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Old 3 Nov 2011
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PAKISTAN: an update + new info re visas at Sost

Ladies & Gents,

Since there hasn’t been any detailed info re Pakistan on the HUBB for a while, I thought an update would be useful. In fact, I haven’t seen a single other motorcyclist while being here for the past couple of months, though one or two must have snuck through. So:

CONTENTS

- New info: visas at Sost
- The people
- Pakistani visas
- Roads
- The new lake
- Fuel
- Tyre durability – Stans in general
- Rawalpindi services: tyres, mechanics
- Onward visas for India


NEW INFO: Sost have, for now, stopped issuing visas on arrival. See below – Pakistani visas.


THE PEOPLE: First and foremost. Each time I visit this country, especially the Northern Areas, I fall deeper in love with it. There are few places where I feel more at home. The scenery is vast and breath-taking, while the people are amongst the finest on Earth – strong, sincere, bright and with manners that leave you humbled. It truly is a land of giants. The risk of meeting the Taliban, meanwhile, is largely confined to the border areas with Afghanistan. Like walking down a dark alley in any city around the world, you simply avoid such places – common sense – added to which the police check points would not let you enter these areas anyhow.

But on and around the Karakorman Highway it’s as safe as you could wish for and no police escort is currently required at any point if you’re riding from China to India via Gilgit, Pindi and Lahore. I’ve not heard an update re riding from Iran through Baluchistan, but I imagine the situation is unchanged: that riders require a police escort, perhaps all the way to Lahore. In the Northern Areas, however, your greatest risk is a rock landing on your head from a mountain having a shake. So, set fire to your so-called newspapers.


PAKISTANI VISAS: the fly in the ointment. Getting a visa from a Pakistani embassy outside of your home country is currently next to impossible – certainly in the Stans. Even in the UK for UK citizens it’s become difficult. What used to be a simple same day service can now take up to 6 weeks, requires lots of tedious paperwork, while the cost has doubled to over £100. I tried, but never heard back from them, despite two previous visits to Pakistan. The loophole, however, has been the northern border post of Sost where you enter from China and where, until very recently, the 1mth tourist visa can be obtained on arrival (i.e. in less than half an hour and requiring only a passport photo and recently-ramped $90 for UK citizens . . . and all down with a smile). This visa can be extended in Gilgit for a month or 2mths all in one go – sometimes for free, sometimes for $10 per month. So, all in all, excellent value. I’m told that extensions are also possible in Skardu.

Note: as of around two weeks ago Sost have stopped issuing visas on arrival. This info came via a NZ cyclist who only just slipped in as the rules changed because his Chinese visa was single entry. Guides at Madina Guest House, Gilgit, have since checked with the authorities who have confirmed this news. If you already have a visa you can enter, but if not, the Chinese will not let you go beyond their own exit post at Tashkurgan in accordance an agreement with Pakistan. This is not to do with the seasonal closing of the Kunjerab Pass (around end-Nov through to Mar-April, depending on arrival of snow), but politics. It’s not entirely clear what’s going on, but hopefully it will be back to normal by next spring, especially given the Northern Areas relies heavily on tourism and which has barely recovered since Sept 11th, 2001.

My advice is to give the marvellous fellas at Madina Guest House, Gilgit, a call before entering China en route to Pakistan in order to get an update (+92-5811-453 536) and avoid spending lots of money to transit through China with an escort only to be turned back at Tashkurgan and have to pay yet more. Your travel agent in Kashgar may not be up to speed with current events, but Madina Guest House should be. Ask for Yaqoob or Habeeb. In fact, you’ll need to first call them around 3 mths before you plan to enter China, because this is the advance notice the Kashgar agent requires in order to start the paper work for Chinese transit permits and at which point you pay a large portion of the total fee as a deposit.


ROADS: the Chinese, who have a contract to re-surface the KKH in Pakistan, have very considerately torn up the entire KKH from the Kunjerab Pass all the way to almost Chilas, rather than doing it in smaller sections, while the old KKH - fairly decent asphalt with occasional potholes - currently remains in place from Chilas to Islamabad/Pindi. (The other option from Chilas to Islamabad is via the Barbusar Pass, 4,200m, but the snows beat me by a day and I think it’s now closed till spring.) Anyway, the torn up part is perfectly ride-able: mainly compact dirt or gravel and rarely requires riding up on your pegs. Nevertheless, KKH stones are famously sharp, so you need to keep your eyes peeled: at the end of each day you can see new nicks in your tread.

