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Essays and Travelogs

Ali Akram’s Journal from the trek to K2, 2001

Well it seems that Friday the 13th really is a day of bad luck – the remainder of the party is in quite a bit of trouble:

the flight for the remainder of the people has been cancelled; so they’ll have to travel to Skardu by bus.
Atif’s bus has broken down (??)

For the 8 (+ Shafiq) in Skardu the day was quite nice.
I woke up at 8 am, dozed off and finally woke up at 11:30 am. Had tea, then quick lunch same place we had food last night. Set out for Satpara lake at about 2 pm.

I take back all the bad things I said about Skardu yesterday. We walked through and beyond the messy bit and then walked through a really nice, green bit with lots of trees and less traffic – very pleasant. About 40 minutes into the walk a jeep track starts and this is followed till the lake itself.

The lake is really beautiful. Clear blue water – it is the water supply for Skardu. The lake is surrounded by some pretty high hills. The path to Satpara goes beyond and on to Deosai.

Ali Pracha, Shafiq, Sajjad and I did some boating on the lake. Later, Faiza, Rabia, Wassif, Jeff and Khizer also did some boating. All the while I couldn’t help thinking how nice it would be to get chance to scuba dive in the lake. The water is crystal clear and has a blue-green colour to it – for whatever reason.

Way back was easy, although I found going downhill quite tedious. Going: 2hours 15 minutes; coming back: 1 hour 45 minutes.

Very nice day indeed.

Hassan Karrar and Yasir Khokar have arrived – they are alive!

I have acquired a hat courtesy of Wassif – mattress shouldn’t be hard to acquire. I was silly enough to leave both back in Islamabad.

It is 8:36 pm – haven’t had dinner yet – going in a bit.

Post dinner: Hassan Karrar related his story – amazing stuff. I have been put in a state of awe by what these two related to us. Hassan K called Shimshal an adventurer’s playground – sounds good and I am on for Shimshal next year. Rabia collapsed – exhaustion? We have dinner at some a place 5 minutes down the road from the Indus – some of us are regulars here and so the owner is really friendly. Great chappal kebab!

Not much happening today – very lazy, spent a huge amount of time sitting in Rabia and Faiza’s room making fun of people and talking in general.

“Take” – was introduced to the term first hand LP!

Anyhow, had had a fear of the guy Zakria instilled in me. From his history: certainly he seems like quite a scary fellow. But we shall see (as I did call him a “Ms” once and he is a “he”… so, apparently I could be in a lot of trouble).

Have had dinner – usual except that along with the daal and chappal kebab there was some chicken.

The other half of our party still hasn’t arrived and won’t do so till some time tomorrow morning – feel quite bad for them: having to endure such a long and painful journey.

Hope I can maintain this journal!

Missed my journal thing yesterday, very busy – a lot of sorting and packing had to be done.

Anyhow: I am still alive! I have not been slaughtered yet – although I am expecting it at any moment!

Today – huge road journey to Thongal, not Ashkole. Not a bad place – very windy when we got here. Set up our tents etc. There is a lot of sand here.

The journey here was quite spectacular – I hate “oh the scenery is so fabulous” type statements but I really don’t know what else to say – it is quite simply out of this world. The jeep ride itself was tedious and for the most part painful. Desert at high altitude – the Karakorams are barren.

I am getting better acquainted with a bunch of these senior LUMS students and they are generally a nice bunch.

The weather: cold. I felt cold and had to put on the fleece.

Tent set up – tent mates: Sajjad, Hassan Javed – will be quite cramped – am contemplating sleeping in the mess tent. Sajjad has an all white standard Army kit – the abominable snowman! Tomorrow is a big day – we go to the first camp after Ashkole. Have a heavy bag and I hope I can manage.

Also I wonder what sort of weather we will have.

I think that the sleep I got last night was the soundest and most comfortable I have had in a few months now: I really didn’t feel like getting up!

Anyhow I woke up at about 5:00 am and dozed off again and was woken up by Rabia.

Note: bearing in mind the time of year and altitude (3000m, in Thongal), using the sleeping bag as a blanket is very comfortable – also for really sound sleep make sure you have travelled about 10 hrs on really bad jeep tracks cramped in a jeep with out seats with 9 other people!

