Sunday, September 24, 2006


I'd been somewhat dreading this section of the trip. I'd heard that the Lowari pass, that separated Chitral district from the lower lands to the South, was a pretty tough road. It was very steep & was in pretty bad condition. After the Shandur pass I was in no mood to cycle over a really bad road. In addition my legs were quite sore from the previous day's hike. I'd decided to try cycling up it & if it was too tough I'd hitch a lift.

The way to the base of the pass was quite pleasant, down mostly a verdant valley. Apart from the occasional group of boisterous boys who would demand pens or money & semi-seriously throw stones when their demands weren't me, worryingly many of them had slingshots.

As soon as I reached the base of the climb it became clear that it would be every bit as tough as the Shandur & more so. Though the road wasn't as bad it was steeper & the climb much longer. After struggling up for a while I'd had enough & stopped. Fairly soon after one of the old decorated Bedford trucks that haul loads over Pakistan stopped & picked me up. Initially they seemed to want money but this was forgotten when they dropped me off. I sat in the open-topped back on comfortable bags of straw & watched. There was a nice view from the back. Soon after setting off it clouded over, became quite cold & began to rain, towards the top of the 3118m pass it was slushy snow. The road was muddy. What would have been a very challenging climb on a sunny day looked pretty unpleasant. Even the truck took it slowly I was picked up at about 3pm & dropped off a few kilometres North of Dir, a distance of about 60km, at around 7:30pm.

It was completely dark on the road & fortunately a car sat behind me at I cycled down to Dir so that I could see the road. I was extremely relieved to check into a hotel. Though it hadn't been a long cycling day I was exhausted & asleep by shortly after 8:30pm.

I cycled 62 km in 5 hours & 28 minutes
Total so far 11465 km in 181 days

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