Langar, Tajikistan: Wakhan Valley

Trip Start Jul 28, 2013
Trip End Feb 06, 2014

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Flag of Tajikistan  , Osh Province,
Saturday, November 9, 2013

After an hour or so at the Afghan market we headed back across the bridge, collected our passports and returned to the car. We had planned to stay in Ishkashim that night but as it had only just turned 1200 we decided to merge two days into one and continue on.

Ergash drove us up to Yamchum Fort (built in 12th century) and further along to the Bibi Fatima hot springs. If we thought the views couldn't get better we were mistaken. We bailed on the hot springs as they were undercover not a la naturale and men and women had to bath separately in order to go a la naturale. Instead we got out at the fort and went for a wander. WOW! I know I've said it a million times before but my goodness the views were incredible. With the fort basically in the middle of the Wakhan Valley you could see for miles in either direction. Ignoring the wind and the cold we stood transfixed by the panorama, by far the best we've seen of the whole trip. Even more so than our previous favourite, Norway.

Windswept and breathless we returned to the car and made way to Langar. A small village near to where the Wakhan and Pamir rivers meet to form the Pyanj River. The Wakhan continues through Afghanistan and the Wakhan Corridor whilst the Pamir takes over as the border between Tajikistan and Afghanistan. Horse treks and hiking through the Wakhan Corridor are meant to be incredible so that is now firmly on our list of future travel destinations.

The homestay in Langar was FREEZING. Catching the last of the rays we went for a walk to try and find the river but aborted mission for fear of being attacked by rabid dogs. Returning to the homestay feeling cold, miserable, bunged up and with no possibility of a hot shower, Sam covered me in two sleeping bags, three blankets and a beanie in and effort to try and get me warm. There was a small heater in the corner of the room which failed terribly at its job to heat.

The UN people we had met earlier in the day arrived just before 6pm so we all sat down and had dinner together. They lived in Dushanbe but worked in Afghanistan helping the police with check point and border patrol infrastructure. The group was made up of an Englishman, Japanese guy, Tajik lady and a number of local men. Vodka was cracked open after dinner so for purely medicinal purposes I indulged in a shot before crawling into bed.

Distance travelled (Khorog - Langar): 250km

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