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Posts Tagged ‘dushanbe

03 Nov, 2009

The Bags Arrived!

Posted by: Scott In: Post-Rally

Believe it or not, the two packages that I laboriously sent back from Dushanbe, Tajikistan have finally made their way to my doorstep after nearly two months of being transported across the world by camel (I’m guessing). Now you get a chance to see the excellent workmanship that went into sewing these parcels together and then stamping them shut with wax seals.

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03 Sep, 2009

Dushanbe: Redeux

Posted by: Scott In: The Rally

Ah yes, Hotel Dushanbe: you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.

That’s the way we felt, coming back to the same hotel in the same city that we had waited in for a few days the week before. We had a few priorities to take care of, the first being finding a way to get out of the country before our visas expired yet again in four days time. What we wanted to do was get a flight from Dushanbe to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, explore the northern part of the country, take a taxi from Bishkek to Almaty, Kazakhstan, explore that city, and then take a train across the country, into Russia, and then eventually reach a Siberian Express stop where we could take that train all the way to Irkutsk and then Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, our final destination. Unfortunately it was Friday and we weren’t expecting to be able to get much done during the weekend, especially as it was the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Time was of the essence.

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01 Sep, 2009

Back to Dushanbe

Posted by: Scott In: The Rally

The house phone rang at 5:20AM. Imomdad’s uncle was moving up the time yet again (it was originally 7:00AM)–we have fifteen minutes to pack everything, eat, and get ready. We jumped out of our futons and set about getting everything ready. We were still packing up by the time he arrived and had to skip breakfast in order to not keep the driver and other passengers waiting. Imomdad and his father helped get all of our bags outside to the driver so that he could put them in and on top of the vehicle. We said thanks and goodbye to Imomdad and his family and jumped in the vehicle, a Pajero 4X4, which was already occupied by a woman and her two daughters in the middle row of seats (along with the driver’s helper in the passenger seat). We got in the back but they could not put the seat back up because my legs stretched out too far. The woman and her children were kind enough to switch seats with us and we got in the middle row. We were thinking we’d be lucky and get the row to ourselves, but we stopped just a couple minutes outside of Imomdad’s house to pick up a young guy in his 20′s, who sat in our row. I got pushed into the middle. It was going to be a long ride.

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23 Aug, 2009

Dushanbe

Posted by: Scott In: The Rally

Unlike many of the cities we had visited, Dushanbe was relatively new with little real history to speak of. Because of this there really wasn’t much to see or do there. Our plan was to stay one night to recouperate and then head off to the Pamir range the next day. The only problem was that we had found out that we needed a special GBAO (Gorno Badakshan Autonomous Oblast–a.k.a. Pamir Region) permit to travel there. As I had had little internet access as of late it had been difficult for me to secure this pass–our only hope was to grab one in Dushanbe, or be faced with traveling back along to route we had just came.

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22 Aug, 2009

Tajikistan: Day Two

Posted by: Scott In: The Rally

We got a few restless hours of sleep in the car during that night. It got pretty chilly, with temperatures hovering around freezing, so we were pretty cold in the car wearing shorts and a T-shirt. Both of us were awakened multiple times during the night by passing vehicles, people, and of course, the cold. I eventually ended up throwing some clothing on top of me, a travel towel over my legs, and putting my fleece jacket on. Collin went in the trunk to get his sleeping bag out.

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    In the summer of 2009, two guys from Metro Detroit are traveling 10,000 miles from London to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia in an effort to raise money to assist underprivileged Mongolian families in becoming self-sufficient.

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