Day 71

Due to restrictions in Tajikistan I was unable to post at the time, so better late than never here are the photos from my travels in Tajikistan.



Think this Peacock is flirting with me, given they fan out their feathers as part of a courtship ritual to attract a mate.


No matter what country you go to, you always find one of these.


This could be quite healthy, but …… probably not. Although does contain protein and vitamins I might add.


Poppies. Self seeded over the land.


Not exactly you usual 4×4 mode of transport when going off road, this was an Opel Kadett more commonly known as a Vauxhall Astra in the UK.


My off road escapade in the Opel Kadett brought me to the Rogun Dam, an embankment dam still under construction on the Vakhsh River.


Will and our Tajik Opel Kadett driver.


Construction of Rogun Dam began in 1976 during the Soviet era.


Construction of the dam was abandoned after the collapse of the Soviet Union.


Over three decades only preliminary construction had been carried out on the dam.


Construction was suspended in 2012 pending World Bank reports.


Construction recommenced in 2017 with help from China.


Not your normal off road vehicle.


Will surveying the dam project.


Think we are being watched from the mound of earth, by an animal or possibly someone.


The Rogun Dam is one of the planned hydroelectric power plants of Vakhsh Cascade.


The dam has drawn complaints from neighbouring Uzbekistan, which fears it will negatively impact it’s lucrative cotton crops.


The dispute over the dam project has contributed significantly to bitter relations between the two former Soviet republics.


Most of the tracks through the land have been caused by vehicles. The height of the grass either side of the tyre tracks seem’s to suggest that this route is used infrequently.


Apart from us, this area is deserted.


Missed me ? Thought not xx


Some flora.


Much of the land has remained untouched despite the heavy construction.


A laid gravelled track probably to make ease of access for construction vehicles.


Tree lined track.


The Rogun Dam covers a surface area of 27,400 acres.


The dam and it’s power plants should be fully operational by the end of 2019.


Untouched and natural flora.


Our Opel Kadett driver giving Will a one-to-one guided tour.


Travelling through the Tajikistan mountain ranges.


Snow capped mountains at a higher elevation.


Snow largely melted on the lower levels of the mountains.


Through the trees is Tajik National University.


Metal flower arch within a park.


Will and Sew as seen through a decorative metal support to the flower arch. Not sure I intended this, the angle I took the photo gives the appearance of them both standing behind hearts. Hearts are not part of the support artwork.


A Tajik man sitting on a bench reading a book in the peaceful surroundings of a park.


Women hard at work planting new flowers. You can see by the layout of the flowers and their colours, that alot of thought has gone in to how this flowerbed will look when the flowers bloom.


Ayni Opera And Ballet Theatre.


Ayni Opera And Ballet Theatre.


It’s one of those “We are here”, but we “Want to be there” discussions.


Men at work in front of a pharmacy.


Dushanbe Plaza twin towers are the tallest downtown buildings.


Decorative arch.


Rows of LED lighting are suspended from the top of the arch framework. The rows of lights plus the framework light up at night.


Official cars lined up in from of the Tajik Parliament building.


Fountains in front of the Tajik Parliament building.


Monument of Ismoil Somoni.


Fountains in front of the Tajik Parliament building.


Unusual street light design. The “twists” light up white at night with a blue light on the top. The poles that can be seen in the colours of the Tajik flag between each street light also light up at night.


Monument of Ismoil Somoni.


One of a pair of lions sculptures guarding the monument of Ismoil Somoni.


The gold dome of the Presidential Palace through the trees.


Metal arch at entrance to a park.


Fountains in Rudaki Park.


Colorful benches and path in Rudaki Park.


Roses lined pathway in Rudaki Park.


Colorful benches and path in Rudaki Park.


National Library.


Presidential Palace.


Monument of Rudaki.


Monument of Rudaki.


Looking through Rudaki Park.


Mosaic made out of coloured tiles in varying shapes and size.


Tajikistan flag flying. Dushanbe held the world record for the tallest freestanding flagpole from 2011 until 2014 when Jeddah took the title.


A worker labouring on a building under construction.


A metal arch above a pathway in the Botanical Gardens.


Finely detailed carved wooden entrance gate.


A summer house in the Botanical Gardens.


A pavilion with decorative columns in the Botanical Gardens.


Within the Botanical Garden there was various types of trees with leaves and flowers including this one.


The facade on the building at the rear contains two masks depicting ancient Greek Muses Thalia and Melpomene or sometimes referred to as “the comedy and tragedy masks”. This is a summer amphitheater within the Botanical Gardens.


Nice and warm nesting site, although I would imagine the light at night may be a little to warm and bright to get a good nights sleep.


Adhoc photos.


World War II Memorial from Soviet era in village square.


World War II Memorial from Soviet era in village square


World War II Memorial from Soviet era in village square.


Tajik style traffic calming measures.


I’m sure the herdsmen have the flock of sheep and goats undercontrol.


Did I say undercontrol ? Two cars facing one another and a couple of heavy lorries joining the mix. Wonder when the herdsmen reach their destination they will have the same size flock as when they started.


