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Published: July 17th 2016
July 12 - Pamir Highway trip Day 1 - Dushanbe to Kalai Kuln
My birthday, and I was up every hour from 3am, when a roommate came back from the bathroom. Out of bed at 5:30am. Stomach problems, but unclear what. I so hope this passes and doesn't become the only thing I remember from this two week trip I'm about to embark on.
I got packed up and had breakfast with Anna, and then we were off to the other hostel to meet Gio and Tommy and start our trip. We packed up the van and headed out and all was well. But it was a hot day, even with the sketchy air con. And a ten hour drive the first day - somehow I thought it would be shorter. We had great views and halfway through the day, we were driving alongside Afghanistan. Very cool to see, and beautiful views. We will continue next to Afghanistan for some time - at least a week.
The road itself is not very good in many places, and there are many passport and permit checks by the police along the way. Everyone needs to have a special permit for
the GBAO region to come to this part of the country. The police also seem to require a bribe at every stop. Typical. There are other things that slow us down, like occasional chill cows standing in the middle of the road.
We stopped for a late lunch and ended in the small town of Kalai-Kuln. Small, but still bigger than expected. We checked in to our place - this is my first homestay. Anna and I shared a room, and it is designed with two mattresses on the floor. No other furniture, but that is typical. And it is a different type of mattress than we would have at home. It is next to the river, and we ate dinner there in the courtyard. There is one shower and one toilet, and they are both off the courtyard as well.
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