Tajikistan’s poverty is numbing, its roads rotten, the vistas stunning and its people heartbreakingly hospitable, writes Jamie Lafferty.
Excerpt: It’s a strange place, Khorog, a settlement of almost 30,000 wedged into a jagged valley peering over the Panj River, the southern border with Afghanistan. Hundreds of kilometres away from any other major town it has absurd luxuries like a university, internet cafes and a perfectly serviceable Indian restaurant. All of it has been made possible by the charitable Aga Khan Foundation which has pumped millions into Khorog while the government has largely ignored it. Despite its remoteness, it’s actually a very diverse place, a convergence of north, east, south and west, Russians, Chinese, Uzbeks, Kyrgyzs and ethnic Tajiks.
From Khorog we took the famous Pamir Highway, past Alishur, all the way out to Murghob in the extreme east of the country.