Set out at about 7:40 am – kind of late. Got to Ashkole at 9:00 am and got “registered”. Registration is voluntarily done, I don’t see how that guy at the registration place would have enforced what he was supposed to. Having got to Ashkole so late it is no surprise that it took 5 hours 40 minutes to get to Korophon which was not our intended destination (which is apparently another 3 hours further and is called Jhola).

But anyhow we reached this place Korophon at a reasonable time and have set up camp – now everybody is just sitting around waiting for dinner. Korophon is a bit of a “Juma Bazaar” – there are a couple of other trekking parties camped here along with us.

Weather today has alternated between sunny and overcast – at camp that is. The trek was mostly overcast.

Most of the day’s trek was nice – we followed the Braldu river up the valley. Crossed a very precarious looking bridge called the Biafo Footbridge (got a couple of pictures). After the bridge there was, in my opinion, a really tedious sandy-stony plateau bit – nothing to look at, just really tedious.

We could have gone to the next campsite, however the tail was too far behind for that to happen.

Possibly one of the reasons we were so slow is because a lot of us break too often. I feel that once you build up a rhythm – breathing, walking – you shouldn’t stop and break – keep moving and break for water after an hour or so.

Bright moon, but after it went down, you could see the stars very clearly. I followed the movements of some satellites for a while.

Skipped a day in the journal thing, so yesterday’s first.

I volunteered to do tail with Sajjad – I don’t think I shall do it again! We covered about two stages, actually one and a half. We started at Korophon and passed Jhola and ended up somewhere between Jhola and Payu. According to Hassan it is supposed to be a 6 – 9 hour trek. It took the tail 8 hours 15 minutes to a point before camping spot. The actual camping spot was, at my own pace (Sajjad and I broke away from the tail after that point) it took about 45 minutes. The place we were to originally camp is called Shamstok, however there was another party there already, so we decided to move to the other camping spot.

Being the tail was not exactly fun. Faiza, Saddaf and Maheen were tailing. Faiza and Maheen picked up, but Saddaf was a little slow. We stopped every 15 minutes or so – water break or an ascent would require a break. Saddaf was complaining of a knee pain.

Today (19th July) again almost the exact same bunch of people were tailing – Saddaf was having a pretty hard time. We have lightened her load. I suppose she will pick up as she gets used to the trek.

Apart from my complaining (!!) – tail is fun in its own way, quite relaxed and you get to see the surrounding area better. But it is difficult to walk at someone else’s pace so it can be kind of tiring.

Yesterday’s (18th July) campsite was easily the nicest we have had. The sky was very clear last night. I attempted to stargaze for a while but I found that a spider was eager to share the experience!

Anyhow, today (19th July) I didn’t take tail today – it was good to walk at my own pace. Took me 4 hours and 15 minutes with a 20 minute break included. We had to cross a stream somewhere in the middle – I managed without having to take my boots off and still avoided getting wet – very proud of myself!

Getting to Payu was a relief as it got astonishingly hot. The final approach to Payu is very unpleasant – or at least it was at the time I did it. It was getting close to mid day, so it was really hot and also I hate to say it but the terrain on the final approach to Payu was very reminiscent of the Margalla Hills! It is blasphemous to have said that but I guess I wasn’t in a good mood on that last bit.

Payu is OK. I don’t like it much. A couple of other groups are also here – kind of crowded. There is a stream running through it. I don’t know how clean the water is but I guess it doesn’t really matter when you consider how filthy you are! At the Indus motel they advertised an incinerator at Payu. I saw it but it didn’t seem in working condition. Shame. Our trekking party has generated a lot of rubbish and I don’t know how adequately we have been dealing with it. pollution is a pretty big factor up here – there is lots of it, at all camp sites thus far.

I am a bit tired, and feel really filthy! I need to get a few pictures of Payu. Hassan Karrar has a very impressive camera set up – big camera with big lenses and stuff. Very cool!

It is about 4:30 pm and has cooled down considerably. People are messing about, playing cards – generally quite relaxed. Usually trekking parties take an extra rest day before pushing on to the glacier. But we will be on the glacier tomorrow. I have never really done any walking on a glacier before. Should be interesting.

Zakria Khan has decided not to kill me. In fact, it turns out everyone was in on this big joke, Zakria was meant scare me a bit. He broke the news to me today – so I suppose I will live on this trek after all (or will I)!

July 21, 2001

Missed a day in my journal, so yesterday’s is based on recollection.

