In Yamchun, we stayed at a… bed&breakfast, gingerly perched upon the side of a mountain. should i describe it this way?
i remember we drove up a slope as night started to fall, our surroudings dimming
up we went, up a long steep slope
the place surprised me a little, a bed and breakfast located so high up, and inaccessible withot a car, highly prone to mass movement, i thought to myself
i briefly hoped it wouldn’t rain
all was well, we slept well.
1. Early morning – we woke up for a morning walk
Climbed up some height just in time as the sun rose
It felt like a random peak, and it felt like the mountains here could be climbed randomly
We hiked up and up and up in a way that reminded me of Mt Agung, and I was reminded of my weakness
waiting for me
Then the glowing sun rose and I finally reached and I heaved a sigh of relief as I sat on the stone to catch my breath, feeling sore about feeling weak
but i was happy when i reached. hurray!
i like this picture alot. hehehe
It was beautiful – I was reminded once again that such a sight can be seen only if one works his/her feet, and I was pleased
2. Bibi Fatimah – hot springs
The best hot shower ever. The best shower I had in the week (HAHAH). I’m dread cold showers, showers in the cold. The hot springs came to me as a huge relief – hot gushing water that embraced me. We had to step in without our clothes, the men and the women had separate rooms. I thought of the hot springs in Japan, and followed shyly stripping before I stepped into the warm embrace of the waters
Here the locals believe in the medicinal / spiritual qualities of the hot spring, and one can get granted wishes or cures for medicinal conditions / fertility grants if they pick a stone here (or something)
I stepped in cautiously, and was greeted by a lady completely unabashedly naked
The gushing warmth of the shower flowing seamlessly from the marbles of nature massaged my body (as exaggerated as it may sound) – best shower ever, I thought to myself gratefully
I hadn’t had a proper shower for too long. I am always grateful after going without warm showers for some time
I scrubbed my hair and brushed my teeth with ease, taking my time
3. Yamchun Fort
We then went to the beautiful Yamchun Fort.
The most impressive of the valley’s many tumbledown castle ruins, complete with multiple walls and round watchtowers. It was beautiful, breathtakingly so. There was some men up there, though. It strikes me as a surprise (or not) that there’s no attempt at protection / restoration efforts at a site this beautiful. It’s almost like an abandoned random place where people are free to ascend. Not that that’s a bad thing, but a historical site like that, this beautiful, has potential to claim greater recognition and should be preserved.
part of the ruins at the fort
the hershey kisses mountains
interesting place, but some workers were throwing some bricks down next to us. I’m not sure what they were doing, but these bricks lying vulnerable, I could easily throw them around too. Wonder how this fort will look like in 50 years.
Driving along ishkashim, we passed by gigantic rocks and a beautiful sandy place, littered with broken beautiful patterned rocks, marble rocks of green and blue stripes that aligned neatly in pieces. I gaped at the lovely pile scattered nonchalantly on the floor. So amazing!!! So beautiful!! What were all these metamorphic rocks doing here? How were they related to the marble hot springs at bibi fatimah? What is it about this area that gives them the condition to form? We played with the softest sand glittering on the shapeless landscape.
Bye bye Yamchun Fort!! You were beautiful!
MOST BEAUTIFUL ROCKS!!!!! I wanted to pick up many of these and bring them home, but i contemplated for some time. SHOULD I? IS IT ECOLOGICALLY UNFRIENDLY??? WHAT IF EVERY TOURIST BROUGHT ONE HOME? TAKE NOTHING BUT PICTURES LEAVE NOTHING BUT MEMORIES?!?!?!
BUT… WILL I EVER VISIT THIS PLACE AGAIN? NO. 99.999999% NO.
Anyway I didn’t. I don’t think I’ll collect rocks. But I have the photos.
convenient platform for scribbles
we had alot of fun here, taking videos of the sand slipping from our grasps. why are the videos? – inserts video from memory –
4. Khakha Fortress (Wakhan Valley)
We walked up the steps and met with some men in army green. Are those guards? I asked, as we drew closer. I think so, they look like they have… Guns. Cz replies. Calmly, as we walked closer, he greets the officer and proceeds nonchalantly. Me, I walk hesitantly behind, my nervous grin emerging. I try to be friendly and make conversation – we’re tourists, how old they were, … The age similarity (22 years old) assured me in some way- surely that forged some sort of connection, surely they won’t shoot me? Of course they won’t, but the thoughts that come to my mind when I see a gun (and especially when pointing at me incidentally) I do freak out
They turned out to be really friendly. I have a photo of me with them somewhere. They even agreed to our 360 degrees video.
A single river separates the 2 countries – Tajikistan and Afghanistan.
Here’s the closest I might be.
View of Afghanistan across the river Panj, from the top of the Khakha fortress // Shuric pointed out across the river border, 300m away- ‘afghan car, afghan school, afghan cow,’ he says as we move on. We drive past an afghan woman and her children. They wave! We wave back at their tiny figures. ‘Afghan wife,’ Shuric says. ‘Afghan grass,’ ‘afghan flowers,’ Cz adds. I burst out laughing. We continue pointing out ‘afghan house, afghan washing clothes,’ Just a river away. So near in distance, but so distant nonetheless. I wonder if this is the nearest I’ll ever be.
While walking along this path, a part of me pictured getting shot from the back, thinking about the last film I watched with a landscape like that. LOL
James Bond Shuric. Too picturesque, we make him pose for us over and over again (HAHAH)
James Bond Shuric
indeed, over and over again
Shuric pointed out across the river border, 400m away- ‘afghan car, afghan school, afghan cow,’ he says as we move on. We drive past an afghan woman and her children. They wave! We wave back at their tiny figures. ‘Afghan wife,’ Shuric says. ‘Afghan grass,’ ‘afghan flowers,’ Cz adds. I burst out laughing. We continue pointing out ‘afghan house, afghan washing clothes,’ Just a river away. So near in distance, but so distant nonetheless.
A typical plate of Tajik biscuits / sweets placed before and after each meal
Reaching Dushanbe -in the squeezy car
+10 hour drive from Khorog to Dushanbe, a conclusion that wrapped up some uncomfortable events.
Bye to the Pamirs and rural villages! On to Dushanbe and the city!
(the city’s hot showers and consistent electricity supply, the cars and the shops and the people, the wifi. not that i necessarily prefer so, but the absence of them during the week made these comparisons of facilities more pronounced. actually yes la i prefer so la HAHHA but i also love the nature and the quiet here but perhaps not forever, not for life)