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Afghanistan: Trip to the Wakhan Corridor


Travis Beard

The Wakhan is located in and around the extreme north-east of Afghanistan, which is connected to China by a long, narrow strip called the Wakhan Corridor, which separates the Gorno-Badakhshan region of Tajikistan from the North-West Frontier Province and Northern Areas of Pakistan. It contains the headwaters of the Amu Darya (Oxus) River, and was an ancient corridor for travellers from the Tarim Basin to Badakshan (part of the Silk Road.) We are 4 journalists (written, photo and video) based in Kabul, Afghanistan. We are going to ride 4 Chinese made motorcycles to the Wakhan with one support vechile, driver and translator. We are part of the Kabul Knights Motorcycle Club. A group of ex-pats and locals that, ride every week around the surrounding provinces of Kabul. The trip will take 2 weeks, with the planned route being: Kabul-Kunduz-Faizabad-Ishakashim-Sarhad (Wakhan). On the return trip we will turn left at Barak and come back through the Ajaman Pass and down through the Panjshir Valley to Kabul. While in Wakhan we will sleep in tents and yurts, ride yaks, trek to mountain lakes, view peaks over 7000 metres high and sample the very unique landscape and culture of the Wahki people. This includes interaction with women as the Wakhi are not as strict Muslims are the rest of Afghanistan.


 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0168004

Day2, locals in Kishim are quite confused by our arrival.

Kishim, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 01/07/2008

 

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Day 4, Jeremy tels the border police we are just riding bikes to the Wakhan.

Ishkashim, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 03/07/2008

 

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Day 4, while in town doing some repairs to the bikes the border police question us about our trip.

Ishkashim, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 03/07/2008

 

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Day 2, jeremy arrives in Faizabad, dirty, tired and hungry.

Faizabad, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 01/07/2008

 

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Day 3, the Afghan drivers show us their minor injuries after a head on collision woth one of our riders.

Wardooj, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 02/07/2008

 

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day 3, In a known taliban district, we spend 2 hours fixing the front wheel on jeromes bike with our eyes out for any unwanted visitors.

Wardooj, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 02/07/2008

 

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Day 2, after a heavy crah travis applies first aid to his wounded knee.

Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 01/07/2008

 

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Day 2, coming into Faizbad along the airport road, jerome lets the bike go for it.

Faizabad, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 01/07/2008

 

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Day 2, first man down, jeremy looses his bike in the thick dusty roads on a steep hill.

Faizabad, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 01/07/2008

 

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Day 2, the new road being made between Kishim and Faizabad is promising but hard work.

Faizabad, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 01/07/2008

 

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Day 2, the group og riders arrive in Kishim covered in dirt and exhausted.

Kishim, Kunduz, Afghanistan - 01/07/2008

 

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Day 2, we arrive in Faizabad covered in dirt and exhausted. We also entertain the locals with our cameras.

Faizabad, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 01/07/2008

 

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Day 2, our first crash, only going 5 km an hour i crashed into jeremy because i was looking at my camera.

Faizabad, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 01/07/2008

 

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Day 4, the border police take jeremy and other riders in for questioning.

Ishkashim, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 03/07/2008

 

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Day2, a local man who has henna stained hands watched us prepare to ride.

Kishim, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 01/07/2008

 

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Day2, both cameras are rolling as a man and his loaded donkey pass by.

Kishim, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 01/07/2008

 

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Day 2, the view from the front of my Chinese made 200cc motorcycle.

Kishim, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 01/07/2008

 

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Day 2, we are stopped by local police and Ash shows his military press pass to get us on our way.

Kishim, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 01/07/2008

 

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Day 2, Ash overtakes a truck spitting out a lot of pollution.

taleqan, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 01/07/2008

 

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day 2, jeremy the cruizer. had the least accidents on the trip.

taleqan, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 01/07/2008

 

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day 2, jeroem straps a camera to the back of his bike to try and pick up footage of us riding.