Having said that, there’s a patch of brand spanking new asphalt rapidly spreading out northwards from Gilgit. I didn’t measure it, but it must have been 30km+ of the smoothest ride imaginable. Some day soon-ish, some lucky soul will ride the whole KKH on new asphalt, though in such geologically unstable part of the world, God only knows how long it will last.

The road leading off the KKH west to Chitral over the Shendur Pass is half good asphalt, half-track (the track is fine to ride and it’s the five hour stretch in the middle, either side of Shendur pass, of what is a c14hr journey over 2 days), while the road off east to Skardu and through to Khaplu is pretty much all decent asphalt. Villages off these roads, however, are reached by jeep tracks. That said, many tantalising roads marked as secondary on maps of Pakistan are, in fact, only for trekking, especially those with passes over 4,500 metres. Just check with local guides before venturing off.


THE NEW LAKE: last year a land slide created a new lake from just south of Passu to c10km north of Karimabad. Geological records show it has happened twice before: not so long ago and long ago. It’s a beautiful glacial blue, but has seriously hampered movement, having swallowed the road and for which there’s no quick fix (V-shaped valley of serious rock). With plenty of help from locals, however, you wheel your bike up a plank and it’s strapped to the front deck of medium-sized wooden fishing boat. A fair price for both you and your bike is currently around 700 Rps ($8) + c100-200 Rps the other end for off-loading. It takes about 1.5 hrs to cross. The lake freezes over from mid-Nov through end-Jan, though the Kunjerab doesn’t open until Spring anyway.


FUEL: No current problem with supply, frequency of fuel stations, or quality. Cost is around 90 Rps / $1.00 per litre


TYRE DURABILITY – STANS IN GENERAL: in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, I put on new tyres that I had bought in Turkey – Continental Escapes – before heading off to Tajikistan. Having ridden the gravel of the Pamir Highway (including the Wakhan and the smaller road between the Wakhan and the PH), toured around generally decent asphalt of Kyrgyzstan though off-road around Sang Kul, two days riding on good asphalt through Xinjiang, and ridden down the sharp gravel KKH, the rear tyre is down to 1mm or less of tread and ready for changing. That’s a little less than 9,000km. That tyre would possibly give you 15,000km+ on decent asphalt, though, frankly, I’m pleased they’ve got me this far. I’m amazed I haven’t had a puncture, though throughout the Stans I’ve kept tyre pressures up at their usual asphalt level for a loaded bike, one up, in order to reduce the risk of sharp stones digging in (30 psi front and back for my bike and checked each morning pre-ride). They've been a good all-round tyre. Only in recent encounters with snow did I go for slide or two, but there even knobblies would have failed me.


SERVICES IN RIWALPINDI: Pindi is the bustling commercial twin of the purpose built admin-capital Islamabad and more fun to stay in – it has bazaars and thus life and soul. Within a square km you can find most things, including key essentials: cake and coffee, nuts and bolts. There are a handful of hotels in Sadar Bazaar.

a) Tyre supply: there are tyres in Pindi from Korea and Thailand, but it’s currently a decidedly patchy collection for larger bikes, given locals largely ride 125 cc, and front and rear are unlikely to match. A BMW R80 G/S takes a relatively narrow 110-120 mm width rear tyre (I found a 110mm tyre at Javad Autos on Kashmir Rd, though didn’t buy it), but if you’re looking for 130-140mm, you’ll have to look very hard. If you’re extremely lucky you may discover a partially-used set left by a friendly fellow tourer, but I don’t fancy your chances since few have passed through recently. A Pakistani speed-bike mechanic I spoke to brings back tyres for his own bike from trips to Dubai.

I have no problem with trying out a lesser-known brand, but in this case I’m going to DHL a set of respectable tyres from a UK supplier who has a non-volume metric weight deal with DHL (costed on just the weight, rather than weight + bulkiness and which makes a big difference). It may double the immediate price, but in the not-so-long-run DHL saves you time and thus money and gives you peace of mind – first, that expensive goods will actually arrive and promptly and thus freeing up time for other things (priceless); and secondly, you’ve ordered quality. Especially in the Stans, DHL is advisable: I had to wait 5 weeks for parts sent from the UK by Parcel Force and then had to traipse around Dushanbe to find the right sorting office. All part of the adventure, but still . . .

