We left some money, more exactly 20 somoni, on the table for our kind host who was already gone with the wind. People in this region are often poor but hospitable, and we understood that it is appropriate to offer a compensation for what they offer. Sometimes they tend to give more than they can afford, because if what you have is what you give, you're worth it to live. We try to contemplate the hosts' financial situation, and avoid insulting them by giving too much or too little. We like to expect nothing and are happy with anything, and suppose everyone else should do the same.
We continued our way along the border and were greeted enthusiastically by Afghan road workers on the other side. We saw them digging out a road in the most impassible vertical cliffs, equipped with only one drill and multiple pickaxes. We wouldn't have noticed them if not for the numerous rockchunks falling into the water below. On our side of the river there were remnants of old avalanches; sometimes huge patches of snow appeared, seemingly coming from nowhere, alongside the road while the sun deepfried our skin. The mountain peaks around us are growing higher and higher and with eyes fixed on the scenery, Yuri was caught off guard by a snake that jumped up to his front wheel. It missed by a hair and scurried away before we could catch it. Sadly this left us no other option but to postpone our future as snakeskin cowboys.
The road became flatter as we are nearing the city of Khorog, and we concluded our day in the middle of an oasis village where the valley grew a little wider. A friendly villager allowed us to set up camp in his Cherry tree garden, which was in full bloom.
Yormama, our host, interrupted us while we were just about to light our fuel stove. Politely he asked to store it away since his wife was cooking. "Home made potato - beef soup and bread on the menu guys!" We heard him say in Russian.
His English speaking brother joined us for dinner and offered us to sleep under the gazebo instead of our hammocks. Our spidersense told us it would rain, so we accepted a night away from our sleephangers while the rain drenched the whole valley mercilessly.