Pakistan

A Short Ride in the Hindu Kush

In the autumn of 1996 I was feeling in need of a small dose of adventure. According to the guidebooks, the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan was about the most beautiful and dangerous place on Indian subcontinent — just the ticket!

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25 Oct 96
Loading the bike in Peshawar for the lift north to Timergara
26 Oct 96
On the road to Dir
26 Oct 96
Political rally, near Warai. (Benazir Bhutto had appeared in tears on TV the night before. She was dismissed from office soon afterwards.)
27 Oct 96
On the Lowari Pass (3118 m)
Trucking on the Lowari Pass (broadcast on Al Jazeera in 2011)
27 Oct 96
Descending the Lowari Pass
28 Oct 96
Chitral bazaar
29 Oct 96
On the road to Buni
29 Oct 96
On the road to Buni
29 Oct 96
Konar river, near Buni
30 Oct 96
The Buni Zoum Hotel, my accommodation in Buni
30 Oct 96
On the road between Buni and Mastuj
30 Oct 96
Approaching Mastuj, en-route from Buni
30 Oct 96
Approaching Mastuj, having just crossed the bridge
30 Oct 96
Looking back west, on the approach to Mastuj.
Tirich Mir 7708 m, the highest peak in the Hindu Kush
30 Oct 96
Looking south from Mastuj
1 Nov 96
Between Mastuj and Sor Laspur
1 Nov 96
On the road to Sor Laspur
2 Nov 96
With the bike broken, reduced to travelling by jeep. In Sor Laspur
2 Nov 96
On the Shandur Pass, looking back towards Sor Laspur
2 Nov 96
Shandur Top, 3734 m. The locals play polo up here in the summer. This barrier used to be the border between Pakistan and India until Pakistan annexed half of Kashmir. Now it's the boundary between the North-West Frontier Province and the Northern Areas. And bloody cold it is too!
2 Nov 96
I spent the night at the NAPWD rest house in Teru.
5 Nov 96
Political rally in Gilgit.
5 Nov 96
Polo match in Gilgit.
7 Nov 96
Passu, on the Karakoram Highway.
7 Nov 96
Nearing Dut.
7 Nov 96
The final bridge before Dut had yet to be built.
8 Nov 96
Mohamed Khan, Mohamed Wafa, John and Amin (Chris out of shot) preparing to leave Dut.
8 Nov 96
8 Nov 96
Lunch at Zyarat
9 Nov 96
Crossing the Shimshal river.
9 Nov 96
The Mulungutti Glacier and Disteghil Sar (7885 m).
The mountain is the world's 19th (and Pakistan's 7th) highest.
9 Nov 96
Fermanabad, the last village before Shimshal. Only one house was permanently occupied.
9 Nov 96
Shimshal village.
10 Nov 96
Shimshal village.
10 Nov 96
Shimshal village children.
10 Nov 96
Friends and relations.
10 Nov 96
Our guide Amin outside his house in Shimshal.
10 Nov 96
Preparing dinner.
10 Nov 96
Butchering dinner.
10 Nov 96
Cooking dinner in Amin's house.
11 Nov 96
Setting off back to Dut.
11 Nov 96
Meeting Meherban Shah, the famous Pakistani mountaineer, at his home in Fermanabad.
12 Nov 96
12 Nov 96
12 Nov 96
A party of yak hearders, heading towards Shimshal.
12 Nov 96
Mohamed Wafa at Dut.