Only six weeks to go before we leave for Afghanistan and things are starting to heat up!
We are running short on time to obtain the three visas we need- China, Tajikistan and Afghanistan. For five weeks our passports languished in Belgium Customs while we tried to encourage the Tajikistan Embassy to supply the relevant documentation to have them released. Finally that happened, and now we are hoping its just a matter of (a short amount of ) time before they arrive back in New Zealand.They will hardly have time to touch the ground before being sent off to Canberra for our Afghanistan visas. Last year getting Afghanistan visas proved very problematic for Christine and I and took at least a month to procure. Here’s hoping it doesn’t take that long this year, because we still have to get our Chinese visas! Three of us have a 48 hour stop over in China on the way home, and Christine and I learnt the hard way last year that you dont try and transit China without a visa. We were detained under lock and key with a permanent guard for two days, and then deported at our own expense, for not having a visa. Scary!
Regardless, Im fairly confident everything will fall into place in the end!
The pic above is from Google Earth and shows the western side of the mountain- the side we have decided to go for.
This Google Earth pic shows the valley we will walk up and the glacier at the head.
And below is a pic of the Qala Panja Valley from the road end. As you can see, not alot of vegetation in the Wakhan!You can just see the mountains in the distance. We figure it will take us 2 or 3 days to get to a good height to set up a basecamp- at around 4800m.Click on the pics and you’ll see them full size