Note: if you’re desperate, I saw a half-worn set of something like TKC 80s in the garden at Madina Guest House, Gilgit (21 front and I think the rear was 17 inch, 130mm width).

b) Mechanic: the Pindi-based mechanic recommended on the HUBB by a handful of motorcyclists back in 2002 is fortunately still operating his workshop – Mr Malik Mohammad Bashir (workshop no. 051-550-7642, M: 0333-513-9455). He’s located about 0.5 km down Tipu Rd once you turn right off from the Muree Road heading north out of Pindi (the main road connecting Pindi with Islamabad). Just 5 minutes ride from Sadar Bazaar, central Pindi. It’s on the right under a big Honda sign: not the one on the left a couple of hundred meters before. If you struggle to find it, just ask - he is well known.

The earlier HUBB comments stated he was the best and most experienced motorbike mechanic in Pindi, having worked several years in Japan on big bikes, which are his speciality. I’m sure this must be true: I found him excellent. International standards at local prices – on the Sub-continent, this is tantamount to a needle in a haystack. He helped me clean and re-greese the steering-head bearing, re-adjust the rear swing-arm and greese the bearing, address a pulled thread on the engine block, and fix an electrical fault with the horn. Nothing major needed to be done to the engine internals, but I would trust him. Malik Mohammad reminded me of an old-school BMW Airhead mechanic I used in Adana, Turkey, last year: steady, methodical, no rush, extremely competent, cleans your bike as he goes along which shows pride in work. And he is very reasonable (e.g. < $20 for 4hrs work). I checked another workshop down the road which service big speed bikes and they quoted a distinctly foreigner’s price (the first quote was 10 times higher than Malik Mohammad, 5 times higher second quote). Pleasant enough fellas, but I preferred Malik Mohammad.

So, this is a great opportunity to get experienced help doing overdue and important work done to your bike, especially after so much shaking through the Stans. He’ll let you work with him: organised workshop with all the gear. Any special parts you might require can be sent by DHL to Pindi within 5 days or so (they have offices in all the keys cities here).


VISA FOR INDIA: regardless of the Indian embassy in Islamabad website claiming it takes up to 4wks for foreigners applying for an Indian visa (which I think applies mainly to Pakistani citizens), for most other foreigners it takes around 5 days, possibly up to 10, and currently costs 4,100 Rps (c$50). This is for a 3mth tourist visa. I’m told 6mths is not available from Pakistan, though should be from the embassy in your home country and perhaps some Indian embassies elsewhere. Note – the countdown starts from day of visa issuance and not actual entry date into Indian. And don’t forget the new-ish rule re Indian visas – whether you have a 3mth or 6mth visa, once it has expired you must remain outside India for at least 2mths before re-entering on a new visa (e.g. from Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, or Pakistan). This is apparently also the case even if you have a multi-entry visa, which makes it somewhat pointless.


Okay, that’s quite enough from me. I’ve attached some photos to inspire you to visit this fine country. And remember, we live in what has become an ironic world: those places we are told are the most dangerous (such as. Colombia, Iran, Kordestan, Pakistan) are, in fact, often the safest, the most welcoming, the most graceful . . . full of what I call everything-is-possible-people,bright people, where the majority would stop and help you. . . and where you’ll feel truly alive. That’s my experience. And I am a great believer in the proven idea that what you project gets reflected back at you. Pakistanis, especially in the Northern Areas, are impressive-looking people, as are what can sometimes be strikingly probing gazes (e.g. in Gilgit and Chitral where many tribes converge). It’s simply a tribal, Who are you? You’ll see the same in areas like Albania, where tribal lines are less blurred than elsewhere and sharpened by recent conflict. It’s not meant to be intimidating. It’s a sincere expression. And if you smile warmly; if you say Asalamu-aleykum, kya hal hai, teeg tag? (Peace be upon you, how are you, fine?) you’ll behold a wonderful transformation: their face will light up and walaykum-asalam! will be beamed back to you. I love that. That’s what it’s all about. Challenging prejudice. And connecting.

Anon and great adventures to you all,

Bob
Pindi

P. S. Special thanks to dnicoletti for info relating to transit through China and visa at Sost. Top man.
Attached Thumbnails
PAKISTAN: an update + new info re visas at Sost-kunjerab-pass-karakorum-highway-china  

PAKISTAN: an update + new info re visas at Sost-boat-ride-across-new-lake  

PAKISTAN: an update + new info re visas at Sost-indus-tributary-khaplu-where-world  

PAKISTAN: an update + new info re visas at Sost-mug-shot-deosai-out-other  

PAKISTAN: an update + new info re visas at Sost-barbosar-pass-above-chilas-so  

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Old 4 Nov 2011
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Here is some recent news http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...t-quetta-59891

Don't seem to friendly to me.
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Old 4 Nov 2011
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re Quetta

Thanks for sending that BigDamo. That incident is clearly tragic.

