PAKISTAN 5
We left Dassu determined to get to Gilget, we still had about 200 miles to go on the mostly twisting turning pot holed Karakoram Highway. We finally had a good and uneventful day !!!. Arriving in Gilget at 3.30 pm. (We only had one small delay as the road was blocked because a truck had gone off the edge of the road-not good in these parts !!! )
Nanga Parbat 8126 mts or 26650 ft, the third highest mountain in the World
Nanga Parbat sign, the white one says look left but the arrow points to the right ?
Once in Gilget we rested and looked around the place, then it was time to head for the Chinese border, the day started badly as Cliff and Andreas argued over breakfast, frustration and tension had been building for a while and when Andreas argued over about 20 rupees Cliff lost his temper, nuf said. So we left Gilget with Maarten and headed for Sost, we had done only fifty miles when we came upon a road block, this was because the locals were on strike due to the lack of electricity in the northern areas of Pakistan, after sometime at the roadblock we decided to turn back a few miles and go to a hotel for tea, there was also talk of a diversion that we could take.
discussions at the road block
A ROAD TO FAR
After tea and lunch we discussed the diversion, which we were told was about 7 kms and was a fairly easy jeep track, we set off to avoid the roadblock following our local guide. The first 2-3km were OK but then it started to deteriorate and now we had a sheer drop to our left side and a track 2-2.5m wide. After about 1km of difficult and at times dangerous track Jenny, who was trying a little too hard to keep away from the edge, failed to notice a lump of rock that was sticking out at an angle. She just caught the bottom corner of the right hand pannier on the rock and ripped off the pannier and in the process fell off the bike towards the edge. Although Jenny didn't really look like she was going to go over the edge, the bike went down very fast and dug into the soft ground, this was a little too close for comfort. We put the damaged pannier into one of the jeeps following along with the other one ( to even the weight ) and continued on, assuming that there would only be another 3km or so and it was over. About another 5 or 6km along the track we started to wind our way back down and at this point our guide stopped and we had a little discussion about the dangers and the length of this track. It turned out that we were now only at about the halfway stage. He showed us the hairpin track that we were to ride up in order to go further along and then down another hairpin track before we would come to a bridge and up to the road.
This was the point after we had just picked up Jenny's bike and removed the remaining pannier.
The track went through many hill villages where locals were rather amazed to see us ! Several of these had drainage crossing the road covered by raised concrete with varying sized holes just out of sight as you hit them - great fun :-(

As we worked our way down Jenny dropped her bike again on a hairpin bend. The bend being of negative camber, soft sand and rocks and a steep gradient. Unfortuantely, Jenny had to come to a stop and this meant that she could not touch the ground - leg extensions required or platform boots on our next order from BMW spare parts !! The track finally turned out to be around 25km and Jenny dropped the bike twice more - the final time a little too close to the edge for her comfort so Cliff rode the final hairpins for her. We finally made the road and the others, stopping in a nearby village to have soup with our guide ( he was apologetic but obviously under the impression that we had go anywhere bikes ). We stayed at Karimabad which is a beautiful spot hidden in the mountains. Although neither of us was in a physical state to appreciate the surroundings that night. Oh - no injuries were sustained just some dented pride of Jenny.

Picture of the zig zag track we rode up - note that at the top are full sized trees and gazebo (bottom left). This is the first of three pictures that make up the valley - this being the top one.
In hindsight, riding this track just to get round a road block was a mistake. We should have returned to a hotel and tried again the next day when the road block was later lifted. For Cliff, this was a difficult but possible track but for Jenny, her physical size or lack of it, made it very difficult on this bike.
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