Nurek to Darvaz
(Khalai Khumb - Калай-Хумб)
Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region
August 20, 2019
The scenic viewpoint of the Nurek Reservoir heralds an exhilarating journey to the Pamir Mountains region of Tajikistan. Little girls persuade me to buy a snack.
Down the road from Nurek my driver Bakhtiyar and I stop at a watermelon market. Remind me to tell you the story of my “Watermelon Man.”
From Nurek the gravel highway leads to my first sight of the Panj River and the surrounding mountains.
And what a surprise. (I should have looked more carefully at my map.) The Panj River forms the border between Tajikistan and Afghanistan.
The border is closely monitored. Unfortunately, no swimming of fishing or boating is permitted. (Soviet land mines from the 1980’s are still buried in the riverbanks on both sides of the river.)
Nevertheless, I am amazed, excited and thrilled to be here.
The Panj River will provide even more drama as we head towards Darvaz, a bumpy 240 mile – 386 kilometers, up and down. six-hour drive.