Saturday, November 17, 2007
The Baltit fort looms over the beautiful town of Karimabad, the heart of the Hunza area and a pull for the dwindling numbers of tourists. Kevin had said last time he was here it was heaving with Jeep Safaris and tourists, because of news reports of instability in Pakistan and especially the Red Mosque siege Pakistan’s 2007 year of the tourist, hasn’t been quite the year they planned.
We stayed at Mulberry Inn which had a beautiful garden with panoramic views of the mountains and fort. We splashed out on a nice room with a huge double bed (most places are twins), nice bathroom and TV (with BBC…)
We done some amazing treks around Karimabad including one up to Ulta Meadows/ Ulta Nala, where there is a huge glacier, coming back along the narrow water channels, with huge drops to please Karen.
We spent most of our evenings at Haider Inn, where the friendly owner Haider and his cooks whipped up a huge feast every night for 70 RS (65p) a head. Another good restaurant we frequented was Hidden Paradise Restaurant, which served great Hunza food including Vegetable Chap Shuro. Their menu was perculiar with attractively named dishes such as ‘Water, Salt, flour and rancid butter cooked together in a pot to make a plain dish often eaten by pregnant women’.
A man we met in a newspaper shop/ news agency invited us to his house for dinner, we walked together to his village delivering newspapers en-route, he must be the oldest paper-boy in Pakistan. His wife cooked us up some fine Hunza food.
It was good to get a newspaper from him too, The Dawn, and catch up on what was happening in Pakistan and the world. There was a good article in it - ‘Would Orwell have been a blogger?’ by Robet McCrum, reprinted from Guardian/ Observer.
From Karimabad we jumped on the back of a Suzuki to Aliabad where we got a bus with Kevin to Passu.
On the bus we met Lili from Spain/ Mexico and Claudio & Fernando two brothers from Brazil. We all stayed at The Passu Inn having Dal, Veg and Rice for dinner.
Posted by Richard Edkins at 12:51 AM