17th July 2014
We’ve now descended through the heat, dust and beauty of the Wakhan corridor after a week tracing the Eastern Pamirs from Osh. We were blessed with excellent weather during our time at Achik Tash basecamp giving us stunning views of Peak Lenin. The chilly nights spent there seem a long time ago now. A lovely day was spent tracing the high pasture of the Madian Valley escaping the bleak beauty of Murgab, the ‘capital’ of the Eastern Pamirs.
We’ve slept in tents, hotels and guesthouses, but without doubt the most memorable and the best places have been the homestays with easy interaction between the hospitable and friendly multi-generational families and their guests.
The lovely road across the Khargush Pass opened up with a clear panorama across the Afghan Wakhan range and Koh-e-Pamir peak. After descending and swinging to the west, the jagged peaks of the Hindu Kush soon came into view and then the contrasting greenery of Langar, one of the prettiest villages on our trip. It is located at the confluence of the Pamir and Wakhan rivers; the emerging Panj is the river we will be following for much of our journey over the next week.
Yesterday we left the Wakhan to push north to Khorog, the capital of the GBAO. The Afghan Badakhshan is much closer in this part; the Panj valley making for even better photo opportunities. A couple of nights here is a welcome change of pace; a chance for a descent wash, some different food and to reflect on our journey so far, before we head up to the fertile and friendly Bartang valley tomorrow for our final homestay…