Monday, June 11, 2012

Khorog, Lalmore Lodge

Khorog - homestay -the next day 7/6/2012 Craig's mum and his sister Katherine ran around everywhere trying to send us money as all bank ATMs wouldn't take his or my MasterCard. After breakfast encouraged him to try to just go into the bank and use his card as in Samarkand when the ATMs weren't working for everyone.

It ended up that both worked so we now have plenty in case of similar emergencies!

It was 11:30 am by the time we were all packed after Craig had picked up the other from agar bank via western union from Katherine.

We then went to leave and the receptionist said they had another room free now unexpectedly but we preferred to try somewherelse.

We drove up to the direction of the palmir lodge but saw a homestay sign and decided to stay here and have been so glad.

Lalmore is our hostess and is always so very gracious and accommodating. At the moment her sister is visiting from Moscow with her daughter and she has been busy with us and others , Swiss couple first night, Japanese couple second night just us third night. She cooked us all dinner the second night which was divine. Chicken curry and rice and a salad and dried mulberries, plums, figs, sultanas.tea and cherry juice - real cherry juice.

Our breakfasts have been one to look forward to each morning not as flash as Marion's guesthouse but lovely big slices bread, real apricot jam (so many apricots you can count., Cherries(still with pips).

Lalmore said that they usually only have milky tea themselves for breakfast as that is what they love.

The first afternoon we went and had lunch at the cafe by the river which was just lovely. I had chicken chow mien and Craig the curry beef. We watched the kids (all boys) swimming in the raging river . Some jumping in and swimming past rocks to shore quickly as not to be swept further down. Others jumped in way to our left and did the same past us . It would have been freezing. We saw this on the 9th too when we went about 1:30 after the Afghan markets.
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The first night we didn't have dinner. I had been on the toilet all afternoon into the evening and didn't feel like anything. Craig had biscuits -.whole packet -(little).

First morning we talked to Barbara and Marcus from Switzerland while they had breakfast before they whizzed off for an appointed time with a jeep from Palmir Lodge with two other Australians.

We went down to the normal markets to look for a journal and bought one and an ice cream and then were bowled up by Zeba a local from 14 kms away. She was nicely dressed and spoke very fast English and didnt always listen to what we were saying, she said she spoke to foreigners to practice her English. She walked with us. I tried to take a couple of photos.
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We didn't buy anything except some pancakes -looked like battered fish). We gave her some and then sat down and had some water -ended up being soda water. She had spoke of her twin sister a lot and how not to drink beer and smoke because her parents don't and yet her dad had a big belly. She also spoke of the unemployed boys and how more of their girls were at university.

She had been at university for four years learning English but said she couldn't get a job because she kept fainting and trying to get cure.

Before we went for the water she introduced us to two of her professors from the Agha Kan university but they weren't her English professors. One was especially friendly and invited us to his house 25 kms away where they were going. We said no thanks about four times :)

She also introduced from afar some one else she knew from college ready to drive a packed car. Took a photo and said hello (asked permission for photo).

She ended up admitting that she would like 10 somones from us for her treatment. Craig gave her 20 and we said goodbye. (we have been praying for her since. Better late than never!!??!!)

We walked home and awaited the dinner we had ordered from Lalmore and weren't disapponted!! She looked stunning too in her headdress and lovely dress.
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We got to know the three Japanese guests over dinner a little, can't remember their names though the girl Craig said is Kim. She wasn't eating, just drank some juice after trying to get the tv to work. I think she understood English the best.

They left the next morning as we were getting up as they had decided to try to get a flight from Khorog airport. Apparently getting onto a flight is usually very hard as weather is one factor and also only there are only 14 seats on the plane plus these quite often are filled with government officials. They were coming back if weren't able to but did not return.

Saturday 9/6/2012

Craig slept in and decided we would like to stay another night as I had been keen on the afghan markets which start at nine. We didn't get there til 11:45 so maybe not as much there but craig bought a pancake and we walked quickly around and bought a tablecloth for his mum and a hat for him to keep as a souvenir. We travelled by taxi bus there and back which was great. On our own from town markets and packed out on the way back.
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Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMugWe then went to the cafe again Craig for a salad and I wasn't hungry but we stayed there ages just watching everyone; the kids again in the river, bit more tentatively this time as colder still, ladies across the river washing big rugs by using bucketed water from the river.

I ended up ordering a hot chocolate and cake and Craig a hot chocolate also.

We tried to see the craft stall which we thought was in the youth centre but after walking in it was closed.
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Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMugOn walking home we stopped into a little shop and met a lovely lady who spoke a little English called Asher. We took a photo after buying two packets biscuits and a box of juice for the road. She told Craig the hat was for me :). We later ascertained it is a mans hat.
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We dilly dallied the rest of the afternoon, Craig on phone and sleeping and me watching the washing in huge wind and enjoying the scenery and having a quiet time with bible and prayer and song.

In the morning while Craig had been sleeping in I had watched a shepherd herding his sheep up the mountain and also been listening to a neighbors music traditional style. Was lovely morning even though I didn't know if we were going or not that day.
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After sharing photos with Lalmore and Katchya we went down to have dinner but all restaurants closed - 8:30. We went to a little shop and bought bread, two minute noodles and yoghurt for dinner. We bothered Lalmore for boiling water and in the end she made us a pot of tea also and brought more dried fruits; a real treat. We met her hubby properly and chatted and took photos and while we ate our dinner in the lounge room on the floor they chatted in the kitchen.

Nearly forgot to mention that Katchya had kindly made me a traditional blouse and pants out of some material her daughter had brought from Moscow.  She whizzed it up very quickly and the pants are the most comfortable pants I think I've ever owned!!  Mine aren't quite traditional as they showed me that usually there is an elasticised band of material at the top of the pant to make it easy to go to the restroom. Her fee was very very reasonable.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMugOff to bed for last night :)

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