A rainy day of 1200 meters of climbing wasn't something we were looking forward to, but we had to make progress. Actually that is not completely true. We don't have to make progress if we don't want to, but a secretive surprise visit was planned in Dushanbe on April 7th, and the three friends had to work together to convince Anton we had to be in Tajikistan by this date, as our visa's supposedly ran out then. Sneaky bastards as we are, we infiltrated his mind by means of inception, and planted an idea to reach Dushanbe, the city of love and beauty, where the passion fruits are sweet.
After the rainy descent , we bought some cheese and yoghurt from a lady behind a roadside stall with the most beautiful eyes we have ever seen; a deep, apple brown reddish colour. Unmotivated to make more progress, we asked a passing sheep herder for a roof above our heads, and without a second of hesitation he gestured to follow him towards his clay house with a thatched roof. A seemingly poor family in terms of money, but rich in hapiness, happy with their livestock and poultry consisting of sheep, cows, goats and chickens. They granted us entry to one of the two rooms their clay house contained, and gave us permission to build a fort out of their unlimited supply of colorful blankets and matrasses, made from the wool of their livestock. This was the most basic house we ever slept in, and they showed their hospitality by serving us a simple dish of oily rice, without meat, which we happily split under the four of us.
Thankful for this eye-opening experience with locals where no tourist ever stopped, we slept like kings in our cosy castle of blankets, in the middle of the peaceful mountain village, while snow covered the grassy hilltops in the night.