Pakistan Journals

The Silk Road - After Marco Polo (part one)

A May 2001 trip to Pakistan by themymble

The Junction of Mountains Photo, Pakistan, Asia More Photos
Quote: Feeling blue and full of flu one Sunday teatime in February, I booked myself on to an expedition with Exodus. It started in Islamabad, Pakistan, and took me along the notorious Karakorum highway, and over the highest road pass in the world.

The Silk Road - After Marco Polo (part one)

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

The Junction of Mountains Photo, Pakistan, Asia
Quote:
* Finding a secret bar in our hotel * The Hunza valley, which is probably one of the most beautiful places on earth * Visiting schools in Alliahbad and Ganish Khun * Crossing a Very Scary Rope Bridge * The strange pearlescent water * The view of The Cathedral Mountains * Climbing in the Hunza valley, and seeing the Gulkin Glacier, which had chasms that have altered the definition of 'big' in my mind's dictionary. * The scent of olive flowers * This trip was run by Exodus, and I cannot recommend them highly enoughQuick Tips: * Within weeks of my return from this expedition, September 11 hap...Read More

Flashman's Hotel, Rawalpindi

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel

Quote:
Um… well, one of my guidebooks described the architecture as colonial. Yes, if the colonists hated the country. As my taxi disappeared in a cloud of dust, I wondered if the place was closed. I found a door marked RECEPTION. It had a note on it telling me to go to room 2, where two reticent men signed me in, and took me to a cool, dark room by the pool. Despite its unprepossessing outside, my room was clean and had a fan, a shower and a bed – which at the time was all I wanted. Looking back, and comparing it with some of the other places we stayed, it was expensive for what you got. As to the swimming pool…it is in a pleasant (compared with what’s outside) green courtyard, and it’s not...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on December 8, 2002

Exodus truck

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel

Quote:
Our 12T Exodus truck was home and hearth for twelve of us over the 3,500km. You acquire a locker, a spot on the padded benches and arcane knowledge about coaxing the gas rings into a decent flame. You help with the shopping and swear you are going to read a long list of books from the library. There were a dozen two-man tents stashed away, but as we moved south and it got hotter most of us lay under the stars. A good sleeping bag should go on the top of your packing list, and a roll mat too. The toilet facilities consist of um... trowels, bogroll, disinfectant hand sprays and a private spot. In very flat parts of the desert, sometimes there is nothing for it but to rely on people not ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 14, 2002

Quote:
When it came to choosing cooking partners, Both Nick and I felt we’d drawn the short straw. He was used to being catered for by his college and my cooking is... experimental. We eyed each other warily, determined to impress on our first dinner duty. One of our leaders suggested barbecued chicken - whole chickens are cheap and always fresh, because you pick them out of the flock. I sighed with relief. Jointing a chicken is one thing I do know how to do. "I’m making pakoras," announced Nick suddenly. "We did that on my last trip, and it was great. You need is flour, potatoes and spices." So we set out in search of pro-things. The vegetables were either limp or squishy and flyb...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on December 15, 2002

The Scariest Bridge in the World

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Don't Look Photo, Pakistan, Asia
Quote:
I’m not very good at suspension bridges -- I never know where to look. Do you watch your feet and let the swaying slats rock you to nausea? Do you keep your eyes on the river below and let the moving water hypnotise you? Do you fix your gaze on the steady horizon and risk a stumble that could pitch you to your doom? On this 220 yard bridge you can look at your feet and the fast flowing Hunza River at the same time. We were on our way back to camp from a day out on the Gulkin Glacier, and our expedition leader, John, decided this bridge (which is pictured on the cover of the Lonely Planet Karakoram Highway guide) was something we needed to see. Perhaps it was his way of working ou...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 23, 2003

Quote:
As we came into land, I glued my nose to the plane window and took in a reddish brown landscape speckled here with green and there with small spots of standing water. It looked dry, and hot – we were told it was 23 degrees centigrade outside – and it was only 6am. There was also a layer of hazy smog lying over the city. Land of black bogies, I thought to myself. The whole arrival thing happened quickly – one minute I was walking across hot tarmac; the next I was whiling away a short queue by comparing passport stamps with an American girl I’d met on the plane (she won by virtue of being a diplomat’s daughter); and then suddenly I was on the airport forecourt with a bag that was almost bigger tha...Read More