Published: March 19th 2010February 18th 2010
our body guard :)hihihi
Pakistan...well what an interesting and amazing place to spend a few weeks!
If you listen to most mass media...Pakistan is a place of the Taliban, extreme Islam and constant suicide bombimgs.
For us travelling through...we knew we had to spend some time in the country to apply for my Indian visa but we were unsure what to make of the security situation and basically wanted to play by ear and see how we felt before we decided to spend some time here or head straight to India.
So the country has some problems...but what country doesn't! Firstly when 80% of the budget is spent on military...that doesn't leave too much for infrustructure and services like health and education. In Lahore the 2nd most populous city in the country the condition of one of the main access roads was poor to say the least! Filled with potholes and uneven surfaces it makes Parmatta Road (for Sydney siders) look like a formula 1 track!
Load sharing! what is it? imagine earth hour (the one hour people voluntarily switch off their lights for one hour on one day of the year...to cut emissions) happening everyday sometimes up to 4 times a day...and this
is in winter...apparently it is worse in summer! We were sitting and chatting in a house in the north when the lights went out...we asked what it was and we were explained that load sharing is when the electicity is cut for an hour each day...becasue there is not enough electricity! The gas supply was also weak during peak times here! When we cam back to Lahore we found out that load sharing happens 4 times a day! 2 times for 1 hr in the morning and 2 times for 1hr in the afternoon! When we spent some time in the mountains in the north we had a few days of heavy rain...and this meant electicity was completely not available!
Would you like to buy your education? Welcome to Pakistan! Apparnently the system is fraught with corruption and carelessness. The BA which you have to sit before gaining entry into university is according to some students just luck with the marker who marks your paper. The marking is full of inconsistencies to the point where we were told the markers only read the first and last line of a paper. Students pray they will get a 'blind' marker and
the desert around town
they also do not have access to their marked papers. If you want to query your mark...to see your paper you must pay 500 rupees and they can only be seen one at a time so students can not compare.
Welcome to Pakistan... this is a man's world big time! Despite Pakistan being more open than Iran I felt the imbalance between men and women very strongly here! It is very much a societial and customs thing which some people claim is religeon, however its whoevers interpretation of it! The role of women in this society is stay at home. There are certain ways a woman must dress and behave otherwise people will say she is not a good woman. There were several restaurants that we went to that had separate rooms or floors for 'families'...which basically means if there is a woman. When using the bus, the seating on the bus is rearranged so that women will sit together or a husband sits on the other side of the woman so that another can can sit next to him (if that makes sense). The stares and looks you get from men can be quite intense and their
bus trip from taftan to quetta
interactions quite immature. And again like Iran, most people would speak to Jean...even if it was a questions about me and I was right there! There were many times men told me that men respect women alot in this culture...something I totally beleive...however their understanding of respect is different from mine...and this doesn't mean equality! But in saying all this...at all times I felt save and never felt threatened or intimidated...just that there is a different and interesting interation and dynamic between men and women in this country!
In Pakistan and what we have been told India is similar...everything is about love and marriage...the tv, the music, the gossip, the lives of people! Arranged marriage is still quite the norm in Pakistan and also within the family. What they call 'love marriage' is becoming more popular apparently...however i was also told this has its pitfalls...because in relationships the girls aks for and recieve many gift and attention from her boyfriend...when they get married the boy stops the gift giving and the girl has false expectations of this continuing and even increasing! Most people talking us would say...So i would guess your marriage is a love marriage...and we even got
asked a few times if we were related after people found out we were married (the only other time we got asked that question by our marriage celebrant who has to ask it in her paperwork for registing our marriage!)
But Welcome to Pakistan...the general response we got from people when we aksed then about the situation of different things. It's kind of funny but also sad that this is almost the general way of living that everyone has come to expect.
We had been given a bit of an idea about the border crossing situation for foreigners in Pakistan from the travellers we met in Yazd and from the internet. Again when we got stamped Iran we were allowed to go straight to the front of the line. Then crossing over to the Pakistan side we filled in entry cards and a book and then got stamped in by immigration and our picture taken. Then we got taken to anther office with a man sitting behind an offical desk and had to fill in another book. And afterwards we got told we had to go to the police station...where we had to fill in and
sign in another book. They asked where we were going...and we told them Quetta (where most people will go) and then they started to tell us how this was a really dangerous area...because this was a border area with Iran and Pakistan...there were Taliban...some french people got kidnapped a few weeks ago etc. They then said they would supply 2 armed guards for our protection...of which we would ahve to pay for also (can't remember how much they asked). We insisted we did not need armed guards for protection and that it would be ok...the guy then said he would call the station manager (or someone like this)...and after waiting a bit more he arrived and met us. He told us we would need armed guards...we insisted again that we did not...and then told him we wanted to go to Taftan the nearest town (not even a few kms away) to get our bus tickets for the bus. They told us the bus would not leave till 4pm and that we should wait at the police station...but we insisted...to which they eventually gave in and took us in their ute (along with the armed guards) to Taftan to get bus
tickets. Funnily enough there was a bus leaving at about 12ish...in the next half hour! Taftan was a small dry bustling border town, after getting our tickets we had a chance to get a quick bite to each and taste the first of many sweet milk chais that they drink here
Just before we got on the bus we met another traveller, Pat from sweden a freelance journalist who had just crossed from Iran also. It was nice to speak his about a few of his travels as he had been combining travelling and work for the past few years now. The bus trip from Taftan to Quetta pretty much follows the Afgan border inland through the Pakistani state Boluchistan. Boluchistan is a desert state...super dry with lots of sand and dry rocky mountains. In our full bus, complete with plastic covering the seats it was pretty hot...but the scenery was quite beautiful and amazing. Very dry, sparse and desert which looks like it goes on for miles! We passed small towns, saw amazing beautifully decorated trucks, saw oasises in the distance, desert camels and small groups of people here and there. For the first couple of hours
beautiful sunset colours
of the trip the bus stopped quite a few times for our passport check and registration. At all these check points each foreign tourist has to sign into the book...I guess it's because if someone goes missing they know at about where it happened? For each of these early stops we were lucky that one of our guard guys was pretty cool...so he got off and did it most of the times. The bus trip was 12 hrs...so we were lucky to see the sunshine change into night in the desert...and this was also where the road started to get a bit more uneven and bumpy! Eventually and close to 11pm we made it to Quetta...now I'm pretty sure it wasn't the bus station...but maybe? becasue the bus pulled into a small street where there were already many rickshaws waiting! After getting in the rickshaw we went to find a hotel in town to stay the night before getting the train the next morning. Despite both Pat and I having the names of at least 4 different hotels, the rickshaw driver had another idea and decided to take us to other one...his mates i guess! anyway the first one said
train from Quetta to Lahore ... and our new mates :)
they were full (but it didn't look this way) and the 2nd one said they had rooms...it was late so we decided to stay here....mind you I think it is currently at the top of my list for the crustiest places we have stayed at! After getting some much needed food in our stomachs...we rolled our sleeping bags out for our first nights sleep in Pakistan!
