To slow down the drive back to Dushanbe and allow the ladies to catch up we made first a stop at a local Sunday market and then at a salt mountain. The streams running down the mountain were salt saturated and hence white crystals coated the rocks in the runoff streams.
While we had just parked the ladies arrived and we were all glad that this ordeal had a good ending. The news came through that the border we intended to cross into Kyrgyzstan was closed. It became unclear then how we could leave the country given that our visa for Uzbekistan had expired so we needed to go into Kyrgyzstan. Not much could be done on the spot so we decided to drive to Dushanbe. Along the way there was a car ramp. I could have a good look under my car and noticed that one side of the torsion bar of my left rear was loose and hitting the suspension on big bumps. We tried but could not get it fixed on a Sunday. The shattered protection cover of the gas tank was further removed so it will also not rattle. We parked again at the restaurant overlooking the city in Victory Park. During the meal we got an SMS that one camper had problem with his automatic gear box and needed help. Hopefully Rudy can find the right gearbox oil tomorrow and send it to the stranded camper. The girls in the mean time will try and find confirmation if we can pass into Kyrgyzstan via Isfara, another border north of Tajikistan (and circumvent the Uzbek enclaves). Our visa here runs out on 28/5 (in 3 days). To be continued.