Thursday, 27 October 2011

The Wakhan Corridor

Jumping into the back of the car with Adab and our driver we realised that there was a fifth person in the car. Peering over our shoulders from the boot of the vehicle was a toothless old man. By the time we set off we had also been joined by a soldier. Half an hour out of town we dropped the soldier at a check point and not much further along, the old man in a village. The road resembled a track at best and was non-existent at worst. Crossing the rivers, which were in full spate, was extremely tricky. Our drive would driver up and down the river side trying to select a suitable spot. Adab would get out testing the depth of the water and then we would gun it across from one island of safety to the next. However our luck ran out on the final crossing and we got completely stuck. Adab, James and I waded into the icy, knee-deep water and tried our best to push it out but to no avail. We needed reinforcements. The driver walked to the nearest village and returned with 6 men who, like men the world over, were enjoying the air of a minor crisis and generally feeling needed. With 9 men, 4 shovels and 2 larges poles for leverage, after half an hour of work the car was released from the muddy grips of the river. I took the photos.

Guess who the driver is? and notice that James is watching helpfully!

After we had bailed out the foot wells, and acquired a few more people who needed a lift, we were on our way again as the light was fading. The ever thinking Adab made a quick stop at the little village of Piggush to arrange for donkeys to be taken to the valley head whilst we got the final bit of paperwork stamped in Khandud the following morning.

Locals observing the fun.

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