14degrees off the beaten track
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October 11th, 2006 | categorizilation: all categories,Tajikistan

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Even though Warang is only 30km from Langar, I knew I was only going to do that distance right from the start today. If this was anywhere but the Wakhan Valley, I probably could have stayed in Langar, but my craving for some variation in my diet drove me here.

I was motivated by the fact that there was a ‘big’ bazaar here in Warang. That ‘big’ bazaar turned out to be no more than a few shops selling the same stuff as anywhere else along the road so far. No dairy products or fresh fruit. That is, easy to eat food. The food here very hard to stomach. Today for lunch I was fed the staple potato, carrot, and mutton soup, of course with the compulsory 1cm thick layer of vegetable oil on top. Not good when you’re feeling as weak as I am.

The guesthouse I am staying in tonight is just across from the bazaar in Warang, and is one of the cheapest places I have stayed in so far on this trip. Only 5 Tajik Somoni a night (US$1.30). The meals (aforementioned vegetable oil soup) are only US$1.

As per usual, the Tajik people have been wonderfully friendly. As I rolled into Warang, the chain on my bike got caught between the spokes and the gear cluster on the rear wheel. Nothing serious, but enough to require getting very oily hands as you get things sorted.

So here I am wrestling with the chain, when four or five guys wander over, and begin to ‘help’. Basically, everyone had an opinion on how to get the chain out, and at most of the time for the 30 minutes it took to fix the problem, there were at least three pairs of hands tugging and fiddling with the chain at the same time. I was convinced it would be much faster if they just left me to it, but the situation was quite out of my hands…

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