Nothing significant happened today. A walk of less than 2 hours from Khobutse to Urdukas. We have a good view of the Trango Towers from here; they really are quite spectacular. Hassan suggested that in 2003 him, Atif and a few others, myself included, should ascend the Trango Towers – sounds great but I don’t think I have what it takes to be a rock climber!

About the walk today. I started off early-ish – 7:30 am and got to Urdukas by just short of 9:30 am – very quick! This “quickness” was brought about because Atif and Hassan K caught up with me and set a blistering pace. I made sure that I followed closely. It was tiring but doable. Part of the reason Atif and Hassan were going so fast was because they wanted to get to camp before Shafiq (the cook) – Shafiq won! Urdukas is baking hot. Thank god for the mess tent!

Most of us have been sitting around in the mess tent. There is amongst us a set of people who are really keen card players – very dedicated. I personally hate card games and anyhow when you have the Trango towers to look at why play cards!

July 22, 2001

We went from Payu to Khobutse (short of Urdukas). Khobutse is a beautiful campsite – shame about the fact that there was some trash around the place. Stream flowing right through the campsite, great views. Stream’s source freezes at night so the stream stops at night and doesn’t come back to life until late in the morning. So we had to stock up on water at night. The stream had water closer to the source at all times, so it was possible to get water in the morning, before we left.

The walk started out by making our way to the snout of the Baltoro Glacier – that took about an hour – maybe less. Once on the glacier the terrain is distinctly different – a lot of loose gravel like stuff (scree), boulders. However the path is pretty well worn, distinct – many well worn paths. Ali Pracha, Mannan Abassi and I got lost at the beginning of the glacier – we turned for the Trango Towers. Soon got back on track with Ali Muhammad’s help. Ali P and I found that we often had to back track especially in the later stages. We kept asking one of the slower porters who we managed to keep up with to guide us to the right path.

The walk itself wasn’t too bad. However the entire experience was tough – that was because we didn’t have much water for the way, it was very warm and glaciers necessarily mean a lot of walking (lots of ups and downs). Lack of water was, in my eyes, the biggest demoralising factor. Having heard some of the stories that others narrated later on, it was clear that water was a key issue – Ali Reza fainted due to lack of water. There are no streams on the way either.

Ali P and I made it to Khobutse in 7 hours 30 minutes – we reached camp by about 2:30 pm. Long day! Lead trekkers made it to camp in about 6 hours 30 minutes. The tail on the other hand had a terrible day. The last person in tail arrived at about 8:00 pm in the evening – almost 12 hours 30 minutes of walking (very long day indeed)! By about 7:00 pm, those at camp figured we ought to go and look for the tail. Yasir Khokhar and Zakria were stationed on top of a hillock with flash lights, while Hassan K and I went back on the trail to meet up with the tail. Met them – they seemed really pleased with life: denial! Sajjad had managed to hurt himself in a bad way – he got his leg through a mini crevice.

Anyhow, everybody came in safe and sound. It was a big day and next morning (i.e. 21st July) people took forever to wake up.


July 22, 2001

Great walk today! It was actually quite pleasant and fun (!!).

Before I continue about the walk, we are camped on the glacier:

South Mashabrum
North: Errrr…stuff!
West: Left behind the Trango Towers (down the glacier)
East: Broad Peak, Mitre Peak, Gashabrum Series (up the glacier)

I am writing this facing Mashabrum. Quite spectacular – the very top of the mountain is quite “sharp – pointy”:

The top had has a stream of snow/cloud (?) jetting of it – a storm.

The walk itself was great. Ali Reza and I walked at a brisk pace – we got to Goro 1 (actually Goro 1.5) in 2 hours 30 minutes, porter time. It was great to be one of the first to camp! Sat around ate daal roti and dates – admired the view described earlier. People caught up and tail didn’t take too long to catch up.

After a bit, Hassan K and a bunch of us went down to an ice wall (actually a big lump of ice jutting out with an easy looking face – about 20 – 25 feet high). Hassan K climbed up it and set up an anchor for the safety rope. After this we all climbed up. That was a fabulous experience – ice climbing is fantastic and I learnt quite a few things:
Belaying – quite interesting.
A fancy knot (Double Figure of Eight – a standard climbing Knot)!

