We slept in a bit due to the incident the night before, and got somewhat of a late start. Although we still made it over 10 miles for the day to Jomson, where we had intended, so no harm seemed done.
The terrain on this side of the pass is very different from the side we had come from. The landscape looked very much like the hilly deserts of the southwest, but where streams trickled down it looked like fall in New England. In the sandy hills there were amazing caves, which we figured were man made due to their proximity to ruins of towns. Really interesting.
We walked for a long time along the road – and it was no longer a donkey or pony road, but a real dirt road with loaded Jeeps passing us every 20 minutes or so. We were assaulted by very heavy winds, soon to be joined by rain blowing sideways into our faces. We took solace in a little restaurant in Ekle Bazaar for lunch. The rains continued on and off for the rest of the day. As we continued along the road we came to an area where the road, only about 15’ above the very wide river valley, was rather muddy. We noticed Jeeps and trucks were barreling across the river valley, at points crossing the river, and at first we had no idea why they were not using the road. Then we saw:
We continued along in this desolate river valley for a few more miles until we hit the outskirts of Jomson. At first, the town seemed not very tourist-oriented. Nothing was in English, and people seemed unconcerned about our presence. It was nearly 5pm and getting dark, and we were looking for a decent place to spend the night. Knowing Jomson was a rather large town, with an airport even, we thought something was a little strange. Thank god for Griff and his map skills – we realized we were in old Jomson, or the more ethnic part of town, and needed to cross the bridge and continue a little ways. We soon found a very nice place to have dinner, spend the night, and arrange a Jeep for the next day to take us south along the road.