After a full week of cycling, today our bicycle will stay at the Pamir Lodge in Khorog. As this is the last city before the high plateau of the Pamirs, we used the day to restock with dry food and trying to get a new battery for my cell phone. As the city otherwise does not have a lot to offer, a lot of relaxing was also part of the day. My back for sure appreciated it.
As there is not too much to write about the city apart from the fact that it’s located beautifully between the mountains, I share with you two stories from today. Below still a few photos from Khorog.
How to get a battery for the mobile phone
As mentioned already in a previous post, the recently bought battery of my mobile phone is faulty and worked less and less as the days went by. So I set myself the goal to get a replacement battery here in Khorog. The catch: The model of the mobile phone (Samsung Galaxy S5) is not sold in any of the mobile phone shops here in town, so my hopes were modest.
After visiting two or three shops my worries were confirmed: The type of battery is not sold in any of the shops. I was disappointed, but not surprised. I really wanted to get my mobile phone working properly again as it is basically the only means of communication with family and friends.
Then I tried my luck on the bazaar which was just across the street of one of the mobile phone shops. Apart from dozens of vegetable, cheese, meat, clothes, and many other kinds of shop, there was also a lady selling electronic articles such as power cords, calculators, and pocket lamps. But I did not see any cell phone articles for sale. Desperately as I was, I still took out my phone and asked her if she had batteries for mobile phones. I was waiting for the usual “Niet”, but surprisingly, she asked me, what kind of battery I need. I first thought she did not understand my question, but when I showed her the actual battery, she took a small plastic bag full of used batteries out, was looking for a few seconds, and voilà: She actually found a battery of the exact same type. It was a used battery, but I happily bought it for a bargain ($1.50).
It is not the first time that I found things that I believed were impossible to find in Tajikistan on a bazaar or market in the end. But still, it’s really a crazy story. The battery by the way works fine so far.
Water from the Fire Department
The Pamirs have lots of water flowing down the countless rivers, especially now in spring where the snow is melting. However, the amount of potable water available is a completely different story. There are also many aid projects from international organizations here in the Pamirs with the goal to give the population access to clean drinking water. That this is indeed a problem even here in Khorog I witnessed today: The Pamir Lodge, our hostel, was running out of water, i.e. their water tank was empty and due to lack of drinking water, it was also not possible to simply refill it. Therefore a big fire truck arrived at the lodge and filled the water tank in around 30 minutes so guests like me can take a shower again or use the bathroom. One guy of the lodge told me, that it’s a nice service of the fire department, but they only do it once they actually have time, so I can imagine it could well be that guests will be here without running water one day.
This story also makes me appreciate once more that all the basic needs are covered back in Switzerland without having to worry about drinking water.
Outlook for tomorrow
As Anne caught some stomach problems yesterday and basically was resting today the whole day and needs another day of recovery, I will take a small day trip tomorrow to one of the beautiful side valleys around Khorog to let Anne recover better. So there will be no live tracking again.