I was up early and by 4.40am I had walked up to the best viewing spot in The Hunza Valley to see the sunrise. I was the only person up there and felt like I was in top of the world. At 4.55 the peak of the highest mountain in the valley, Mt Rakaposhi 7,788 metres shone brightly as the sun caught it for the first time of the day, I watched as minute by minute the snow illuminated down the mountain side, the sun caught more and more peaks as time rolled by.
I watched The Hunza Valley wake up and again had time to reflect on my life and experiences. at 5.30 when I was returning to my room there were already women working in the fields.
Travel gives me so much time to reflect on my life, I’ve realised I’m not a worrier, I see other people concerned about many situations including my own. I’m not sue what this says about me but I like it.
My daughter Beth & son Olly are growing into wonderful adults. I’m very happy with my life.
Who needs beer & women? – I may later retract this!
At 9.30am we rode further up the KKH and soon reached a lake where the road ended. About 5 years ago there was a massive landslide which blocked 10 km of the KKH, killed 19 people and 400 lost their homes.
Our bikes are on a dirt bank and they need to be loaded onto a small boat down below so with the help of 4 or more porters we pushed the bikes over unstable planks and lifted them on, my bike was purched at the front and it didn’t look safe.
For 45 minutes the boat took us up the lake with bright blue water and sheer rock face on either side with snow mountains high above and the sun bearing down on us – wow.
The porters at the other end were great and got our bikes off without a scratch, we paid 50p for the loading and £1.20 for unloading after negotiating a discount.
This feels like real adventure Motorbiking.
Back on the bikes and after 10 minutes we came across a raging mountain river crashing across the road with large rocks under the water which we couldn’t see, I felt confidant and got through ok. Further rivers and off road conditions, I loved it.
Another 20 minutes and we turned off the KKH to ride a small, steep track up 1 km to Borit Lake a picture postcard location with glaciers above and a warm lake to swim in. We celebrated with a can of beer that we had in the pannier.
We arrived in Sost, checked into a hotel and at 4.30 decided to ride to Khunjerab Pass where the Chinese border is. 50km before the border Khunjerab National Park starts and at the entrance we were told American, Canadian, Australian & British passport holders couldn’t enter! Politics!
It’s so easy to accept NO.
10 minutes of using charm and persuasive powers the guard said we could ask at the police station 100 metres up the road, again no but he said he would ask the police chief. Again more smiles and sucking up bullshit, ‘Pakistan is wonderful’, bullshit bla bla bla and he let us ride on. This was especially good as they close the road at 3pm and it was now 5.30.
The chief pointed at my beard and said I looked like Taliban.
We had 50km of road to ourselves and for the next 40 minutes we raced to Khunjerab Pass getting higher and higher and at 6pm we arrived at the Chinese border at 4,720 metres.
I’ve arrived at the bloody Chinese border .
I got off the bike and beamed with fulfilment, a very special moment I will
Having ridden 18,000 km across conflict zones, deserts, rivers and a boat across a lake I was nearly turned away with 50km to go. Thanks Mr Chief Policeman.
I remember meeting two German bikers high in The Alps having only been away 5 days and they asked where I was going? I said Asia and it felt a ridiculous thing to say, it now feels fantastic:)
I’ve ridden my bike to the fucking Chinese border at the top if the KKH in Pakistan!