We headed south down the KKH and shortly after leaving we stopped to watch a cricket match. The standard was great even though they had mountain challenges, the Wicket was dust and stone and the outfield had rocks so the ball only lasts 1 day.
Even though I had really pushed myself in recent days at this point I felt fresh and alive, this soon changed as at the first river crossing I dumped the bike and I couldn’t lift it up which I had been able to do previously. Garth ran into the river and helped. Thanks Garth. Unfortunately one pannier filled up 75% with water and I spent the next 20 minutes draining water out of everything, I knew there was a lot of water damage to my stuff.
The altitude had affected me, in addition I hadn’t been eating much so it’s no surprise I felt completely exhausted and after picking the bike up I was drained & light headed.
A few km later and we were back at the large ragging river, I stopped to look at the crossing and dropped my bike whilst stationary, I just couldn’t hold it when it started to lean over, Garth again had to help me lift it up. I had no energy but no option, I just had to cross the river but my confidence was so low and ridding a bike is all about confidence. I have ridden off road loads and knew I had to sit back and go for it, I got across but it wasn’t pretty. I needed further rest time before we continued.
Another 10 minutes and we are back at the boat to cross the lake again, I was knackered and my confidence had gone. The porters were great again and loaded the bikes onto the boat and I started draining my pannier and trying to rescue as much possible, I had papers and stuff laid out over the bottom. I spoke with Salmon Farsi who works on the new road & tunnel building, he spent 7 months in one tunnel last year! The Chinese pay for construction and have loaned Pakistan the money interest free for 20 years and then they only have to pay 80% back. Two people have died on the construction.
Another two hours ride and we arrived back in Gilgit, we had arranged to stay with Abdul who we meet 3 days earlier when we passed through, he has a hippy type retreat in the foothills of the mountains, I need to relax and recharge for a few days and this is the perfect place.