24th September 2015
Tour leader Max Wood recently led our Wakhan Pamir Adventure group tour in Afghanistan and Tajikistan. Below he talks about visiting the village of Kret, set against the backdrop of impressive Baba Tangi mountain.
After Sarhad we retraced our steps west along the valley, this time switching to the southern side to visit Kret. It sits in a spectacular and vunerable position below Baba Tangi, a photogenic mountain of over 6500m set into the Hindu Kush. A few weeks beforehand the high glacial melt had caused flooding, which washed away some houses and the rough road which led to our proposed guesthouse. Basic repairs were made and boulders moved to enable our vehicles to get through. As much as any trip I've been on, changing circumstances and conditons means there is a high degree of flexibility with the itinerary on this tour. And so it was that insanitary conditons at the guesthouse meant we were left searching for somewhere else to stay. In the end the eight of us had a comfortable and quite cosy night in a traditional Pamiri room in the centre of the village instead.
Kret is more compact than other villages we stayed in and the group tended to be quite the centre of attention. The women's cooperative did a brisk trade in artesania. We visited the school; the pupils knew some basic English and we caused some amusement amongst them and learnt a little about education in the area. Altogether a positive interaction but ideally, like last year, we would have visited the larger school down in Kala e Panje where the students have a larger vocabulary and really benefited from the exchange with native English speakers. Unfortunately a two-day holiday meant we were unable to visit.
In the morning we walked up a rocky path towards the mountain for more lovely views. We returned for a light lunch and continued west for a couple of hours onto Sargaz, again on foot, along the unused southern road. A couple of river crossings made it all the more interesting.