But Quetta is currently a different kettle of fish to travel in the North of Pakistan and down to Lahore (i.e. the KKH). Quetta is adjacent to Kandahar in Afghanistan and thus a wilder place. It is largely for this reason that motorcyclists (still, I believe) must have a police escort through Baluchistan. Personally I would avoid it, preferring the freedom of riding on your own through the glorious Stans and into Pakistan from the north.

I have been to Quetta in 2007. It had an edge then, though I enjoyed my breif stay and travelled without incident. But the situation in the area has worsened since then.

So, you're right to remind us. But I have only positive things to say for travel along the KKH and Pakistan in general. Like I said, you check before hand and avoid the trouble spots, which generally means areas close to the Afghan border.

The other risks focused on by the press are occassional bomb blasts at places like KFC in one of the big cities here. But these are not so often. One blast is obviously one blast too many, but over the last decade or so it feels like it happens every year or two. But I can't predict things like that and, frankly, these days it almost equally probably to happen in any other city around the world. So I don't let it interfere with plans.

Famous last words!

All the best to you,

Bob

P.S. An after thought to my original email re visas issued in your home countries: my feeling is that it's become more difficult for US and UK citizens in particualr, but straight forward for most other nationalities. Relations with Pakistan and the US are clearly strained at the moment, while the chemistry between Pakistan and UK citizens remains warm. I'm guessing it's become more of a challenge for UK citizens to get a Pakistan visa, because the UK authorities have asked Pakistan embassies to make it so (i.e. the UK govt is concerned over terrorism). Anon.
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Old 4 Nov 2011
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top post !
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Old 5 Nov 2011
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Hi Bob,
I'm glad to hear you've done it, and enjoy it, through China and KKH. I'm having a melancholic remind Reading your thread and watching your pics. I was there one year ago, or so, you were planning to go. now we're on reverse situation; me stuck in a gray and raining Milan, and you're tryng to catch the horizon. Life's a turning wheel...
i wish you all the best,
Donato
p.s. where r you heading? i would like to get some update concerning Tajik roads, Pyandzh river valley, did you met any floods? the northern part of Pamir Highway it's still on corrugated gravel?

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Old 5 Nov 2011
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re the exception

Friends,

I’ve been thinking. Re that newspaper article BigDamo brought to our attention – he has raised an important point. Aside from sticking to my suggestion of touring through Pakistan along the KKH rather than through Baluchistan (at least until things calm down), there is a profounder point. Similar to the one Tarzan (God, these names are marvellous! Okay, be serious . . .) recently made re riding through northern Iraq and its super-hospitable Kurds and what I was hinting at in my own update.

No politics, so don’t panic: just practicalities. That article, albeit tragic for the people involved, is the EXCEPTION. Yet more tragic, it is this exception that modern day mass media focus on and very much on the negative side of the fence. Almost exclusively. Perversely, it sells. And by focusing on the negative exception – the bomb blasts, the shootings etc, and rarely the full story . . . the context – in the minds of those who have no DIRECT EXPERIENCE of the place discussed, it becomes the rule. The whole country of the incident in question is tarred with the same brush as the minority. A tiny minority. A policeman at a check post reportedly kills the foreign occupants of an approaching car . . . and suddenly every one in Pakistan to the greater portion of the outside world is a murdering savage.

We don’t hear about the masses of people who passed that check post unmolested (let’s say 99.9%), or those who shared a cup of tea there – I’ve been offered tea at almost all the check posts I have had the pleasure of passing through and in Pakistan there quite a few, manned by the salt of the earth. That’s what I meant about irony. And prejudice. A prejudice which becomes a vicious circle, because unwarranted fear discourages people from seeing the world through their own eyes and realising what a friendly place it is, where the majority of people want peace. Just as I imagine the majority of people in Baluchistan want peace. Along with a fair representation.

Even if I came a cropper tomorrow, my opinion wouldn’t have changed.

Okay, enough said. Forgive me the lecture, but in this case I think it’s called for. After all, surely that’s what this outstanding website is all about – sharing useful direct experience. Encouraging adventure. Not heroics. Not hearsay.

Right, back to the bearings!

