Still in Passu:
Got up to much discussion about what we should do…Bon pointing out the many hiking trails to nearby glaciers but also the need to get in touch via internet to arrange Malarone shipment. We finally decide to see if we could hike here until late afternoon then catch a ride 16 km to Gilmut where supposedly there might be internet. The hike to Passu Glacier wall & lake and back took til noon (see pics). The LP recom. Glacier Breeze Restaurant was nearby so we opted to go there for lunch. We found it sorely lacking…not only was the apricot cake(supposedly freshly baked according to them) NOT divine but for a simple salad lunch incl a house specialty walnut pasta salad we waited almost 1 ½ hours. Prices were not reasonable, food was mediocre, and service lacking. The LP says the owner/chef offers cooking classes but if what we had is any example of his abilities,,,food & classes – NOT RECOMMENDED! On the other hand, the food at our Passu Inn restaurant tho simple was very satisfying, tasty, as well as economical. Gulam, the owner, was most helpful and accommodating – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
At 2:30 we headed off for the suspension bridge which was a bit longer hike than the LP implies but well worth the trek and the walk over the river does bring up visions of Indiana Jones. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and Bon was quite a sport for following me on the trail, although she swore at me several times for misleading her about the condition of the trail, ha! How was I to know it was only a few inches wide in places and sloping off into…well, you get the picture!
Leaving Passu to Gulmit:
Back at the Inn by 4:30 we were fortunate enuf to snag a ride to Gulmit just 16 km for 30 rupees per and a room at Gulmit Continental Hotel for 3, only 750 r.($10 US). They had no electricity but were able to prepare a ‘dinner’ which filled us if not one to brag about. Very nice people, actually I cannot say enuf about the friendliness and hospitality of Wahki/Pakistanis in this area. Very much like our experience in the Pamir/Wahkan valley but to be expected since their ethnic/cultural/religious(Ismaili) backgrounds are the same.
Woke up fairly late(8) and after an egg, Hunza bread(very solid, somewhat sweet), butter & honey, & tea breakfast we headed up to see the Old House (700 yrs) which is very much the style of houses in Pamir/Wahkan. It is here that the Women’s weaving coop is situated the result of Threadnet Hunza program to ensure the continuation of traditional craftwork and give women a chance for indep income as well.. The items for sale were a bit too $$ for us but very beautiful. We were also able to see the mirs palace from the outside(being restored) as well as the museum which contains artifacts from the last mirs’ days plus Hunza flag, musical instruments, lots of Marco Polo sheep horns, & the deteriorating remains of a stuffed snow leopard.
They were playing the regional volleyball finals in the polo grounds where we walked to get to the Old House and trails. The local Gulmit team won although it seemed the Misgar team they were playing got more cheers. We hiked 45 min up behind Gulmit towards Kamaris village and the Gulmit glacier. Once we reached a good viewpoint we stopped, about half way to the village. Back down we got our packs and headed for the KKH(3:30). While waiting for transport to come by a friendly fellow rode up on his motorcycle and when we asked where he was from it was Chapursan valley and Zood Khun…he was Alan Jan Dario, the owner of the place we were contemplating visiting when in Sost! This seemed to be fate stepping in and after a very friendly chat, he said he was heading to Karimabad as well since his son(13) was going to school there and he was going to see him and do some business. He helped us secure transport via an open jeep to Karimabad(one hour) recom Haider Inn as a place to stay which was later reinforced by a Chinese student traveler, Sofie, who was staying there as well.
Gulmit to Karimabad:
The driver let us off in Aliabad where in minutes we had a taxi up the 10 km to the Haider Inn.