26 Aug, 2009
Posted by: Scott In: The Rally
We had slept three to a room on futon mattresses while numerous flies, moths, and other insects buzzed around us the entire night. Again, we didn’t such a restful sleep. We stocked up on water (only gassy water available here–seems people don’t usually drink bottled water if it isn’t carbonated) and headed out towards Khorog.
The scenery this day was even more spectacular than the previous, as we skirted narrow mountain paths through the mountains and directly across the river from Afghanistan. It was amazing to see the settlements and people on the other side of the river and realize that this was the famed Afghanistan that we had been hearing so much about for the past eight years. We were told that people on both sides of the river share a common language (Shugni) and religion (Ishmaili Islam) and have only been separated because of an arbitrary line drawn up by governments in the global game of money and power. Many families have members on both sides of the river, in both Tajikistan and Afghanistan. In general it seemed to be less prosperous than the settlements in Tajikistan, with many mud or stone houses on the opposte side. You were close enough that you could even see the veils on the women walking along the riverside path, and I even had a short conversation with a guy on the other side while we were stopped at one point. I say short because I had no idea what he was asking me and had to just ignore his calls after a while. Sorry random Afghani guy!
We had to stop a couple of times along the way because of engine overheating. We found where the problem was–it looked like we had a leak in the hose that went from the radiator to the engine that was spraying coolant all over our engine compartment. Each time we had to refill our radiator as for some reason it wasn’t drawing reserve fluid from our coolant tank. There was also a disturbing ‘clacking’ noise coming from our left-front wheel which we figured was a loose break component. In all it took about eight hours to get to Khorog from Khalaikum.
Pictures have been posted in the gallery.