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Photographer's Note

Silk road travels:

Leaving Ishashim we enter the mythic* Wakhan valley. Although we still followed the Panj river valley upstream the valley changes its name, widens and opens the view to a series of high mountains of the Wakhan range to the North, the Hindukush range to the South.

The picture is taken on he outskirts of Ishkashim (2540 m alt.), where a lateral mountain stream brings at times of heavy rains a lot of gravel. The direction is upstream Panj, to the right Qullai Noshaq is pointing into the clouds (7485 m alt.). The mountain to the left and behind (7340 m) is not even named for cartography, they have many of them in the Hindukush!

*"Mythic" because the Wakhan valley is so tucked away in the mountains that few people ever go to see it (a reported 500 or so tourists a year). George Curzon discovered the source of the Oxus at the valley's head during his Pamir expedition in 1894. And the "Wakhan corridor" was the agreed-on buffer zone between Britain and czarist Russia at the end of the 19th century. (I imagine that both empires were relieved to arrange it so that they did not have to occupy these mountains militarily!).

A last note: the Wakhan valley was always a little frequented part of the Silk Road network. It is not sure whether Marco Polo passed through here although he describes the valley in his "Travels".

I had to process the JPG picture in PS, increase contrast by 15%, mark and change colour temperature for the sky, remove an ugly wall in front by stamping, crop, resize, sharpen lightly.

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Additional Photos by Dietrich Meyer (meyerd) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 106 W: 52 N: 651] (1626)
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