Bob

P.S. Mr Nicoletti, my friend – excellent to hear back from you. I, in turn, will get back to you shortly
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Old 5 Nov 2011
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Where is south asia and north asia?

Quote:
Originally Posted by luckro View Post
Friends,

I’ve been thinking. Re that newspaper article BigDamo brought to our attention – he has raised an important point. Aside from sticking to my suggestion of touring through Pakistan along the KKH rather than through Baluchistan (at least until things calm down), there is a profounder point. Similar to the one Tarzan (God, these names are marvellous! Okay, be serious . . .) recently made re riding through northern Iraq and its super-hospitable Kurds and what I was hinting at in my own update.

No politics, so don’t panic: just practicalities. That article, albeit tragic for the people involved, is the EXCEPTION. Yet more tragic, it is this exception that modern day mass media focus on and very much on the negative side of the fence. Almost exclusively. Perversely, it sells. And by focusing on the negative exception – the bomb blasts, the shootings etc, and rarely the full story . . . the context – in the minds of those who have no DIRECT EXPERIENCE of the place discussed, it becomes the rule. The whole country of the incident in question is tarred with the same brush as the minority. A tiny minority. A policeman at a check post reportedly kills the foreign occupants of an approaching car . . . and suddenly every one in Pakistan to the greater portion of the outside world is a murdering savage.

We don’t hear about the masses of people who passed that check post unmolested (let’s say 99.9%), or those who shared a cup of tea there – I’ve been offered tea at almost all the check posts I have had the pleasure of passing through and in Pakistan there quite a few, manned by the salt of the earth. That’s what I meant about irony. And prejudice. A prejudice which becomes a vicious circle, because unwarranted fear discourages people from seeing the world through their own eyes and realising what a friendly place it is, where the majority of people want peace. Just as I imagine the majority of people in Baluchistan want peace. Along with a fair representation.

Even if I came a cropper tomorrow, my opinion wouldn’t have changed.

Okay, enough said. Forgive me the lecture, but in this case I think it’s called for. After all, surely that’s what this outstanding website is all about – sharing useful direct experience. Encouraging adventure. Not heroics. Not hearsay.

Right, back to the bearings!

Bob

P.S. Mr Nicoletti, my friend – excellent to hear back from you. I, in turn, will get back to you shortly

Quite right luckro, and an excellent update in your first post.
What you touch upon is that international borders agreed (or even not fully agreed) between national governments are not always in accord with the people who inhabit the areas that straddle those borders - the tribes. Inevitably, the relevant areas are often the highest and/or least accessible regions of the world.

Regarding the news item about the Quetta shooting, none of us, including the media, will ever know just what went on there in every detail including why they were shot.

For the moderators: this post would be best found in the southern asia forum based on the definitions used for it. Indeed, the geographical boundaries between north and south asia are far less predictable than those for, say, north and south America.
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Old 5 Nov 2011
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Pamir update

Ditto re your words, Dave. And thanks for clarifying where Pakistan belongs. So much for a degree in geography. But now I know!

Okay Donato,

Here's the update on the Pamirs you asked for, though I doubt it’s changed much since you were there. For example:

- the day’s gravel to Darvaz/Kalaicuum after that nice 1-2 hr stretch of asphalt heading out of Dushanbe. But not difficult.

- the pot-holed asphalt the next day to Khorug. A particularly stunning ride.

- the two hours of decent asphalt south out of Khorug to Ishkashem (fuel top up if need, though unnecessary if topped up in Khorog), then the gravel that follows the Wakhan Corridor all the way to Langar (fuel available), up and over the Hargush Pass and until rejoining the Pamir Highway where there's asphalt. At times the gravel of the Wakhan is a little heavier than the gravel around Kalaicuum, but with jeep tracks through it. There is also the occasional 30 metre or so stretch of sand (2 or 3 patches), which isn't much as long you spot it coming and get your speed right going into it. I found it all fine and I’m no expert. I just took it easy and enjoyed it

- what is largely decent enough asphalt along the Pamir Highway between Khorug and Murgab, though sometimes so wavy you feel like your at sea (makes your suspension bottom-out and your sub-frame groan if you’re going too fast) and the gravel/potholed stretch over the Koj-Tezek Pass

- the more challenging day along the tempting track between the Wakhan and the PH via Roshtkala, but if you decide to do it, I recommend doing it from East to West as part of a loop back to Khorog, in order to do the 15 minute tougher rocky section at the start going uphill. In mid-July when I did it, the two unbridged river-crossings were fine, the glacial melt having died down (I posted a description of this track a few months back)

- And yes, the couple of longish patches of corrugation towards the end of the Pamir Highway (pre and post-Karakul, if I remember correctly) are still there. In hindsight, they felt like roughly half-hour stretches, though I didn't time them. I got up on the pegs and rode as fast as I felt comfortable and it was fine (say around 60-90 kph, though ever alert for hazards). I rider I met in Murgab going the other direction had been going considerably faster, didn't see a dip and took a tumble, though fortunately he and bike were fine.

