Below are photos made during an expedition called ‘Pamir – the Roof of the World’ that took place this year from December 8 to December 22. Most pictures were taken from Tajikistan.
Our journey started early in the morning when we left Moscow and drove without any adventures. The only exception could be presented by a famous village Umyot that embraced a huge amount of cafes. We needed to be taken to the other bank of the Volga river to reach the border with Kazakhstan.
Following formation of a customs union between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan it has become very easy to cross the border. The near-border roads are of a very bad quality as no country is willing to repair them. Not much can be said about the western part of Kazakhstan in winter. It seems the place consists of endless fields and cold winds and has no sights at all. Now we have to overcome 80 km of the road before the border with Uzbekistan. As the road is a bit frozen, the impression left after its crossing is much better than in summer as no dust is raised. You will come across big groups of Uzbekistan inhabitants who go back home from Moscow to celebrate the New Year. The tower of silence in Uzbekistan is seen in the picture.
Now a few words about Uzbekistan. Its people lead a poor life. First, they have a shortage of petrol which is brought to the petrol station once a week. Local inhabitants are very hospitable and like tourists, especially the ones from Russia.
We managed to overcome 3000 km but Tajikistan was still very far. The journey became very tiring. In hotels of Duschanbe it became clear that foreigners would have to pay for accommodation much higher price as compared to local people. However, Duschanbe is a modern and beautiful city.
It is warm here and one can find a hotel with lower prices.
Continuing the journey to Pamir.
During the journey one can compare conditions of life in Uzbekistan with those ones in Afghanistan. The last one lacks any roads.
The water storage basin of Nurek supplies the country with 2/3 of energy which is not enough. Thus,Tajikistan has to import energy from Uzbekistan. The water from the basin irrigates agricultural lands.
Tajikistan does not know any problems with petrol. But they have to use it manually as no automatic way of fuel filling is used here.
Kulob is one of the most ancient cities of Tajikistan. It is 2700 years old.
No roads can be built here due to frequent downfalls.
The road is going down.
Afghanistan is situated on the opposite bank of the Pyandj river.
This part of the road is going to be used by the Iranians to connect China with Afghanistan.
Children who don’t speak Russian unlike their parents are glad to meet foreigners who often come to these places.
Finally we are moving up to the Pamir Mountains that are situated over 3000 m altitude.
The warnings tell everybody to be careful as many roads were not cleared of mines after the war.
The kids caught the fox and we helped them to let it go.
Finally the huge plateau of Pamir is reached. High mountains protects the place from the rain and snow.
The landscape is very beautiful. The journey is over and it is time to go back.