After everyone had had a go, I got the anchor down and Hassan let me do some ice climbing independently. Did a lot on the “mound” we were climbing. Quite a work out! Nearly killed myself as well! My use of crampons was not good on the very vertical bits – just can’t stick them in right first time. Also I think I am massively inefficient with the ice tools.

When Ali P came we found out that Yasser Hashmi and Maheen wouldn’t be joining us: altitude adjustment problems, fatigue. So Ali P was dispatched shortly after with a porter load of food. Atif and Hassan K would leave tomorrow dawn and join them and figure out some plan.

July 23, 2001

Again Ali Reza and I walked to Goro 2 in a brisk 1 hour 15 minutes. It rained on us – got extremely cold. Concordia looks closer now – just a stone’s throw away. I stink (a lot)!

Atif and Hassan K left this morning. Atif, Ali P and Yasser H joined us at Goro 2 at about 3:00 pm – they looked ok. Their coming back meant that now Hassan K and Maheen would stay back at Urdukas. They would join us at Concordia tomorrow. Atif and Yasser H were pessimistic. Maheen was not in good shape and a massive walk from Urdukas, past Goro 1, Goro 2 and up to Concordia was a difficult walk. The weather also has become bad – yet another factor against Hassan K and Maheen joining us.

Hassan K not joining us meant doubts about Gondogoro La.

July 24, 2001

Written on the 25th of July from what I could recall.

Big day – walked to Concordia. Took about 2hours and 50 minutes. It was a difficult walk – my shoulders felt the burden, probably because my bag wasn’t well adjusted. Anyhow, the walk was made more miserable by the fact that it was drizzling.

It was cold when we got to Concordia – my hands and feet were freezing.

Set up the tent and then reset it using a lot of “technology” – a tiled floor and the use of crossed strings on the tent walls. Felt really proud about having set up the tent so well!

Then there was a wait for Hassan/Maheen’s two porters to arrive. If their porters arrived by about 4:00 pm it meant they would join us at Concordia. 4:00 pm came and went – no porters. We lost hope – Hassan K and Maheen had probably turned back for Skardu.

Around 5:30 pm I was about to go from the mess tent back to my tent, when I saw two porters run in and I immediately recognised Maheen’s bag. Ali Hassan and I were immediately dispatched toward Hassan k and Maheen. We walked at a very quick pace. Crest after crest of glacier – no sight of them. After about 50 minutes of walking we found them – Hassan K looking really distraught and Maheen sitting and looking in a bad way. When we got closer I could hear Maheen breathing in a very unhealthy sounding way. Hassan K was sent on to Concordia. Then Ali Hassan and I took turns carrying Maheen on our backs. Her breathing sounded really bad – and she was exhausted. I felt a bit bad as I didn’t really know how to encourage her.

After an hour or so we met Ali Muhammad, Atif and Bilal. They had warm clothes and they took over from Ali Hassan and me. It was still raining and cold. Ali Hassan and I had brought ponchos but I don’t know how much that helped Maheen.

Anyhow, after we met this bunch, I was sent ahead to tell camp to prepare a warmed sleeping bag and to stand a guy with a torch to guide the party in. I met Ali Reza a short way from camp and told him about what was required, after which he told me to get salt from the army camp (?). That kind of puzzled me, considering the state I was in but I did so anyhow. I got to the army camp and they were really hospitable, gave me dinner as well (alu ki bhujia and tea).

Long day; quite tiring. In fact I slept at about 9:00 pm on the 24th of July and woke up at 7:30 am the next morning (25th July)! Note: The army personnel (soldiery, not the officers) seem very different, almost animal looking – crude exhausted, sun burnt. Kind of expected after so long up here on the Baltoro. This perception has been changed or at least its harshness has been dampened by their hospitality, willingness to help and generosity.

July 25, 2001

Not much happened today. Lazed around. It is cold and miserable and my boots are soaked. It is about 4:35 pm and my boots still haven’t dried and it is still cold and raining.

Concordia is quite amazing if one is to think about it. It is geology central. Here is where the Baltoro flows out from; this is where some of the largest mountains are and this is where weather systems are created. Beyond the Gashabrum series and Broad Peak is a large desert in China. So essentially this is the heart of the collision between the Sub-Continent and Asia. I am in a state of awe. Wow!

The mess tent has become home to many people. In fact some people are so attached to it that I don’t they have stepped out of it since they have arrived at Concordia!

