12600km ... Pakistan
Trip Start Aug 08, 2009
16Trip End Jan 28, 2010
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What a relief after disastrous China… We entered Pakistan via the Kunjerab pass at 12600km from Amsterdam and at a height of 4700m. At the highest point there was a porch with Chinese characters and nothing….No sign with congratulation you made it! No name of the pass, no policemen, no customs, nothing. The only sign that we made it to the top was the fact that the road went down again ;-) That we entered a new country, we notice due the quality of the road. No more asphalt unfortunately so we start a bumpy way down but with a magnificent view of snowy peaks and rocky mountains. The rocks are colorful and shine beautiful in the sun. The next few hours we pass some checkpoints where policemen write down our passport number and where they speak English J
Happy people who like to wave!
The Karakoram Highway (KKH) is worst road we ever drove before. On average we drive about 20km/h on stones and bumps. Every 500m we see construction workers with yellow hats working hard and when we pass they smile and wave at us. Some just stop working and look at us with big eyes and their mouth wide open ;-) We feel very welcome in this country and the mountains keep on being very impressive. Some Chinese worker waves at us and asks us to stop because the tire of his truck sticks out in a strange way. We take him to the next camp where a Pakistani asks us why do you help this Chinese? They obvious aren’t too fond of the Chinese…
Karimabad is the next town we stop to camp
106km to Gilgit and it takes us 6 hours! Highway? Highway? Damn Karakoram Highway. It’s high in its beautiful mountains indeed but it’s a shitty way! I am impressed by the autumn trees and I could watch them for hours but my bud is sore of all the shaking around and I am glad when we finally reach Gilgit. Gilgit is a dusty and very noisy town with more shops than houses it seems but we stay in a hostel with a nice patio where we can sit in peace and have a breakfast and a tea. We are exhausted of the bad roads and the driving the last days so it’s a good place to relax a bit and for me to give my belly some rest and good food because it’s not happy (understatement). When I dear to go further than 100m from a toilet we take a walk in the center
We stay 2 days in this hostel called Madina and meet more overlanders, backpackers and cyclists on their way to India. The hot shower they have here is a treat and the food is delicious. The staff is very friendly and helpful, so if you ever think of visiting Pakistan, make them a visit!
They just told me that it’s 40 degrees in Lahore where we will cross the border to India in a few days. I can’t believe it’s true sitting here at approximate 800km from Lahore in 3 sweaters and a blanket around my shoulders because it’s freezing cold….