Ramzan, Roadies and Raikhot

IMG 7149

It’s hot and dry and you know... dusty and desert like… and its Ramzan. Riding the deadly section of the amazing Karakoram Highway on a motorcycle in the middle of Ramzan has a couple of interesting masochistic kind of factors. I was so thirsty, so hot. There’s no place to break in the shade and nowhere descreet to drink water. But it’s these kind of experiences that make you appreciate how we are just mere specs on this earth. There is a much greater good out there than what we take for granted in our day to day grind.

So we focus on the road… I sit on the bike, still and silent like a tree, my hair the leaves blowing in the wind, absorbing the ruggedly beautiful landscape that is Pakistan. Letting the connection that one experiences of being on a bike in such a place cosume me… there’s no option but to feel.

13600221 1163435203707793 8144512760775769983 n

Security check points one after the other, filling out entry log books. Police escort us on part of the route. There are no security issues in this area at this time and the police assure me its more of a welcoming gesture for foreigners, to make us feel comfortable in their homeland. Unfortunately this often creates the perception that there must be some security issue otherwise why would we need an escort? It’s only for a small part of the road and it really is that they believe it’s a courteous and kindly gesture. So no fear foreign traveller, you’re main risk in Pakistan is being terrorised by kindness!

Eventually we reach Chilas, one of the larger towns along the KKH. We throw caution to the wind and buy some drinks, apparently travellers during Ramzan can be excused form the strict no food or drink in sunlight hours but still it’s good to be respectful and discreet. It’s at this break point that we see a group of biker men, who look like they mean business, bikes loaded with camping gear and bags, nice looking action cameras, bike engines rumbling. We get talking… Turns out they’re a biker group from Lahore enroute to Skardu… We join up and share the road for part of the way. There’s something amazing about connecting with ppl on the road, an instant bond that bikes and road trips bring. I miss this part of the trip a lot and can’t wait to share future adventures with THE ROADIES :)

13626989 1269780033033961 8417979773008697244 n

We had planned to head up to Fairy Meadows immediately after reaching raikot bridge… the point at which one must leave the KKH to head up via the insanely bumpy and precarious jeep track to the land of meadows and fairy. However as with many things, plans change and one must be fluid. We had no cash to pay the 6500 rupees for the jeep. Turns out my visa card is only able to withdraw cash from one or two international banks… a fact I had not thought about before… I recommend finding out in advance where there are Alfalah Bank ATMs along your journey in Pakisitan!! So instead we stay the night at Raikot with plans to head to Gilgit in the morning to sort out the fact I now have no money and apparently no means of getting any…

IMG 7138