In the morning, we clambered up and decided we needed a break – let’s stay here for a day. We didn’t do anything but caught up on emails, walked in the market, tried some new food and drank chai. We discovered a large sign board spanning the entire road with about 5 or 6 places to visit while in Skardu. We looked at the number of kilometers and dreaded the idea of even doing a day trip. The last 10 kilometers were still affecting us from the night before.
The next day we were up early again , and pushed our bikes out onto the street before loading them up. The hotel had plastered a huge ugly sticker with their hotel details right across the special monkey eyes my friend Jarred had made for me.( He had printed two black buttons and stuck them above my front head light.)
I was pissed off, and then the guy had the cheek to ask for Rp200 for his sticker! I was so angry I couldn’t tell him that the people pay me to put stickers on my bike. The river I had crossed two nights before was no longer alive. I couldn’t believe it, was it a figment of my imagination? All I wanted to do was take a photograph a reminder of what I can achieve. I guess it’s only meant for me and me alone. All you need to know is that it was a huge torrent not the gravel pit it is today.
Connecting back up with the KKH we turned north and arriving into Gilgit around 2pm. I called a number I had, a contact for a great guesthouse apparently. I tried to get directions from him, but he said he would come and find us – as it turns out we weren’t even in the township of Gilgit!
Most of the road is built like this – I actually think its a lot safer!
Soon a blue jeep appeared next to us and we followed him down to his shop in the heart of Gilgit Bazaar. Sitting in his chairs, dusty and hot as hell, we tried to keep up a brave face while he talked about his time in Spain. Eventually Michael caved in. ‘Is your guesthouse far from here?’ Thank god he spoke up ‘No, about 4km from town’ ‘Can you please tell us where it is, as we would like to take a shower and rest a bit’. Qayum eventually got the hint and guided us back to his place. It was definitley a good 4 kilometers out of town, but I had a high recommendation for this place, I just needed to have some patience.
We eventually arrived at a property surrounded in a high block wall with curls of barb wire firmly in place on the top. The pearly gates open up to a beautiful garden, a pool, a huge welcome imbedded into the driveway and Rakaposhi Mountain as a backdrop. I’ve finally felt as if I have arrived home or come to the end of my pop up book!