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hieronyma Rakaposhi Peak - A travel report by Christl
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Rakaposhi Peak,  Pakistan - flag Pakistan -  Federally Administered Tribal Areas
11423 readers

hieronyma's travel reports

Autumn in Pakistan: A Look through the Keyhole, 2

  12 votes
Page: 1 2
The founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah set the Islamic Republic Pakistan three goals for the future, still aimed at: Unity, Faith, Discipline, as written on the walls of the Pakistan–Monument in Islamabad.

Rakaposhi Viewpoint, Rakaposhi Peak
Rakaposhi Viewpoint, Rakaposhi Peak
Golden autumn in the Hunza Valley! The spectacular, unique mountain scenery overwhelmed me. The poplars stood like golden flames against the black rocks and the red shrubs on the terraced fields. The river rushes in the deep canyon. From my hotel window I looked at the Rakaposhi (7788 m), from the hotel terrace at the Ultar (7388 m), beside it at the Lady Finger (6000 m) and below me at Karimabad (2800 m). Everyone owns his own house and a piece of land, not allowed to be sold, only rented to foreigners. Who is in need, gets help from the Muslim community. On the roofs dries the harvest, the straw of the corn is stored in the trees. The time of the festivities began. Music, created as the copy of a dance, not knowing any fixed rhythm as in European music the bars, with which families, tribes, shamans i.e. can be recognized, sound from the fairground to the mighty Baltit Fort, which from a ridge opposite the Rakaposhi with the huge Ultar Glacier in its back dominates the Hunza Valley. 800 years old, renovated, it is now a museum and a hotel.

Favourite spots:
Altit Fort
Altit Fort
Above the deep canyon of the Hunza River, Altit Fort, dangerously perched on a rock column, stands opposite the kingly Rakaposhi. Below it a 1000 years old village, in old times under one single roof, with its narrow, winding streets is situated. The assembly square with seats for the king, the ministers, the representatives of all tribes belonging to the kingdom, is located at the entrance of the village, in front of it the water reservoir, resulted from the removal of the soil used for house building, is now a swimming pool. The low houses were erected with mud, mixed with apricot juice, and stone. Today they have a water plant, television and electricity. Its 144 families built their own school for boys and girls from kindergarten to college, in which besides other subjects science and English are taught. Self-confident women were around and working on the sunlit roofs.

What's really great:
Indus Valley, stone houses on the opposite bank
Indus Valley, stone houses on the opposite bank
The drive to Gilgit alongside the Indus made me speechless on account of the life in this dismissive precipice apart from the narrow road on which the colourful trucks pass one another and us in millimetre space. I stayed clear from looking into the depth of the canyon! On the opposite bank small stone houses stuck into the rocks near the caves, where men seek for precious stones. The only possibility to get to the next village is the ”running fox”, a rope, at which a crossbar is fastened, with which they cross the deep canyon of the Indus to fetch and bring back provisions and equipment. - Through narrow rocky gorges, with rock faces so high that I couldn’t see the top, where the Hunza River hardly leaves room for the KKH, we passed the Passu Conzes, never climbed, small, peaceful villages and the Batura Glacier, until suddenly the mountains reveal the view onto the plateau of the Khunjerab Pass (4700 m), the border to China. I stared at this mountain world and forgot to breathe.

Petroglyphs near Chilas
Petroglyphs near Chilas
- Going in the direction of Besham we stopped near Chilas to look at the petroglyphs, where traders and invaders left their mark and the monks on their way from Tibet to Taxila, a centre of the Buddhist teaching, depicted his tenets on the rocks.

- I was driven through the beautiful Nagar Valley to marvel at the Hopar Glacier.

- At the Rakaposhi Viewpoint I said farewell to this indescribable mountain.

- The wonder never ceased: At Unique Point, the confluence of Gilgit and Indus River, Karakorum, Hindukusch and Himalaya meet. This landscape is hardly to endure.

Karimabad, view from my hotel
Karimabad, view from my hotel
See part 1

Confluence of the Gilgit and the Indus Rivers
Confluence of the Gilgit and the Indus Rivers

Khunjerab Pass
Khunjerab Pass

View from Baltit Fort.
View from Baltit Fort.

Other recommendations:
Hunza Valley on the way to the Khunjerab Pass
Hunza Valley on the way to the Khunjerab Pass
- Work on the KKH, the Pakistani–Chinese joint venture, that made the north accessible and developed it, starts in the south and in the north, the middle looked accordingly, it wasn’t repaired after landslides; I avoided visualizing such one.

- What will stay with me of the experience of this journey, which showed me a different picture of the country than the media? I will remember the overwhelming beauty of the mountains and valleys and the love of the people to their country; the imperturbability and the respect of the people; people who didn’t look at the traveller as an object of exploitation; a world, who know her resources and develop them wisely; but as well the endangerment caused by themselves and by foreign influence, interfering with a peaceful development; a country, that suffers not to have a good prestige in the world, and that doesn’t have a lot of friends; a young state with numerous immigrants with their net of connections and religious groups with their different c

Published on Tuesday January 6th, 2009

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Sun, Jan 11 2009 - 05:54 PM rating by aufgehts

Christl, this is so interesting. I love your description of the people's self-sufficiency. Apricot juice? Amazing. And I don't know if I could have handled the harrowing ride through the mountains! But the beauty of the place seems overwhelming.

Tue, Jan 06 2009 - 10:55 PM rating by mistybleu

I loved the picture - view from my hotel - I would love to wait up to that every morning.

A lovely report

Tue, Jan 06 2009 - 06:34 PM rating by krisek

Christl, superb photos indeed! Thank you for a truly encouraging and impressive travel report. This one and the part 1. made me re-think my priorities for the next destinations...

Tue, Jan 06 2009 - 02:34 PM rating by eirekay

The photos alone are worth *****. What a dramatic and beautiful force of nature! Your descriptions of the trek are marvelous! Nicely done!

Tue, Jan 06 2009 - 10:05 AM rating by jorgesanchez

Very brave travel to northern Pakistan and good report. Thanks Ella Maillart. Oh, sorry! I mean Christl Stephanblome.

Tue, Jan 06 2009 - 07:16 AM rating by davidx

I meant to put a comment on part 1 but my finger slipped so this applies to both. The reports and those superb photos match the best that we are evr lucky enough to see here.

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