Kunduz, Kunduz, Afghanistan - 01/07/2008

 

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Day 1 we stop for a rest on the side of the highway, refill our tanks and our thirsty mouths beofer we continue on.

Kunduz, Kunduz, Afghanistan - 30/06/2008

 

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Day 1, we enjoy the enjoy the made road and their flatness while we can.

Kunduz, Kunduz, Afghanistan - 30/06/2008

 

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Day 1 we pass a convoy of american military in ABRAM vehicles.

charikar, Kabul, Afghanistan - 30/06/2008

 

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day 1 packing the bikes for take off at 9pm. we stop for petrola nd find ou that our sponsor of petrol has been arrested in transit.

Kabul, Kabul, Afghanistan - 30/06/2008

 

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day 5, a local watches as we ride through his town. we are told by locals that we are the first to ride motorcycles into the wakhan.

khandood, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 05/07/2008

 

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day 7, the mountains of the wakhan form part of the hindu kush range which is at the foothills of the himilayas.

surhad e Brogil, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 06/07/2008

 

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day 7, som elocals stop to say hello to ash and tell him what to expect on the road ahead.

surhad e Brogil, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 06/07/2008

 

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day 7, jeremy rides pillian on the back of Ash's bike through some of the most breath taking scenery of the trip.

surhad e Brogil, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 06/07/2008

 

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day 7, the most impressive vista of the trip is the entrance to the big pamir and the divide of the rivers of Afghanistan and Tajiikistan.

surhad e Brogil, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 06/07/2008

 

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day 7, the local Wakhi people have their own language and unique culture that is quite different tot the rest of the country.

surhad e Brogil, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 06/07/2008

 

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day 7 jerome is not very happy that he is going to have experience the rest of the wakhan from the comfort of a 4WD.

Kali panja, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 06/07/2008

 

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Day 7 morning breakfast in our guest house. food in the wakhan is scarse and not of great satisfaction.

Kali panja, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 06/07/2008

 

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day 6 jeremy and jerome are quite bitter that they can no tride anymore.

Kali panja, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 05/07/2008

 

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day 6, every one pitches in to help salvage the bike out of the river.

Kali panja, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 05/07/2008

 

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day 6. the next big river that comes up jeremy looses his bike, again water in the exhaust pipe make s the bike usesless.

Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 05/07/2008

 

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day 6, jerome losses his bike in a river, water gets in the engine and he has to get help to push his bike out.

Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 05/07/2008

 

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day 7 Ash and travis make it to surhad e Brogil the last town and also the end of the road. from here you must travel by foot or yak to explore more of the wakhan.

surhad e Brogil, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 00/07/2008

 

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day 6, in kali panjar th elocals warn us that the rivers are high and will be diffcult to pass.

Kali panja, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 05/07/2008

 

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day 5, at one of the numerous checkpoints, jeremy cooks up a MRE (meal ready to eat) military food in a box.

khandood, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 05/07/2008

 

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Day 5 we ride down a breathtaking mountain road into the Wakhan corridor.

khandood, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 05/07/2008

 

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Day 4 in the local restaurant the proprietor is a smiley chap.

khandood, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 04/07/2008

 

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Day 5, jeremy takes off up a mountain and makes new trakcs in the untouched wilderness.

Kali panja, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 05/07/2008

 

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day 3, we arrive at our guests and our driver and other locals part take in the consumption of regional produce.

Ishkashim, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 04/07/2008

 

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Day 5, with the checkpoint behind us we finally enter the majestic Wakhan corridor.

khandood, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 04/07/2008

 

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Day 5, we pack our bag quicky and get out of town. Ash shows the locals how to get some air.

Ishkashim, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 04/07/2008

 

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Day 5, we finally get onto the right police comander and get the right paper work for the trip.

Ishkashim, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 03/07/2008

 

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day 4, the local police have an old but not working russian motorcycle in their possesion.

Ishkashim, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 03/07/2008

 

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day 5, at our first check point jeremy tells the police officer how this is going to go down, the police officer lets us pass.

Ishkashim, Badakhshan, Afghanistan - 04/07/2008



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