I’ve seen some harsh scenery these last few days, the Wakhan valley didn’t look like the easiest place to settle down, but at least it is possible to grow food. But here at an elevation of almost four kilometers there’s a village on the lake’s shore. I really do wonder how people survive. Though it’s late August it’s cold already and the lack of oxygen leaves me tired just from wandering around the village for a bit.
As remote as the village feels the guest house negates any feelings of romantic isolation. I meet about half a dozen fellow tourists there including a guy I spotted at Yashikul lake two days ago. His rented car had gotten stuck somewhere and he declined my offer to help out. With the encouragement of the place’s owner who hardly speaks a word of English and has been using me and two Russian tourists as make do translators I ask a him if I he could possibly give me a lift across the border to Osh and he thankfully agrees. With so little traffic coming through I figured I’d be stuck in the village for at least a day or two but I guess the Pamir highway has been my lucky road.
The border crossing takes a while. There’s a lot of extra paperwork and attention involved with driving cars across borders but I told the driver I won’t be able to help him out since I always pretend not to understand a word of Russian at borders since it severely restricts the possibility squeeze money out of me.I hope the driver forgives me, he ends up paying a border guard a small bribe, as a pedestrian without anything drawing attention to me, my process goes smoother.
After a rough road through the mountains we end up on driving past farm fields to a village just on the other side of the Pamirs. The contrast between that morning’s scenery is huge, the place feels like the garden of Eden with the impenetrable backdrop of the mountains. The next day after a brief detour to the old trade center of Uzgen we part ways in Osh.