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 Threatnet 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. The driver let us off in Aliabad where in minutes we had a taxi up the 10 km to the Haider Inn.
The views in the Hunza valley(this part of KKH) are stupendous…Utar II (7388 m.), Rakaposhi(7788 m.),
The Chinese are already working extensively on this section of the KKH so the driving was slowed a bit but this was good since the driver did speed along most of the way and at times I was feeling a bit concerned as the jeep tipped sideways cornering. I was standing so got the best views of the mtns and I must admit that this area is even more spectacular than the Pamir/Wahkan valley as terrific as it was. The Hunza river has several other smaller tributaries flow into it along the way before it reaches the Indus at Gilgit so it appears just as wild here as what we saw in the Pamirs!
Plus, , these mountains are so much higher and closer and the villages much more extensive, lots of terracing.
In the eve at dinner we talked w/ a group of 3 who had just returned from Zood Khun – intending to stay only 3-4 nites they were there for 10 days! After this discussion & then talking w/ Alan Jan we all decided it would be a waste to come this far and not take this serendipitous opportunity to return and see what we had hoped to see in the first place. I think because it was Eid the availability of normal transport was curtailed thus discouraging our pursuit when we were 1st in Sost.
Internet just above Haider Inn was open late(Bon did not return until after 2!) so Bon was able to connect via Skype texting w/ Tiff which was a great relief for her. We have not heard from Laxmi Optical in Dehli so may have to come up w/ an alternative destination for Malarone shipment.
This place(Haider Inn) is really great, not only do they have good & plenty of food(dinner was a feast, 5 course meal w/ dessert!) but it looks out over the valley in all directions which is a panoramic feast for the eyes! We will get caught up on internet and then leave for Chapursan valley tomor am when Alan Jan heads back as well. Part of our reason for going as well since his help will be invaluable in making transport connections(3).