Flooding in general – none. To give you an idea of seasonality, I was in and around Dushanbe from mid-June for three weeks (excursion to Iskander kul and beyond – including the c15-minute long ride through the unlit, fume-filled, so-called Tunnel of Terror with its two crator-like puddles in the middle, which wasn’t as bad as I had expected). And around Khorug/Wakhan the first half-July and along the rest of the Pamir Highway the latter half.

Didn’t get round venturing through the Bartang Valley or Zorkul, but it’s good to leave something for next time. Beautiful part of the world. Wonderful people. Even the little chaps put their hand to heart when they say hello.

Re onward travels, I plan to bounce around India/the rest of Subcontinent for while, get some work done, and then see which way the wind takes me.

As for rainy Milan, watch out for those silver-linings.

All the best, my friend, and hope one day to meet.

Anon!

Bob
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Old 11 Nov 2011
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Hi Luckro,

Thanks for the update.

I am heading up the KKH to Kashgar, then into Kyrgyzstan and on to Dushabe via the Pamir/Wakhan highway in mid-2012.

Cheers,
Brian
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Old 4 Dec 2011
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brilliant and very informative post Bob, thank you! Re-assuring, shame I can't convince my daily mail reading mother, hey. Can't wait to get in to Pakistan!
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re mothers

You're most welcome, my friends.

As for your mother, Fern, why not bring her along? Pop her in one of your panniers and tell her you're off to the shops.

Bob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fern View Post
brilliant and very informative post Bob, thank you! Re-assuring, shame I can't convince my daily mail reading mother, hey. Can't wait to get in to Pakistan!

Welcome to Pakistan. Let me remind you that 180 million people like me are raising their children here reasonably well. I am sure a few more people can spend a few days here safely.
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Great thread, a real moral booster!

Still some questions remain in my head unrelated to what's been talked on the thread so far.

What's the weather like in October September for riding the KKH?

I'll be camping most of my trip as a money saver witch is justifiable on European grounds, and also because i love it, so what about wild camping in Pakistan, is it not-advisable?
I already have a compilation of GPS spots with lodges scattered all over the country, so i know it's unnecessary to camp, I'm just asking if i feel like camping will there be any problems? will i be able to have a good night sleep, or can i expect kids throwing rocks and police/military making me pack and move?

Cheers
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Originally Posted by skamikazee View Post
Great thread, a real moral booster!

Still some questions remain in my head unrelated to what's been talked on the thread so far.

What's the weather like in October September for riding the KKH?

I'll be camping most of my trip as a money saver witch is justifiable on European grounds, and also because i love it, so what about wild camping in Pakistan, is it not-advisable?
I already have a compilation of GPS spots with lodges scattered all over the country, so i know it's unnecessary to camp, I'm just asking if i feel like camping will there be any problems? will i be able to have a good night sleep, or can i expect kids throwing rocks and police/military making me pack and move?

Cheers
Septembers and Octobers are pleasant on 90% of KKH but start getting cold North of Hunza. The high passes and valleys accessible through KKH like Deosai and Shimshal also get cold.
Autumn starts setting in and it acquires a very special beauty, a bit like NE autumns.

You can camp anywhere between Chinese border and Gilgiut but not between Chillas and Abbottabad. Must consult the locals before deciding to camp. Pakistan is fine but must be travelled carefully.

Cheers
omar
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Old 8 Mar 2013
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Thank you for your post

We also loved Pakistan so much but didn't have the time to enjoy it as fully as you did. For this reason, almost since we left Pakistan, we are trying to find a way to get a new visa, but considering that we are still travelling (now in Sri Lanka) and haven't had the opportunity to go back to Italy, it seems quite impossible.

About the Indian Visa in Islamabad, we got a 6 months Visa last July. Ok, it was not easy at all to get these 6 months, but we got them!

Another good news is that India change their rules and you don't have to stay outside of the country for 2 months anymore. Now you can just go out, get a new Visa and go back to India.


[I realized just now that this post is more than 1 year old... ops.. ]
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