Sew demonstrating her flexibility.


Jane demonstrating her endurance running.


And Will exercising his mind watching Sew and Jane.


Not much to say at this stopover except the dressing gowns were hilarious.


Local village market.


Freshly cooked pastries while you wait.


The high visibilty dressing gown.


The colour pink suits some people, sometimes.


From Khorugh to Alichur.

Photo of me with the backdrop of the Wakhan Valley.


Will and I with the winding road and mountains in the background.


Maintained fields and vegetables plots.


Afghan village on the bank of the fast flowing Panj River.


On the road along the Panj River.


Sun reflecting off the roof (possibly a mosque dome) in a Afghan village along the Panj River.


Afghan hill and mountains on the other side of the Panj River.


Layered walls on the banks of the Panj River possibly for drainage or flood prevention/soil errosion.


Yurts on the Afghan side of the Panj River.


The Panj River making it’s way through the Wakhan Valley.


Not alot of space on the Pamir Highway for passing other vehicles.


About a wheel’s width of the “beast” before the drop over the edge.


Village nestled between the hillside behind and the Panj River in front.


View across the Panj River to a small Afghan village. When we see pictures of Afghanistan in the media we mainly see a dry, dusty, sandy country not with lush greenery such as this.


Snow capped Afghan mountains in the distance.


View from the Pamir Highway down to the River Panj.


The winding and dusty Pamir Highway.


Afghan countryside and mountains.


Afghan village by the Panj River.


Looking from the Pamir Highway across the unfolding landscape.


Utility pole along side the River Panj. Wonder how long it takes for an engineer to get here when you report a fault.


Panj River running through the Wakhan Valley.


Looking ahead it is hard to see where the highway, river, hills and mountains come to an end. Just seems endless.


Just about to cross a bridge, with no safety barriers, on the Pamir Highway.


A view through the Wakhan Valley.


Still smiling, and still very happy !


The scenic views are breathtaking.


Smartly dressed lads with shirt and ties. I wonder what they are talking about when looking at me.


Fields with crops.


Jessica, Mum, Dad – I’ve enlisted into the Tajik Army.


Kiki is happy with her new headwear. Lorna looks deep in thought and abit unsure about what to make of our new uniformed friends.


Kim is not giving much away with his facial expression, but you can just tell Lorna is still deep in thought.


Very happy bunch of soldiers.


The Tajikistan border with Afghanistan signposted on the Pamir Highway. The Panj River separating the two countries.


Lorna and I sitting on a rock at the side of the Panj River. Afghansitan being literally a stone’s throw away.


Given that this photo is taken during Ramdan, many of this flock would have been destined for a ritual slaughter.


Herdsman bringing up the rear.


Very isolated now, and difficult to imagine what it would be like in the middle of winter.


Snow capped mountains look so close, yet are so far.


The “beast” with an idylic backdrop of hills, snow capped mountains and clear blue sky.


Snow gradually beginning to melt.


Current location.


Plenty of fresh and thin air. Photo gives the impression we are on top of the world.


4000 metres and still going up !


Destination reached, welcome to Alichur.


Contruction of new residential dwellings ongoing. Handmade mud and clay bricks used for the walls, then plastered finish and allowed to dry.


Complex of buildings in Alichur.


The local well. Exhaustive work extracting the water.


Old Ural motorbike and sidecar, with the sidecar cockpit being replaced by a panel of wood probably to enabe transport of goods.


Clay and mud tiles used as a wall coping.


Clay and mud tiles used as a wall coping.


A couple of local young girls, one being rather shy.


The girls happy to pose for a photo.


Looks like three generations here.


Traditional dwellings with uneven walls.


With the boy wearing what we in the West would probably call old style clothing and photo taken using a black and white filter, this capture could easily have been from the 1950s or 1960’s.


Here is one I caught earlier. Not.


Locals making use of what the land provides for them. Branch as a fishing rod.


Local fishing for next meal.


Calm river, flat land and surrounded by mountains.


The local lad had shown us how it should be done. I suspect they are taught from a young age how to survive off what they have around them.


Grazing Yaks.


Grazing Yaks with the land to themselves and free to roam.


Alichur Mosque.


Alichur Mosque. Distinctive choice of colour scheme.


Modern slooping roof building to the left. Basketball/netball court to the left, although with the uneven ground must be a difficult playing surface.


Modern slooping roof buildings.


Not the Will.I.Am, but the I.Am.Will Fan Club of Alichur.


A woman setting up a spinning machine.


Whilst basic in design, the spinning machines are fit for purpose.


A woman spinning wool into yarn.


A woman inspecting a bundle of wool, while another spins wool into yarn.


This sheet pinned to the wall is headed “снятие мерок” which translated is “Taking Measurements”. It is an instruction sheet on how to take peoples measurements for making clothes.


Two local boys, with one standing to attention for me.


Two local boys.


The last little glimpse of daylight behind the Pamir Mountains before night falls on Alichur.




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