Pamir is the highest place in the post-Soviet space. Most of the highlands are located at an altitude of 4000 meters and above. Of course, at this height nothing grows and does not survive, except for a few travelers. Yes, and those eat the wolves that live here. Now I will tell you how people live in the mountains of the Pamirs.
According to local residents, a couple of years ago, the wolves ate a foreign cyclist, of whom only a boot and a bicycle remained. Let’s take a walk through one of the few villages located in the mountain steppe.
Meet this village of Karakul, located on the shores of the lake of the same name, among other things, the largest lake in the Pamirs.
About 500 people live in the village, which is about 70 families. Despite the fact that the village is located in Tajikistan, most of the population of the village is Kyrgyz. Once the village was located on the territory of the Soviet Republic of Kyrgyzstan, but then the border moved and the village became Tajik.
On this July day, due to cold weather and strong wind, almost no one was on the street. The air temperature was about 10 degrees, and the wind pierced the body to the bones. In winter, the temperature can drop to -40 degrees.
There is nothing here that could somehow affect the influx of the population. Locals survive as they can. Electricity is rare, and there is no central water supply, of course. Let’s go to one of the houses and see how people live in one of the most unusual places in the world.
This is a living room, here guests and unfamiliar travelers stop and sleep on the floor. Children of the hostess at home posing for the camera.
There is almost no furniture, and it is not needed here, everyone is sleeping on the floor. In the corner you can see a stack of mattresses and blankets for guests.
This is the kitchen here. It is prepared with gas that is brought from the district center.
This is a wash basin. Instead of a sewer, a bucket that needs to be taken out and drained periodically. The water in the wash basin, by the way, also needs to be periodically added. Here they wash themselves, wash their hands, dishes and everything else. There is no bathroom, they are washed from basins or in the bathhouse of neighbors in the village.
One of the rooms. The owners of the house live here.
Ibrahim is a mischievous bandit who will let any guest slip through.
Ibrahim’s parents earn money by placing travelers and travelers in their home. Earnings are small, but enough to live in these parts.
Let’s take a walk around the village and see how people live here. These are ovens, mainly they cook bread. They are located most often right on the street.
It is customary to paint houses here with whitewash, as This is the cheapest and easiest way. It remains a mystery to me why all the doors and window frames are painted blue. Apparently, this is an echo of the Soviet period, when the variety of colors left much to be desired.
Houses are built from shit and sticks of clay, because there is nothing more here.
Such houses, although quite warm, but short-lived. Clay gradually dries and breaks into pieces.
So from clay build lazy fences.
And so hardworking residents. But it is worth noting that the first option looks more reliable.
This is a column, here locals collect water for domestic use, and they drink it. To draw water, you need to fairly pump the lever.
The people here do not lose time in vain. For example, a sports ground.
There is also a dining room.
And this is how the only store in the village and its range look like. There is nothing special to buy, but there are Sneakers and Coca-Cola.
The local mosque. It is noteworthy that the mosque is almost no different from an ordinary house. Two attached towers speak of the religiousness of the place.
The village of Karakul is located on the shores of Lake Karakul, but from this the village does not become more attractive. Let’s take a walk to the lake.
The shore of the lake reveals the traveler a completely unearthly landscape. It is insanely cold here, but I want to stay here for a long time and enjoy this amazing view.
Like on another planet.
The lake is salty and very cold, so they don’t swim and fish here. Due to its height, only very small fish are found here and it is barely enough for a few gulls.
Nothing grows here, so there are no vegetable gardens and crop production here. Livestock here also does not survive, because livestock also have nothing.
o save heat, the doors to many houses are made very small.
Incredible beauty. You will not see anything like this anywhere in the world.
In general, the village is devastated. People here either trade in Chinese goods, or leave for Kyrgyzstan or Russia for the winter to earn money. Some families still livestock and keep mountain yaks. I will talk about how such families live in the next post.
On the outskirts of the village is a former Soviet military base, which after the collapse of the Soviet Union fell into disrepair.
Former checkpoint, which blows the spirit of the Soviet era. As if in a time machine, you are instantly transported into the past.
The road was also built in Soviet times and has not yet been repaired. It is an amazing feeling to be here. In the distance you can see this very village. Transport here runs at intervals of one car every two hours.
I would never live here, but really want to come back here again. Here is such energy that can hardly be found elsewhere.
Would you like to live here?
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