries, pears
Shashlyk - Gods gift of meat to the post-India traveler.
Afghan Market, Khorog, Tajikistan

Also, we have a deep suspicion that our flight to Dushanbe will be a spectacular highlight (hence why we have broken some 'bird dream' rules to take it).

Room for Improvement:
Bishkek value for money:
"No, I won't be paying $4 for that mans karaoke performance"
"No, I won't be paying $4 for being forced to listen to Russian Techno that we asked you to turn off"

The Rubber Chicken:
Kyrgyz and Tajik border guards for putting the screws on local people trying to run legitimate cross-border trade and creaming off the hard work of others!

Finally, it was with much sadness that we learnt yesterday that Pat's Nana Monica, Mother to Murray, passed away on Saturday night (Pat's Birthday). She was a wonderful, loving woman and especially adventurous traveller- also responsible for Pat's love of cricket, jigsaw puzzles, quizzes and factoids.

Farewell Nana Monica (Nana Monkica) and love to everybody.

Christina and Patrick
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