|The northern areas of Pakistan, located in the Himalayan
Mountains, has some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. I
had never been there as these areas were very difficult to access while
I was growing up. So, when my brother Rafiq said that he was going there
for some work I jumped on the chance to accompany him. He was going to
be working in Gilgit and I could go further (another 2 hours by road) to
Hunza. In my biography I have mentioned that when we first came to
Rawalpindi we stayed at the house of the King of Hunza and picked on the
princes. Well, the king has passed away and the Prince Ghazanfar is now
the king (called Mir) of Hunza.
I took a bus from Lahore to Islamabad on February 16th. It started raining that morning. but I hoped it would stop soon. It rained all the way to Islamabad. I left Lahore at 9 am and arrived in Islamabad around 1:30 pm and visited some old family friends. Then one of them dropped me off at the Margalla Hotel, where
Rafiq had just checked in after arriving from a training he had
conducted in Peshawar. The next morning we knew there were no flights flying to Gilgit/Hunza as it had not stopped raining for one moment. Rafiq called up the guy who was going with us. He said that he had made some calls and that the roads were open so he was coming over with a Toyota
Land Cruiser. We left Islamabad around 8:30 am. There were 6 of us guys in the
Land Cruiser. On the way we saw buses from Gilgit, which was encouraging as it meant that the road was open.
It never stopped raining for one moment so I was limited to taking photos
and some videos from within the car. We stopped in Bisham (which is about halfway) for lunch. Just as we were leaving Bisham, we ran into a van that was coming from the north. We asked their driver how the road was and he said he was only coming from a short distance away, but that he had heard that the road was blocked up ahead. We went to an FWO (Frontier Works
Organization, which maintains the roads) office and had them call ahead to find out the condition of the road. Sure enough, the road had gotten blocked by falling rocks at about 8 in the morning. That's why the buses from Gilgit had made it through as the road was still ok when they were going through in the night.
trusty Land Cruiser
along the way
rest are stills from the video so are not very good quality.
Highway, also known as the "Silk Road" because of its link
river snaked its way along the road for most of the way
ran into some think fog
through little towns along the way
scene at Bisham. This is where we turned around
the way back we saw fallen rocks
bridge built by the Chinese
fallen tree on the road. We managed to break and pull back the branches to
get past it
tree was too big and solid to try to move. We were very lucky when a
villager helped us get around it