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Pakistan

Nazimabad Pyeen Artificl Lake

Just outside of the village Gulmit is the area of a large natural disaster. About 8 years ago there was a massive landslide ca 40km south of the village which caused to block the Hunza river. As a result parts of the village were flooded and many people lost their homes. For about 35km a section of the Karakoram Highway was destroyed. In order to keep the transport up and ruining and to connect the upper villages of the highway with the south the locals started a boat service between both ends of the highway. The boat service was scary as they used large fishing vessels powered by car engines. In order to transport a car the car had to be parked athwart on some large, squared timbers. There a many photos of such trips online or videos on youtube. Sadly, I could not do such a crossing as now the chinese had build a complete new road section with four large tunnels passing by the artificial lake. In course of the new construction the lake has been partly drained revealing affected areas.

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Galcier Breece

Gallier Breeze in Pasu. Just west of Pasu is the 5th largest glacier outside the arctic. First, you drive a small track up passing by the borith lake ( nothing special) to a small parking area. From there on you walk on a track build into the slope of the mountain with in some places drops of more then 70m. But in change the views are just stunning. The glacier is always slightly away and you never can go close to or on (apart of course from the very top). Nevertheless, a view which you just have to embrace. Nothing similar in the alps for sure. In the evening I camped just beside the glacier breeze restaurant in the Pasu village.

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Pakistan People

So, I’m in Pakistan and so far the landscape is awesome. But the people are even better. So friendly, so welcoming. And everywhere I go I have to come in for a tea. Just a few small stories:

Near Janabad on the roadside beside the glacier breeze I meet the Australian couple again (somehow we are so far a the same speed, even if they are on cycles). We were invited for a tea by some local road workers. Everyone happy, smiling faces everywhere and of course some questions about where are your from, what are your doing first time in Pakistan.

Just before however I a weird event - I was standing on the roadside talking to local guides as suddenly a convoy arrived. About three to four Land Cruiser guided by „special forces“ in front and the back. Next, everyone was on the street - forces fully armed with machine guns protecting the road in front and back. In between me and now some tourist form Europe and USA. And then the guide had to introduce me to everyone as he was so suppriced that I was alone traveling by car all the way from Germany. Everyone asking questions and wising all the best for the rest of the journey. 10 minutes later this was over....

Next I’ve been on the „Glacier Breeze“ - the track up to the glacier. The last incline was a bit step so it took me a bit to get on. But on top I was greeted by workers building a water connection for the village sourced by the glacier. Before I could say anything I was invited straight away. They not only offered me tea, no, they gave me a full Pakistan meal (spiced rice with some chicken pieces and vegetables) and then the questions started: Where are your from, what is your profession, are your alone, about my travels. But as they know my civil engineering background they went on talking about their work. And this all at about 3000m with a glories views across the glacier and mountains.

Or when I was in Gulmit on my way up to the fort. First on the way up on of the lokal childs jumped on my rear ladder for lift up to the upper village. When I went on the track to the fort I was greeted by many locals, was offered some fresh apples etc. And on my way back from the fort I was invited for a tea by one of the local workers and his mother. He explained a bit about the community and then of course asked about my travels etc. Of course he had to mention that the Germans have a very good reputation in Pakistan (in general on journey as a whole, but thats a different story). When I was alone with the mother she couldn’t speak any english but tried to communicate, always with a smile on the face. She was complaining about pains she has, especially in joints, limbs and the back - so I left here one of my Kyta ointments.

On my we back I passed a sawmill. But this was a really old-style one. Sawing machines from the 1950s or earlier. So I had to take some photos and as the old owner heard that I’m also a trained carpenter he was smiling all over the face and hugged me. He was the last carpenter of the village and next I was introduced to his family and again I was offered tea and some cake. And of cource everyone wanted to know where I’m from, about my travels and on and on.


So, if this continues I have to say the Pakistan people as the friendliest and welcoming by a country mile!!


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Karakorum Highway Pakistan I

Now I’m in Pakistan. The border crossing was straight forward and everyone was just really friendly and welcoming. Had to pose for a few selfies and the way and so many were just flashing lights or pressing horns or waving. And together with the awesome scenery this feels like be on adventure again. What a change to China.

The first 100km are just a road from a different world. The Chines side of the Highway is allready great but this beats it hands down. Awesome. And once your and e road you know why this is one of the few greats roads to drive in your lifetime.

The customs in Sost were also very easy and for the first time on this journey Ihad to use the Carnet de Passage.

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