30 Aug, 2009
Posted by: Scott In: The Rally
It took another hour or so before we got back to Khorog. Along the way Valler stopped at a few small villages where he saw some flatbed trucks parked, but we couldn’t find anything available. Valler had said earlier that he was working on opening a hotel and restaurant in the city, and that’s where he took us. Walking in it was clear that there was still quite a bit of construction to be done, but it looked like it was turning into a nice place. He said we could rest there for a bit and gave me the keys before taking off.
We slept for a bit and then woke up and awaited Valler’s return. We waited quite a bit, and eventually I sent Collin off to the Pamir Lodge, where we had stayed before, to see if anyone there could offer any suggestions or advice on what to do next. Valler returned with a friend around noon and said that he had found someone to tow our car back for $500. I said that was not possible and he said that he’d continue the search. He said that we could have lunch at his restaurant around back and I went off to grab Collin. I found him walking back towards Valler’s hotel, and we decided to grab Imomdad again to see if maybe he could help us out with anything. The three of us went off to eat by the river and then wet back inside the hotel to continue waiting for Valler. We took a mid-afternoon nap, and awoke around 3:00. No Valler. It was getting late, and the chance of us getting the car and returning during daylight hours was gone, as it would take at least five hours to complete the operation. Eventually Valler came back with his brother and brother’s son, and we drove around town looking for a suitable truck. It wasn’t long before we saw a truck driving down the road, and we quickly turned around to follow it while honking for the driver to stop. We get him to stop the truck and bargain him down to $200, including the cost for the fuel (around $100 alone). That’s a price we could definitely work with.
We all drove to Valler’s house where we loaded a ramp into the back of the truck and then I along with Imomdad, Valler’s brother’s son, and the driver set off to retrieve our vehicle. Although the truck was big and wasn’t too affected by the bumps of the road the top speed wasn’t very fast and it took quite a while before we reached the point where our car was stranded. It was dark out and extremely cold outside. The first thing I did was open the trunk and grab my jacket. We had to get the car in the back of the truck, but with minimal steering capability and no way to power the car it was going to be tricky. A couple of passing cars stopped when they saw us and offered their help pushing the car onto the truck bed. Luckily tere was a slope on each side of the road, so the truck drove down the embankment, we positioned the ramps, and I sat inside the car and steered as best as I could while the others pushed. It took quite a few tries, but we eventually got it on the truck.
On the way back we stopped at the same place we had visited the night before. This time it was open, so the four of us went inside and took a dip in the hot springs to refresh ourselves. By the time we got back to Khorog it was about midnight–seven hours since we had left. It had been a long ride. The driver said he would grab me to unload the car the next morning, so I went back to the hotel where Collin was sleeping. Valler had brought some water, bed rolls, and blankets, so we slept a bit more soundly that night.
Pictures have been posted in the gallery.