Tag Archives: afghanistan

to the roof of the world: episode two – the aga khan’s people

A ramp to the roof of the world leads up the Wakhan Valley, great game vortex. NGOs outnumber tourists, potatoes provide entire meals, Afghanistan is just there and beauty in nature, both human and physical, is all encompassing:

to the roof of the world: episode two – the aga khan’s people from Tim Way on Vimeo.

A couple of factual inaccuracies contained in this video have been brought to my attention:

– Due to the Wakhan Valley’s inaccessibility and distance from the production/processing sites, it is highly unlikely that large quantities of drugs pass over the river. The most likely route is closer to Dushanbe.
– The Wakhan frontier between the Russian and British spheres of influence was finalised in 1895 by commission parties from each country heading to the region and taking detailed altitude, latitude and longitude measurements. T. Hungerford Holditch, who took part in the British Commission describes his memories of the trip, including the huge bonfire held in the Wakhan when they came to agreement and realised they wouldn’t have to spend the winter in the freezing cold! “English and Russian topographers worked side by side and shared equally in the rough and tumble of demarcation”, he writes.

Thanks to Robert Middleton, whose website is a leading resource on the Pamirs, for pointing these errors out.

flirting with afghanistan

Wakhan adventures took us along the Panj river, the Tajik border with Afghanistan, for a number of days in September. Forts and potatoes aplenty, but a crossing was ruled out by our guide. “Just a little wade?”, we asked. “They are watching” we were told.

No wading for us then, but an Afghan camel in the final picture seemed to have no problems crossing the border, just as the tonnes and tonnes of class A drugs on their way to Europe don’t every year.

We were waved at by afghans, we saw them cutting hay, even having dinner – but that first question will have to wait, for the time being.

Flirting with Afghanistan