31 Aug, 2009
Posted by: Scott In: The Rally
The next morning we were awakened around 8:00AM by Valler’s nephew banging on the door. It was time to pick up the car. The truck was waiting outside, so we hopped into Valler’s car and drove off with the truck to the mechanic’s place. Surprise surprise, it was the same guy that we went to a few days earlier, the guy who had ripped us off. He took a look at the damage and offered to fix it for $200. I said that wasn’t going to happen. Valler’s brother reiterated that they would like to buy it. I talked it over with Collin, and considering the damage, we didn’t think it was prudent to continue on with the car in the state it was in, even if we got it fixed. While it was on the truck bed we looked at the underside of the car and the damage was extensive–there were many things we had never even noticed before. Add to that the steering, rust, engine overheating, gas leak, destroyed catalytic converter, and other miscellaneous problems and it was time to retire Buster to pasture. They had a deal. Valler’s brother handed us $300 and said that he would have the other $700 that afternoon. After we got all of our possessions out and into Imomdad’s father’s car we let it go with Valler’s family.
Imomdad invited us to stay at his place that night so we drove with his father to his house and offloaded all of our things. We had a lot of stuff in the car that we wouldn’t be able to take with us–these things we decided to separate and give to Imomdad’s family, as they had helped us quite abit during our time in their city. It turns out that Imomdad’s uncle was heading out to Dushanbe the next day, carrying passengers in his 4X4 vehicle for a price of 200 somoni/person. His dad was nice enough to arrange passage for us on his vehicle–we were set to leave Khorog at 6:00AM the next morning. We had some tea and snacks before we went out to have lunch at the same restaurant we visit our first night in Khorog. This time we compensated for the small portions by ordering three dishes to share between the two of us. After lunch we went back to the house to get a ride to the government office. Our visa expired as of that day, and in order to get out of the country without any hassles we would have to extend it. We didn’t even think you could do it in Khorog–we though we would have to go back to Dushanbe first–but it turns our that we were wrong (lucky for us). After a bit of runaround and a payment of thirty dollars and twenty-five somoni we were legal for another five days. Next was a stop to the local internet cafe before returning back with Imomdad to his family home. There we rested up bit and took a look through his family photo lbums, including one of his father’s service in the USSR tank corps during the Soviet-Afghan war of the 1980’s.
Imomdad’s mother returned home and made us a large spread of food for dinner. After we finished eating and doing a few vodka shots together Imomdad, his father, and the both of us went off to the local bathhouse. There we relaxed in the extremely hot sauna until we were barely able to move anymore, at which point we headed back to the house and off to bed for the night.
Pictures have been posted in the gallery.