Sophie organises motor rallies to Tajikistan to support a charity. This year’s has just finished and been a great success – see http://roofoftheworld.charityrallies.org/

Here’s todays email:

Hello everyone
I think this will be my one and only update this year as internet access has been hard to come by.  I’m writing this whilst waiting for the 4x4s to be loaded for the eco tourism trip – we were supposed to leave at 8am and it is about noon so it is Tajik time
 
The Roof of the World Rally is coming to a close.  We’ve had most of the teams camping in the Sworde teppa gardens and every night we are waving some off in taxis for their flights.  There is one bunch left who cant make up their minds what they want to do but are going to try and get to the Pamirs although they have only left themselves a couple of days.
 
The highpoints this year for us have been the accommodation – we have had a bed to sleep in, air con and also far more food than usual and less sickness (touchwood)! The finish of the Rally was even bigger and better than last year.  There was a police escort for all teams down to the centre of the city and the ambulance put on it’s sirens – completely drowning out the police lada sirens!  After the speeches there was a feast and musical programme setup – with students and also the Tajik rappers – who are suprisingly good!
 
The   ambulance was a test run this year and it has really worked!  The Education minister contacted the Mayor, who invited us to his office and I had to do a very diplomatic chat with him whilst being filmed for the city tv channel – at the same time wearing a Tajik hat he had put on my head that was threatening to fall off.  At the meeting they also had the head doctor of the city and he came back to Sworde Teppa so that Ricky the Irish chap who drove it hear could show him and the driver all its bells and whistles.  The doctor was pretty chuffed with the stretcher particularly and ended up hugging Ricky at the end of it all.  K-T has somewhere between 70,000-100,000 people and has a total of 4 chinese minibus’s – which are tiny and break down a lot – that is the sum of their amblances.  They also don’t have capibilities like giving oxygen or oxygen masks – so this ambulance is pretty special for them.
 
Yesterday we took all remaining teams on a picnic – as there is not much to do in KT whilst they wait for their flights.  It was a beautiful day and the picnic sight was beautiful as always – we went swimming in the river and watched the shooting stars before coming back.  By the end of yesterday I was beyond knackered.  Generally I’ve been an intermediary between teams and Sworde as it generally works best that way – but with so many teams, juggling flights, food, taxis and general demands has been quite exhausting and to be hones I’m glad they are all going home and we’ve got some time for ourselves!
 
So now it is time for the next adventure.  We go to Sary Khorsor / korsorski nature reserve – which doesn’t normally even exist in the guidebooks but can be spotted on the odd map.  It is truely the middle of nowhere and we have a 10 hours river drive down the valleys as there are no roads there.  Hopefully I’ll get some nice photos and get to see a bear.
 
So that is it from me.  I’ll see if I can attach a few photos.
Hope all is well!
Sophie
she can be contacted at sophie@gohelp.org.uk