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Father and Sons

Father and Sons

Bakhtali is a teacher in Kret village, Wakhan valley. He lives with his wife and four children in a traditional muddy house.

Sparsely populated and well hidden from the rest of the world, Wakhan Corridor is as medieval today as it was over 700 years ago when Marco Polo passed through. The awkward tongue of Afghanistan, located at the northeastern tip of the country, is a 200-mile-long valley that stretches between Tajikistan and Pakistan. A strategic territory created by the once-reigning British Empire at the end of the 19th century, Wakhan Corridor was first attached to Afghan territory as a buffer zone between Britain and Russia.

Though the battle for supremacy between the two giants has long ended, little seems to have changed since then. Time has been suspended for what seems like eternity. The corridor’s isolation from the rest of the world makes Afghan’s narrow passage – only 10 miles wide – at once mysterious and enchanting. With the snow-capped mountains surrounding the region, it’s easy for outsiders to forget the once-vital passageway between the Eastern and Western parts of Central Asia. It took me more than five days to reach Ishkashim, the tip of Wakhan Corridor, by public transportation from Kabul. Wobbly and narrow wooden bridges hang over fierce river streams; the steep mountain slopes are probably one of the reasons why the Taliban never bothered to control the area.

 

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About Agustinus Wibowo

Agustinus is an Indonesian travel writer and travel photographer. Agustinus started a “Grand Overland Journey” in 2005 from Beijing and dreamed to reach South Africa totally by land with an optimistic budget of US$2000. His journey has taken him across Himalaya, South Asia, Afghanistan, Iran, and ex-Soviet Central Asian republics. He was stranded and stayed three years in Afghanistan until 2009. He is now a full-time writer and based in Jakarta, Indonesia. agustinus@agustinuswibowo.com Contact: Website | More Posts

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