I woke up not so early. My morning started at 11 O’ clock. My day started with few phone calls from friends and family.
Today I am missing my family specially my little kiddo. She has been a gift of God. I had a healthy breakfast at Madina hotel and then Mr.Yaqoob- the owner of Madina guest house – came again. He is a very polite, friendly,and corporative person and we started our discussion on politics, current affairs, religion, tourism, ills of society etc. It was a long discussion for about two hours. Then he asked a guy at Madina to pick some apricots from the tree and we enjoy those apricots. Frankly, those were eh best apricots I have ever eaten. Even those green and unripened apricots were sweet.
I was waiting for Raji who was supposed to come back today.Raji is the tour guide at Madina and a very good friend of mine. His good attitude and extensive knowledge of Northern areas of Pakistan make him my favorite tour guide of madina.
I know him from my last trip to Gilgit and he also studied Japanese language from my mother in law. Although he will not accompany me but he will guide me and will plan me trip.
From last three days he is in Fairy Meadows with a Japanese tourist. I just got a call from Raji and he will be here today.
I like talking about madina hotel again. Its a different sort of hotel rather I would call it a social networking hotel where you meet a lot of people from different nationalities and you know lots of things about different cultures.
Actually when you talk to them, you start hating yourself for being an IT freak who sits in front of a machine all day all night. You eat and sleep there and I am hoping that we the IT guys will soon get custom made toilet seats so that we do not commit the sin of getting our eyes off of our computer screen any time. A Pakistani IT professional can be recognized easily by big tummy and fat ass, yeah thats exactly how are IT professionals look like.
I really feel sorry that we see the world trough Google Earth,maps, wikis, blogs and websites but we never actually get out of our rooms to look and feel that world. Akhh leave it, this ain’t going to change.
After eating those apricots, I took my camera and roamed around in Gilgit city for about two hours from one end to the other and took some photos and sat there on the bank of river Gilgit for a while, collected a few stones as souvenir and started my walk back to the hotel until I was stopped by two Rangers ( a paramilitary force ) personnel for taking photos of bridges and somehow they found me suspicious. Accoding to them its unusual to find some local tourists alone. But after some conversation with them they invited me for a cup of tea but I continued my journey back to the hotel after thanking them.
Photo by Rowan Castle
Photo by Kettebelletje
After coming back to Madina I offered apricots to a tourists from Holland, Mr. Frank. A very polite and knowledgeable and experienced tourist. My conversation with him lasted for more than four hours. We sat there under that canopy sort of restaurant till late night. Since he was an experienced tourist, he shared with me the experiences of his journey.
He was on a world tour and was staying in Pakistan from last two month. Its not surprising that to find many foreigners staying in Pakistan for such a long time. In Gilgit you will find that most of the tourists live there for many months and use Gilgit as base camp for their tour to North of Pakistan. Foreign tourists come here either from China or India. Most of them are on a wold tour. They hike , climb mountains, track and camp at several place before they leave for either China or India. But I found Mr. Frank most adventurous among all as he was planning for a trip to Afghanistan via Baluchistan and then to Iran. Another English guy may accompany him.
Surprising for me that most of the tourists hated India. They found the Indian people rude, mean and irritating. That was unheard of, and Mr. Frank seemed much disturbed by the large scale poverty, dirt , pollution and population of India. Its certainly good to see many foreigners still visiting Pakistan in such a grim security situation.
There was a beautiful blond staying in Madina. Mr. Frank and I were both interested in her :p. I was a little more curious to talk to her. So I switched on dirty side of my mind and started thinking about how to talk to her. But whenever I got ready to go for some chit chat, her king size giant boy friend drops in from no where and off course I get intimidated by his physique.
Raji was late as they were stuck up in a landslide caused by the blasting on Karakoram Highway (KKH) . KKH is getting rebuilt and its creating a lot of hassle for vehicles.
Photo by Amir Mukhtar Mughal
Photo by Amir Mukhtar Mughal
He came at about 8 p.m and then we had dinner together, the dutch, Japanese, Raji and me. After lunch Raji made the plans for my tour. I have to drop off my plans to visit Khunjrab pass ( China border) because of budget and time constraints. No one is with me to share my burden so its hard for me to spend so much money on transport. So we planned that I will only go to Chitral, Phander and Kalash and will go by public transport.
Tomorrow I’ll leave for phander valley in local transport. It is supposed to be 6-7 hours journey. Then a night at phander.
Photo by Noor Khan
Next morning I’ll leave for Mastooj. Mastooj is a town before Chitral. It will be about 5-6 hours probably on local transport. At Mastooj I’ll try to find transport to chitral but as it’ll be dark already so it may bot be possible to leave that day. The next day I’ll Inshallah leave for chital. Its another four hours jounrey and then I may stay there for a day or tow and then to kalash valley.
In Kalash valley there are three other valleys Bomborat, Raboor and another one. According to Raji I must spend alone day in each valley as they are worth watching. So lets see what happens. If everything goes as planned then I’ll go to Islamabad from Chitral by air. It may cost another Rs. 3200. Lets hope my budget permits me to do that and if I can get a seat or not. So its the end of day three. Its time to go to bed since I am much tired. Bye bye folks…