We reluctantly left the comfort and luxury of Serena Hotel (Euro 165), Gilgit after a delicious breakfast. We stopped for fuel before leaving town and turning back onto the KKH headed North.
The mountain scenery was magnificent and the police checkpoints along the way were all very friendly. We passed through many small villages, some with stalls selling fresh produce….and in one case I saw a cow being butchered by the side of the road…..with all its fur still on!
We saw were the continental plates (Indian and Eurasian) collided, the Indian plate continues to move north pushing the Eurasian plate at a rate of 5 cm per year, raising the mountains by around 7 mm annually. We passed through the Central Karakuam National Park, which was just stunning! We saw the remnants of the old silk road (Kinu-Kutto) which started as a foot path, into a pony track and later one jeep width road (1958-60). In the 70’s the construction of the KKH saw the Old Silk Road fall into disuse, but it still has the best views of the Rakaposhi Mountain.
Along the way we stopped at a look out to admire the view and met Moin Khan and his helper, Sonny. These two Pakastani riders run motorcycle tours (adifferentagenda.com)….particularly for Americans as Moin had studied in the states. They had four Americans with them, Liza, Elmar, Esthan and Suleman. They invited us to tag along with them as they headed North up to the border …..and we accepted. Pakistani hospitality at it’s best! We stayed at the Hunza View Hotel (free of charge), owned by Moin’s close friend, Mammud, and were made most welcome. We were invited to join the group for a delicious dinner and rest up for the adventure tomorrow when we will travel to Passu across the lake by boat (as the new tunnel in to open to the public yet). We will spend the night there before moving North to the border with China…..very exciting!