We started this leg of our journey in the small town of Murghab in Eastern Tajikistan, a place that some journalists have described as "post-apocalyptic" and "the worst place in the world." High in the mountains amid a harsh and unforgiving landscape, it truly felt like the end of the earth.
We'd just received more bad news about our car. Ever since we replaced its faulty head gasket back in Uzbekistan, it had been acting a bit funny, and although we survived our latest breakdown, the mechanic was now telling us we'd probably only be able to make it another hundred miles. Our options were limited, so after mulling it over, we decided that the best we could do was to keep going for as long as our engine would last.
It hardly seemed like an appropriate time to take on a new challenge, but there was only one road, so we didn't really have a choice but to forge ahead to the Ak-Baital Pass, which at 15,311 feet was the highest point of our entire journey!
Somehow, our car managed to make it to the top, but lest we breathe a sigh of relief, there was another, unexpected challenge awaiting us farther down the road. After entering Kyrgyzstan, we made the mistake of trusting our GPS over our paper maps, and what was supposed to be a 10-12 hour trip turned into a two day odyssey!
To give you a sense of how windy and mountainous our route turned out to be, here's a close-up of the map from one section of the road:
What will happen to us, and where will we end up?
Listen to the latest episode of Far From Home to find out!
Finally, I'm thrilled to announce that in addition to all the normal podcast-listening apps, there's now a new, great way to listen to Far From Home if you have an Amazon Echo smart speaker. Just tell Alexa to enable the Anypod skill (or click here). Then say "Alexa, tell AnyPod to play Far From Home." Unlike the Echo's built-in podcast player, Anypod lets you specify particular episodes of this program that you want to hear, you can fast-forward or rewind, and it will even remember where you left off the last time you were listening! For a more complete list of what Anypod can do, check out its user manual. And while Anypod unfortunately doesn't work with Google Home or Sonos devices, you can still listen there as you normally would, by requesting the Far From Home podcast.
Thanks for listening!
Photos by Drew Gurian