Thursday, 21 August 2008


After leaving Lahore I had a fairly uneventful trip to Islamabad, where I met up with Leana again. She'd just returned from a very enjoyable trekking adventure to the K2 base camp. After 2 days in a hotel we moved across the road to the more affordable camp site for foreign tourists. The regular monsoon downpours, the humidity, and the ferocious mosquitos were the only real niggles, but we soon managed to cope with those things (or at least to tolerate them). The camp site is a good place to meet other travellers such as other cyclists, motorcyclists, back-packers, and overlanders. Like us, almost everyone at the camp site was waiting for some sort of travel documentation. We wasted a lot of time (and some money) on our unsuccessful attempt to get a visa for China (we'll probably give it another go from somewhere else later - after the Beijing Olimpics). Instead, we've decided to travel to India after leaving Pakistan. While waiting, we took a train trip to the city of Peshawar, an area of strong Taliban influence not far from the Afghan border. We spent a few interesting days in this seemingly chaotic place (see "street picture") before returning to Islamabad. Islamabad is a very "organised", relatively modern city which has been specifically built as the capital of Pakistan. There's not that much to see, but one of the places we did visit was the Shah Faisal Mosque (there's some joke about missiles in the minarettes). Islamabad's sister city, Rawalpindi, is only 15 km away and is a more typical Pakistani city. Right now we are in the Hunza Valley, situated in the Karakoram mountains of Northern Pakistan. We've been up to the Chinese border, and have cycled amongst some of the highest mountains in the world (picture - Shishpar, 7611 m). Now we are working our way back to Islamabad to pick up our Indian visas. (See the next report for this part of our trip - hopefully as soon as we're back in Islamabad. Right now I'm not prepared to battle through another report on this slow internet - not to mention the power failures. Apologies to those who're waiting for me to reply, but I haven't even bothered trying to open my e-mail). The daily distances I cycled from Lahore to Islamabad were:- Gujrat 123 km; Jhelum 57 km; Rawalpindi 126 km; and Islamabad 16 km.

1 comment:

Sadia Amin said...

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