Bad weather meant no Gondogoro La. It is about 4:40 pm and at the moment it is bright and sunny – the first bit we have seen all day.

Interesting day. Still at Concordia. Morning plan was to walk to Broad Peak base camp, weather was bad and I went about asking people at about 6:30 am if they wanted to go but no one was really interested – me neither: weather was bad!

My half of the tent is really weird – sloping and some moisture usually finds its way in (this is because of our orientation while sleeping – heads and feet should point towards the exits, not the walls; if they face the walls, the two layers of the tent’s outer and inner shell make contact and moisture comes in through the inner wall).

Some of us sat around in the kitchen tent for a bit. The fumes of the stove get a bit sickening after a bit. Ali Muhammad popped his head in and offered for anyone to join him to K2 base camp. The weather was miserable and I don’t think I would have been able to see much. Anyway, later on a bunch of us were to go down and do some ice climbing.

Hassan K, Ali Reza, Ali P, Maheen, Yasir K, Wassif Butt and I went for some ice climbing. Bigger and steeper wall; great fun but I am exhausted. After the climbing Ali Reza and I both noticed how tiring it was to climb up just a tiny slope – worried both of us!

We have been trying to spot K2 for the past day and today. Just took a couple of pictures of it just now. I don’t know how long this good weather will last.

Gondogoro La seems a bit scary. As Hassan K says, 5600 metres is no joke. I am a bit apprehensive. But if the weather stays good and the Gondogoro La group is on, I shall go.

An aside. Wassif has found kin here: porters and him both love Kashmiri tea! The porters have an extremely potent cocktail that they call Kashmiri tea – Wassif says it is the real thing. I always figured Kashmiri tea was a tiny bit milder but I guess not. They use Desi Ghee, sugar, salt, some milk I think and some other stuff. It is pink and I really don’t see why they refer to it as tea – more like soup! Don’t mean to be discriminating – I just haven’t developed a taste for this particular type of tea!

July 28, 2001

I have missed a journal entry. What follows is what happened after we woke up on the 27th and 28th of July.

No Gondogoro La. Hassan K felt that the weather was no good and figured it wasn’t worthwhile to go. Bilal (from Karavan) was going to go. Yasir K decided he wanted to go with Bilal, so he approached me and asked whether I wanted to go. I refused. If Hassan K wasn’t going then I wasn’t either. Anyhow the next 10 minutes saw nine people suddenly decide they wanted to go for Gondogoro La – emotional decisions. I personally think these people made a silly decision – it was made in a matter of seconds, entirely emotionally based – very ego based. Anyhow, I have no regrets at least for the moment. Ali Reza and I sped away from Concordia to Goro 2. It was like I was running away from Gondogoro La – the temptation to go with those 9 was so great – but I figured if Hassan K didn’t think it worthwhile then it probably wasn’t. Hassan K and Atif even asked me whether I wanted to go and assured me I was capable of. But I refused.

Anyhow, Ali Reza and I sped away to Goro 2. I was feeling bad – I had a stomach ache, I was still getting a bit breathless (exhaustion from the previous day’s ice climbing?).

On our way down the Baltoro we have been treated to a lot of Army hospitality. At Goro 2 they invited us in for tea, biscuits and halwa. That was a Godsend – after that I didn’t have a stomach ache, and felt and walked a lot better.

Last night (27th July) we camped at Goro 1. Predictably, we didn’t make it to Urdukas like we had hoped. A returning Korean expedition also camped at Goro 1 alongside us. Very organised and extremely fit. They left the next morning and we never caught up. They had members who had summited K2 – wow! They looked tired and very sun burnt.

Today (28th July) we reached Khobutse. We (Ali Reza, Hassan K, Shafiq and I) walked at a leisurely pace. At Urdukas (got there in 2 hours 30 minutes from Goro 1) we were again treated to some army hospitality – a couple of Liaison Officers (LOs) joined us: Captain Rehman (Engineer) and the others name I forget. Captain Rehman knows one of my relatives and was taught by him. It was quite pleasant. The two LOs walked with us to Khobutse, after which they went on their way. We were hoping to go onto Payu but as usual problems with the tail meant we stay here. Still, it is no big deal – I am in no great hurry.

