|After traveling through this incredible area of the world I have reservations about how I feel. On the one hand I am incredibly lucky to have seen this at this time when very few others have passed this way as tourists to muck it up for the future. On the other hand I feel as though my very writing about it will only increase the possibility that the future will make what now is still a most welcoming environment into what could become just another tourist destination w/ all the unfortunate ramifications this brings.
Given these thoughts, I would recommend spending at least 7-10 days going much more slowly and thus seeing/experiencing the area more fully!
I guess there is no way to avoid the inevitable, perhaps I am only reflecting a certain guilt for adding to the gradual demise of a people and their way of life. Being remote has so many benefits which the local population can never appreciate until it is too late to turn back. Travel brings us face to face with what we do to ourselves...just as scientists struggle to measure the 'real' world knowing that in the very process of measuring they impact the outcome.
I guess I am trying to convey a sense of loss even as I have gained so much personally from this experience. Maybe someone reading this who desires to travel here will take to heart the importance of being as careful about their impact as possible in terms of how we treat the local people and their ways. Sort of like what we used to promote in backpacking, pack it in...pack it out, leave it they way you found it or 'better' if you encounter unfortunate 'residue' from unthinking prior visits by thoughtless others before you. Attempting to speak in the local language is important as well, showing interest in all that they reflect as their customs and traditions.
I am beginning to ramble here so I will end by saying that I have seen the most remarkable portion of our journeys to date here in the Pamirs.