Kohistan and the Karakoram Highway

The next morning we were expecting escorts, and there weren’t any, which cheered us. 

We set off, and promptly lost the German. He was doing 80kph again.  Apparently he had somewhere to be.


The land was still beautifully green, with bee-keeper boxes dotting the sides of the roads.  We were rounding the bottom of the mountains, following the river. 

We stopped at a check post, where a guard tried to surreptitiously hold my hand while showing me a poster of Switzerland.  It was odd.

We were escorted for 15 minutes through the most dangerous part of Kohistan. It didn’t look any different to the rest, and nothing untoward happened.



The mountains were snowcapped, the light amazing, and the waterfalls suitably sploshing.  

Shame about the road-  it disintegrated further, with streams flowing over it, and bits of road tumbled into the ravines below.  The pot-holes were truck sized. 


Our resting place that night was Dasu.  Still in Kohistan, it had a bit of a strange atmosphere, but other than a few stares, it was fine. 

Well, fine apart from the lodgings available.  Our ‘hotel’ was a tea shack with three rooms out the back. 


It was truly awful.  The stairs looked like inspiration for MC Escher.  The banisters on the wrought iron rusting staircase were tied on with string.  The room was thick with dust.


I showered.  A leech fell on me from the shower head. 

The electrics were state-of-the-ark.

We went for a short walk, and got discovered by a young Islamabad couple who were there working for Unicef, handing out vegetable oil to parents as an incentive for their children to attend the local school.   They invited us to their home for tea. 

The man sat us outside and gave us Coke. He regaled us with Unicef stories, using bizarre acronyms we pretended to understand, whilst secretly far more interested in the pet chickens, who were trying to climb trees. 

As a female, I went inside to see his wife.  She was lovely.  She didn’t like the village though, her husband had brought her there- she had been there for 10 days and wanted to go home.  She had a lovely little 1yr old daughter who put her chocolate-covered fingers in mine and gave me a hug.
 She told me not to have kids, that they were hard work. 

We went home to our squalid lodgings and tried to stave off the belly rumblings with banana biscuits.


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