Friday, January 21, 2011

Back to the Afghan Pamir, dropping out for 1 month - Retour au Pamir Afghan, coupé du monde pendant 1 mois.

 Our world is over-connected, it's a bless and a curse. It's hard to find places without electricity or mobile reception. Without these 2 things, you are pretty much left alone. I am off today to one of this remaining "unconnected" place. My second winter expedition to the Afghan Wakhan - you can see the story I shot there in 2008 on my website ("Forgotten on the roof of the world"). I first trekked to this place over 10 years ago while living in Pakistan.

I spent the whole last 2 weeks preparing the trip, mainly stocking up again on warm gear. I am embarking on a film project, where I will be filming as well as photographing. A story that has been in the pipeline for a while.

I shall be in Kabul tomorrow, meeting up with the 3 other team member (two french: the director and other cameraman and an Afghani sound engineer). Then we will hop in a little chartered Zodiak plane - much like this one below, expect our pilot will look different - with 250 Kg of gear and fly near Sarhad, at the end of the Wakhan corridor.

Then we will trek for few days on the frozen Wakhan river (Pakistan to the south, Tajikistan to the North, China to the east), a caravan of probably 7 or 8 yaks - we will have over 600Kg of gear all inclusive - and hopefully reach the high altitude plateau of the Little Pamir, at 4300m,  4 or 5 days later. Then we will set up camp and start work on our project, focusing on the Afghan Kyrgyz. More about this later. Outside our tent it will be incredibly cold but it seems worth it - that's how it will look on an overcast day:

Of course, this plan is to be taken with a heavy dose of "inch'allah" - too many factors can alter it. But that's the beauty about it: being surprised. And certainly feeling incredibly lucky this is even happening at all!

Over to you, I am off and out, back in 1 month...

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