We're Not in Kansas Anymore Toto
Trip Start Mar 23, 2012
35Trip End Apr 22, 2012
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Where I stayed
Eventually Simon, Ann, Robin, Hira and Bish caught up and we, well I, struggled over the pass. We readjusted our course at one point, as we realised we were way too high on the slope. Later we found out that John L, Rob, Chris, Nigel, Mo and Kat had stayed on the high pass, discovered a Lost World and had to turn back when they got to a 300m drop into the Shaksgam Valley.
After lunch on the far side of the pass, I got to ride a donkey alongside Akbar, who rode one too
A lot of the ice had melted over the previous week and the river Shaksgam was flowing fast and cold. We had to remove boots to cross many tributaries and we had 'watershoes' to make the crossing less painful. Nigel had a fine set of canoe watershoes. I had some sandals and John L had one sandal, the other having been lost during their visit to the Lost World.
Rob hadn't brought any, however, and Nigel, in a fit of generosity, tried to lug his shoes back across the stream to him. With hindsight, the underarm throw was not the best choice, and the shoe plopped neatly into the middle of the river, where it floated away at a rapid rate of knots. Rob and the others were too busy lying on their backs laughing hysterically to make any attempt to retrieve the shoe. Nigel and John, who shared a tent, now had two left shoes between them
Some of the others used camels to cross the deepest river. This involved lots of girly screaming - from the men; David having a run in with Blondie, the frisky blonde camel; and Simon's camel reversing back into the river, where it decided to deposit him. He got wet boots. And a good time was had by all.
John L and Nigel's tent had taken a battering up the glacier. The zips had gone, the poles had bent and the tent pegs were crescent shaped. John L noted the tents were the sort you take to Glastonbury, rather than on an extreme trek. I pitched our tent in a line with the others, on a gravelly site, that the camel drivers suggested was the sheltered side of the river. Overnight, the wind was such that the tents were in danger of blowing away. It was gale force. It sounded like a train was coming up the valley, then the tent would buck and strain back and forth, threatening to take off in the middle of the night, with us in it. John L and Nigel lay in their tent to stop it bowling away down the valley. The thing was barely standing upright as it was.