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Dushanbe (Capital of Tajikistan), coat of arms

Dushanbe (Capital of Tajikistan), coat of arms (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So where are you going?
Tajikistan.

Where’s that?
It’s between Afghanistan, China, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Nope, sorry.
Here then.

Oh, ok… Is it safe there?
Yeah it is hopefully. I mean there was a civil war for much of the ’90s, and last year it all kicked off again, but we’re pretty optimistic we can get in, get up, and get out in one piece.

So why are you going?
A few reasons, exploring a culturally alien country, the lure of unclimbed mountains, but mainly the massive boost our egos will get from the subsequent publicity.

Isn’t it going to be really hot there?
Yep, it’s high summer, in Dushanbe it’ll be around 35 degrees in the shade.

Isn’t it going to be really cold there?
Probably, we can’t say how cold for sure but the mountains reach over 6000m, they are snow covered all year and there are glaciers in the valleys nearby.

You’ll be hiring Sherpas then?
Sherpas live in Nepal, so no, unless any of them are holidaying nearby.

What about porters, to carry all your things?
Unlikely. We hope to hire a horse or donkey off local nomads to help with the walk in to base camp, but it’s quite possible the terrain will be totally unsuitable and we’ll end up with all the weight on our backs.

This all sounds like hard work.
You’re not wrong, but pain is weakness leaving the body. Well, according to all PE teachers anyway.

Hmm, when are you home again?
Thursday 15th August, though we will be finished in the mountains a week before that.

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