Ten hours of sleep and an urgency of mother nature calling woke us up at 06:00. The drivers were also awake. They got word that the roads had just been opened an hour prior. We quickly got our things pack and were on the road by 06:45.
Fifteen minutes on the road and we encountered another landslide. Luckily, the Tajik military had started work on it with shovels and good old-fashioned manpower.
When it looked moderately cleared, the soldiers signaled some cars to give it a go. First when a minivan. The family that was in the minivan watched as the driver gave it a go. And then he just kept driving without his family.
It was precarious but we got through too. The delay lasted half an hour. Thank you Land Cruiser!
The rest of the drive to Khorog was quiet abeit a mini rock-slide that the Land Cruiser handled easily. Smatterings of rain showers, pothole ridden roads and stares from locals were the only exciting bits minus the amazing nature.
Right before Khorog, we were stopped by the Tajik police. They asked the driver, the brother, to get out of the car. Then they went into a separate car. “Corruption!” Taalay said afterwards. Perhaps the high price of this trip also includes all the bribes he needs to pay along the way.
We got to Khorog before midday and agreed to relax for the rest of the day.
Khorog was quite busy. The main drag on Lenin Street was full of cars, mashurtkas and 4WDs. We tried to get some USD exchanged at one office. The lady said it was closed. We asked when it’ll be open again. She said maybe next month.
We arrived back at the guesthouse soaking wet thanks to the intermittent rain. But the rain was a good excuse to stay in, enjoy the WiFi and eat our instant noodles.
We stayed at Pamir Lodge. Two dorm beds, no meals cost $9/person or 160TJS total. Hot showers and WiFi! Luxury in the Pamirs!
- Number of kilometers driven: 118
- Number of checkpoints: 1
- Number of roadblocks: 2
- Number of bribes: 1