17th September 2015
Tour leader Max Wood has recently led our Wakhan Pamir Adventure group tour in Afghanistan and Tajikistan. Below he talks about exploring Sarhad e Broghil, a remote village in Afghanistan's Wakhan region.
We have finally reached Sarhad y Broghil, the end of the road in the upper Wakhan. We are all happy to be here as the top part of the route had been unpassable until two days before. It had been destroyed in an earthquake last month.
It's a new term and the children look happy coming out of school as we arrive. There are plenty of waves and smiles. I note the new wooden electricity poles – they weren't there a year ago. The mini hydropower station is yet to start working, but they are hoping it will within a couple of months or so. That will certainly change life in the village.
Sarhad e Broghil is spread out over a large area. The small, very basic shop wasn't open; no stock presumably after the road closure. We had passed the lorry carrying goods on the way up; just about the only other vehicle apart from ours on the full day journey up from Goz Khan, a small settlement located just where the Wakhan river meets the Panj.
There was goat for dinner. It had been skinned and gutted expertly by Abdusaid, one of our drivers, and cooked just as well by Sakhi the cook. This is an exception though, as, like the locals, we're mostly eating a vegetarian diet during our time in the Wakhan.
Today we walked up to a meadow area below the Daliz pass, a steady climb of about three and a half hours. We had a picnic and there was time to explore whilst being watched by the wary marmots poking their heads out of their burrows. We saw some horses coming down into town for the Buzkashi game which we had organised to watch in the afternoon. It was violent, bewildering and a stunnning display of horsemanship.
Our final morning in Sarhad was spent meeting more friendly locals on the outskirts of town while looking for petroglyphs and investigating the water channels and a couple of flour mills.