Monday, September 4, 2006


What a scenic day! It's hard coming up with suitably descriptive language for the road today. The ride down the Karakorum highway to Passu was through as spectacular terrain as I have ever seen. When the previous afternoon's ride down from the Kunjerab pass & that which I expect will be coming are all included then it's probably fair to say that I've never seen anything like it.

It was a cold morning. The washing that I'd done the previous evening & hung on my bike was frozen. The soldiers were all late risers. I guess they don't have much to do normally so don't see the point of getting up before the Sun melts the frost on the ground. The junior member of the crew cooked up laghman noodles & milky tea for everyone, including us.

After breakfast we left our hosts & continued down the KKH. The weather was superb. Over the course of the day we dropped from 3600m to 2500m. For much of the morning the road passed through the Karakorum National Park. Apart from the occasional car there wasn't a soul. The road followed a wild river the whole way. The mountain side rising steeply, often vertically from the edge of the road, to several thousand metres above. From time to time we came across rock slides, some quite recent, on one occasion waiting a few minutes for things to settle before continuing. The river took back bits of the every now & then. This must be a very expensive road to keep open, especially during the wet months.

At Sost Customs & Immigration officially welcomed us into Pakistan & stamped our passports. A cheap & delicious lunch was purchased with our first Rupees. They even gave us an extra helping for free unasked for. From Sost the valley widened & became more populated. There was a lot more traffic, both on foot & by vehicle, on the road. Almost everyone I passed smiled or waved.

We stopped for the night at a friendly but cheap hotel in the village of Passu, sharing a double room at the cost of slightly over a dollar each. From the nearby river there was a great view of the unbelievably jagged Passu Peak rising 5000m above.

I cycled 90 km in 5 hours & 46 minutes
Total so far 10682 km in 160 days

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