Saturday, August 31

North Pakistan, Day Four: The Two Forts

We left Gilgit at a leisurely 10am under a surprisingly strong sun. Most of our driving time would be through the Nagar Valley, the start of which was marked by a visit to a woodcrafter in Jaglot (confusingly not the Jaglot we offered Jummah in yesterday).

After lunch we continued on to Hunza Valley, passing though Allahabad on the way. It was en route that we finally got to see our first glimpse of the 7.8km tall Rakaposhi.

Our first real sight was in Altit for its fort. This building was impressive enough, but it was also our first contact with local ethnic people who weren't your typical Punjabi that one would typically find in this region. Their Sheena language was almost musical.

Interestingly this was the first time we had encountered white tourists. Thinking about it I don't think I've ever met a white person in Pakistan, but its a testament to both how accessible the area has become, and how exotically it's now viewed, that Western tourism is now becoming visibly commonplace here.

We then headed to Karimabad for the Baltit Fort, and if I thought I had already witnessed the peak of the tourism in this area, Baltit proved me wrong. The fort itself was okay; larger than Altit but the latter was nicer in multiple way. Sunset was spent at Duiker, otherwise known as the Eagle's Nest, and we treated ourselves to some local walnut cake after dinner.

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