Day 31 – The Road to Tajikistan

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After changing wheels on the Germans car we set off for Tajikistan, Instead of going all the way down to Termiz and back up we cut accross at Baysun to save ourselves some time. The terrain in this part of Uzbekistan was nothing short of epic! We went through a few military checkpoints with no problem however at one we had to have our bags searched and passport details recorded. Again though it really wanst an issue and the guy was very apologetic about the situation. I made the mistake of going to the toilet at the checkpoint. When I entered the toilet I was greeted by the sight of a man squatting down having a shit. Nice. The smell was so bad it gave me a headache and so I promptly left that “toilet” as fast as I could hitting my head on the door on the way out.

After that checkpoint we drove with no issues to the Uzbek/Tajik border.The border crossings were easy but took a while. The Germans were told by an English speaking official that their Panda would not be able to do the Pamir, we’ll see about that! The guards at the Uzbek border had a go at driving our car around but since they didn’t know the gear shift pattern and it isn’t written on the gearstick I had to sit in the car with them and do hand gestures as to how to change to the required gear. This drive around apparently meant the car didnt need to be searched like the Germans car.

Once we were in Tajikistan we headed for Dushanbe in the fading light and arrived at the city just as it had got dark. We drove around for a while and even stopped off at the German Embassy to see if they could recommend a place to stay. After Phil unloaded a load of German on the guy at the gate it became clear he was just a local cleaner and the actual German speaking staff had gone home long ago.

We eventually managed to find a hotel and Phil got the price down from $70 to $30 per person, he even met the manager of the hotel to ok the price. After some small amount of food from a restaurant across the street some drink was purchased from a local supermarket and we headed back to the hotel.