Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Karimabad - the Hun Pass


Karimabad (refer to previous post with map) was my next stop in Pakistan. It is located in the Hunza valley, which is surrounded by massive peaks in all directions. I met a friendly local dude, who took me to his uncle's place for a feed (apricots, break, tea). Then we walked through the valley, which is a fill of beautiful plants and trees. The town is hydrated by a complex network of canals (usually about 1m wide) that seperate what look like rice paddies (steps of land on the side of a hill). But they are actually mainly potato plantations. There are also huge marijuana plants everywhere in peoples gardens. I'm talking up to 2 metres high! My trekking partners from Batura glacier had a smoke (they're hippies/buddhists), but said that it didn't really do much.
My new local friend and a bunch of kids took me down a whole lot of 'secret' paths through the village. FOllowing the canals around the village. It was amazing to see people tending to their plantations. Each household has only a tiny piece of land, but they really make the most of what they have. Apricots are a big part of the economy here as well. The locals all have trays on their roof covered in half apricots, drying in the sun. I wanted to eat some.
Anyway i got pretty sick in Karimabad. But as soon as i could get out of bed a decided to climb the Hun pass, which is a formidable 2000m verticle metres above Karimabad, at an elevation of 4300m. So i got up early and began the mission. I got lost a few times, but eventually found my way to the top of the pass. I was ABSOLUTELY EXHAUSTED when i summited the pass! The smile you see in the photo is totally fake, i had about 4 attempts at the shot before i managed to get that fake smile working.
To get there i had to walk around this canal which was cut into the side of a cliff. The path was about 1m wide, with a dizzying verticle drop of about 150metres over the edge to a roaring river below. On the way back i came across a shephard hearding his sheep in the opposite direction. What a ridiculous situation. Canal and cliff on one side, 150m drop on the other. I wasn't about to be pushed off a cliff by a sheep so i made them take the dodgy side.

3 comments:

Janelle said...

Hi J Mum again
I can't believe you did this climb after you had been sick for 36 hours. You are truly mad and certainly make the most of life. Good on you.
Love Mum

chris said...

Hey Mate, Chris here

You were sick ? Did you eat some Beef Noodles you mentioned earlier ???

Sounds like your having a good trip mate, I'll buy you a beer when you arrive in London as it sounds like it'll be much deserved.

toymachinenz said...

Fella,

Envious of your explorations - not your illness. Sounds like you are gaining some great travel stories to pass onto the grandkids.