Do as I say, not as I do…
Its official, we F^&$ed it up. But in saying that nobody told us otherwise and previously people did not have this problem. So what went wrong? We picked up our Visa’s from the Khorog Consulate in Tajikistan and went on our merry way to the border at Ishkashim. At the border we were asked for our vehicle documents so we presented our V5 (British registration document known as a Tech-Passport elsewhere) to which the response was ‘Not that, the other one’. So what is the other one?
We had picked up our Tajikistan Visas in Ankara, Turkey back in March but still needed to get the GBAO (Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province) permit for the Pamirs. Some consulates will not issue these whilst others and some tour agency’s can charge up to $150 just for the permit!
I got wind that it was possible to obtain this permit, direct, in Dushanbe for next to nothing.
As things start to ramp up for next year’s long haul trip we decided some time ago to improve on our work based first aid training by supplementing it with a more in-depth course. This would hopefully allow us to diagnose, treat and stabilise a patient until definitive care was established either by mobilising a CASEVAC (Casualty evacuation) or driving to a clinic or hospital if circumstances allow. If you Google ‘Wilderness First Aid’ there is a plethora of companies, individuals, corporations all vying for your hard earned $$$. I made a number of phone calls and sent a number of emails outlining what we were doing and what we wanted to achieve. Some got back, some didn’t, some needed ‘groups’, some were too far away, some were ‘wishy washy’ with details and others were just to darn expensive!