I rolled into Khorog feeling very weary, but went straight to OVIR (police office) with the letter from the Ishkashim Police regarding the lost camera incident and my need for a visa extension.
As directed by the Ishkashim Police manager, I asked for Mr, Anvar. Obviously the manager of Ishkashim police had overlooked talking to Mr. Anvar about my case, because Mr. Anvar showed me to another office with a very stern looking woman at a desk. She took one look at my passport, saw that my visa expires today, and said in no undertain terms “you must go to Dusanbe today on an airplane. You cannot extend your visa here!”
At this I demanded to know why I was told in Ishkashim that there would be ‘no problems’ to extend the visa in Khorog. Te stern woman looked perplexed and asked what I was talking about. I explained that I was told to come here, talk to Mr. Anvar, and that I could get an extension,
“Then what are you doing in my office?!” the woman spitted. She showed me the door and indicated that I should speak to Mr. Anvar again.
I politey asked Mr. Anvar to call the Ishkashim manager, and he kindly did so. In the end, after 10 minutes, I was out the door not with a visa extension, but with a special OVIR permit allowing me four days to get to Dushanbe.
Even if I was feeling fit and healthy, the 500km and 3400m pass to Dushanbe would not be possible in four days on a bicycle. I decided to find somewhere to stay the night, and then try to get a ride to Dushanbe tomorrow.