London to Sydney 2005 travel blog


View from our lunch stop

A great drive up the Karakoram highway. The only small problem was that we could not see the summits as there was too much cloud around. The lower scenery was pretty spectacular so we were not too disappointed.

We were not allowed to go to Gilgit as planned as they have been firing rockets at each other lately there. Instead we continued up to Karimabad - The Lonely Planet refers to it as a touristy place. In fact, there are hardly any tourists here since 9/11 so it was very pleasant. The Hunza valley is the prettiest part of Pakistan that we have seen. There is a massive irrigation system and every ledge is cultivated. The green fields are as counterfoil to the rock above. As Gilgit is rather a big town we were not too disappointed except that there was a letter waiting for me in Gilgit and, despite our best efforts, it failed to follow us.

We travelled rather slower than everyone else as we had been stopping to take tea and enjoy the view. However when we were 5 km from our final destination we came across a major traffic jam (having seen very little traffic all day. The cause was a landslide that had blocked the road. We went up to the front of the queue only to find all of our colleagues there - some had been waiting for 2 hours. About 15 mins later they had cleared the rocks and earth and we all went through!

In the evening we were entertained to dinner by local dignitaries including the Mir (local ruler, now local politician). There was, of course, music and dancing after dinner. Robin was presented with another hat.

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