The trip really has been quite easy – it is essentially a walk on a big scale on one of the greatest glaciers on the planet. I think there were a few days where it got tough (Payu to Khobutse was a long and tough day, Goro 2 to Concordia towards the end and Concordia back to Goro 2 I had a stomach ache). But it was never more then a really big walk.

Khobutse is astonishingly crowded. There is a group of 9 Swiss trekkers who have camped near us. These 9 Swiss trekkers have about 90 porters with them – very stylish, big and luxurious arrangements. They are using Karavan. Some of our party know Mujahid, who is leading the Swiss group. Mujahid arranged a really first class meal for us at dinner time – a bit of a relief as Shafiq’s cooking was really getting to me!

Tomorrow we go to beyond Payu – theoretically! I have volunteered to take tail – I agree with people that it is unfair for Atif to be stuck with the responsibility so often.

I must also mention that Sajjad’s injury had been aggravated a great deal. His load has been taken off, but his walking looks in a bad way. His boots are holding his left ankle-foot together. Rabia too is having trouble with her knee. I am really lucky nothing severe happened to me. I have a weak left ankle and upon first getting on to the glacier I twisted it a couple of times – but nothing too severe.

After this there were no journal entries

We got to Payu and that is where we stopped. I was extremely annoyed about that for some reason. We had tea there and as the last of the tail came in it was decided that we would definitely camp at Payu.

Significantly this meant the last of the glacier bit of the walk. The final bit of walking on the glacier I did alone for the most part. It felt eerie – it was overcast, there was a strong wind blowing, the powerful landscape and the fact that I was alone. Eventually Shafiq joined me. His non-stop banter had stopped -he wasn’t feeling too good. Eventually others caught up and we made our way off the Baltoro. Half an hour or so after we got off the glacier we sat around at a boulder, taking in the sheer size of the glacier and tried to act profound. Then we took some smug looking group pictures and moved on to Payu!

The next day we set out for Korophon. At some point in the beginning it aspired that Maheen was missing. So Atif stayed back at that very point and I was sent ahead to see if she might not be ahead. I got to Pari 1, an Army camp, where Sarah and Hassan J had already reached; it turned out that Maheen had not passed this point. So I ran back to where Atif was to tell him. Atif had asked a couple of porters and according to them Maheen was some way behind; so he waited. I was in tail and for the most part stayed there. But by Jhola I had had enough. The terrain was very desert like and it was hot. After Jhola Shafiq, Hassan K, Khizer, Rabia, Ali Reza and I made a dash for Korophon. After the bridge at Jhola we got onto a track that joins a jeep track under construction. This jeep track will connect Thongal to Jhola.

Korophon is called Korophon because of a large rock that resembles a Korophon! Korophon apparently means round bowl – and there is a large rock that looks like a round bowl, if your imagination is twisted enough, so I guess that name is justified. It was a pleasure to be back at Korophon – I don’t know why. I like that campsite. A few of us got there before anyone else and there was a feeling of tremendous relief. We had juice to celebrate. And the weather had become pleasant for a change. Had dinner early and went to sleep soon after – there was a full and really bright moon, quite beautiful.

Next day we made a dash for Thongal. We wanted to get there early enough to get a jeep back to Skardu. We crossed the Biafo footbridge on our way back. After the footbridge the journey became really tedious. It just seemed never ending. Ali Reza and I ended up taking a non-standard route back to Thongal after the footbridge somewhere. There was some path up through Askole that we had to take but I think on my insistence we missed it and ended up going another path. This alternate path was creepy – very quiet and we passed through a couple of settlements and saw absolutely no one. There was one point where there were these huge boulders – for some odd reason I was fantasising about playing with Star Wars toys in this landscape! Anyhow after the creepy bit we got to an Army camp and they treated us to some energile. By about 11:00 pm the entire party was at Thongal and we set out for Skardu.

And finally this is what I recall of what happened after.

Fruit picked of trees; singing; tired. The desert that is Shigar Valley. Got back to Skardu in the evening. Looked a mess: wild and scary. Had dinner. Called home. Planned Rakaposhi day trip. Mother gave me guilt trip. Called it off. Next day set out for Gilgit. Hired a Coaster from there and got to Pir Wadhai in Rawal Pindi. Very bad welcome back to “civilisation” – chaos of Pir Wadhai. It is ugly and messy. Yasser K, Hassan K and I got a cab back to Islamabad. Afghani food for dinner that night. –End


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