Sunday, September 1

North Pakistan, Day Five: Hello China!

Today we headed north. Of course, we've always pretty much been heading north so on the face of it there's not much new here. The thing is, today we're heading as north as we can without leaving the country. As a result this is as far as we're going to go this trip.

On the way to the China border we stopped off at Lake Attabad to hear the story of the flooding of Gilmet and the rebuilding of the Karakoram Highway.

The rest of the journey was pleasant, yet varied. We stopped off at Khyber to eat apricots off the tree, and were fed some amazing rice when stopping off at a police checkpoint for the bathroom. It was another example of the continued hospitality we received on our trip - many conversations were essentially "Salaam, wasalaam, chai?" and it was endearing to experience.

We also spotted Ibex and Yak as our altitude increased.

It was around 1pm that we made it to Kunjareb Pass and beyond that, China. As an islander I've previously talked about my fascination with land borders, and this one was no different even though it was accentuated with, well, a mountain range.

Alas borders, natural or not, are a reason to change direction... and so the backtrack began. We passed back through Sost for a Yak lunch, and grabbed some Apricot cake at Passu.

Our final stop was to visit the Hussaini Bridge - ultimately just another rope bridge but the sunset we had while there was worth the stop.

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