There’s a BMW growing in the tomato patch!
It turned out that Hajbi wasn’t the owner of the Chorbogh Inn. The house was actually the home of Hajbi’s brother who was working overseas for 12 months. While he was away the family had decided to put his home to good use and turn it into a guesthouse to earn some much needed money – preferably US dollars!
I was the only foreign guest at the Inn. All of the other guests were Afghanis. Khorog, like Ishkashim, was one of the common border crossing for Afghanis to enter Tajikistan and as it was the weekend of the annual festival there were many Afghanis in town. Hajbi spoke very good English and was very “westernised”. He was very happy to have an English-speaking guest to practise his English. He also commented that he was happy that he had a guest “who knew how to behave”. He also commented that the Afghanis “didn’t know how to behave” and he had taken it upon himself to teach them “proper manners”. I suspect his efforts would be in vain. Continue reading
The plan for the day was to ride about 110km along the Wakhan Highway from Langar to Ishkashim and visit the large market held every Saturday. From Ishkashim it was only another 100km to Khorug. The Wakhan Highway is no more a highway than the Pamir Highway is. Most of it is rough “jeep track” with the added bonus of the return of landslide rubble. However the views across the Pyanj River to Afghanistan were often breathtaking.
Crossing the Khargush pass yesterday also meant crossing another ethnic divide. Since entering Tajikistan from Sary Tash, the majority of the locals had been Kyrgyz. However, once over the Khargush Pass, I had left the Kyrgyz to their high altitude pastures. Now, the locals were mainly Pamiris who had more in common with their Wakhi neighbours across the valley in Afghanistan.
After a good night’s sleep, I wondered what sort of breakfast awaited me. Thankfully, breakfast was much more recognisable (and nourishing) than yesterday’s disaster – black coffee, eggs, naan and, of course, a bowl of lollies. As I was packing the bike after breakfast Ëdgar’s young son decided he wanted to “help”. Continue reading