The next morning we headed straight to the train station to catch a train to Lahore, a cultural and historical place and the 2nd biggest city in Pakistan. The train would be approximately 24hrs (give or take 2-3 hrs as many trains are known to run late). We had some yummy breakfast waiting for the train and then when the train arrived we got some help finding our seats, as the order on the train can be quite confusing! We later worked out the carriage numbers are written in chalk on the side of the carriage...and the seat numbers as well for this train was in chalk also with various other number systems on the wall which had lines through them. The train was quite old, from the old english rail we think,
shot from the train...passing by a town
open plan cushioned benches of which there are 3 up the wall which convert to sleepers during the night.They were quite dirty and dusty but quite cool at the same time...but ruined Jean's image of the train after he had watched the movie Darjeeling Express and expected the trains to be a bit nicer :p We met some super nice guys on the train sitting across from us who would become great friends and company for the rest of the train trip. They were 3 mates who were from Quetta and heading to Peshawar for business. They were really friendly and easy going, always with great smiles
One had really good english and the others a little...and we joked around and chatted (or at least the did with Jean...it took them a while before they would talk to me) as the train rolled slowly through the Pakistan countryside...passing through some towns and up towards Lahore. It was great to see the change of environment from desert to different villages to bigger towns and greener pastures! Travelling on the train and seeing some of the country side of Pakistan was really beautiful! It was so refreshing and nice to see
Angie in the train
people wearing colourful clothing, after a lot fo the back in Iran! The train was great to have a nice snooze, eat random yummy food and chai from the stations in between, watch the constant traffic of sellers offering many differnt things...even the ice cream man! It was a nice, but little bit cold night sleep as we slept to the motion of the train rattling along the tracks. The next morning was a nice breakfast and cruising through more countryside and towns before we reached Lahore and said goodbye to our new kind friends.
In Lahore we had organised to couchsurf with a guy named Shahid, who would also become a good friend. Shahid treated us to a super yummy Lahore breakfast and told us about Lahore and famous yummy food. We had dahl, curry, fried pappadums and lassi...bit greasy but super yummy! He then took us to his friend house where we played some street cricket in the afternoon...and then in the evening we returned to his place where we met his family that he lives with...mother and 3 beautiful sisters...Coco, Karmel, Maliha! They prepared as a super yummy and spicy Pakistani dinner and we watched 'Dance
India Dance' on TV (dance reality TV series that I'm pretty sure is at home in Oz too!). The following day after a nice sleep in, Shahid took us around to some nice tourist spots of Lahore. We drove into the city where we witnessed some of the craziest roads I think I have seen! The roads are in pretty ordinary condition, its dusty and there is lots of traffic going in all different directions. There were countless modes of transport including...cars, motorbikes, pushbikes, trucks, mini vans, buses, rickshaws, horse and cart, donkey and cart and people all trying to go their own way. It was a feast for the eyes with the amount of activity going around...and this was just in a car on the road! In town we went to see a beautiful mosque with beautiful open grounds. We were shown some of the amazing acoustics of the mosque and how sound can travel from one part to another! We also went to check out the old fort with some amazing old buildings and beautifl gardens inside!
Another day in Lahore and we went to the markets to check out the beautiful fabrics and choose some to
get tailored into a shalwar chemise...the traditional pakistani dress. the colours and the fabrics were very beautiful...so I ended up chosing 2 to get made up. The number of fabric stores is amazing...for the traditional dress most women and men will chose the fabric and get them tailor made. ...... so that what I did ...picked out some fabric and had 2 outfits made up!
We left Lahore that night for Islamabad...the capital of Pakistan. Islamabad is a bit like Canberra is in Oz. A town made to be the capital and base for the federal administrative services and staff. Out trip to Islamabad was only to apply for my Indian visa...as this was the last place possible before getting to India. We got into Islamabad on a late bus and after a couch we had organised to stay at, had to be cancelled...we ended up at a super fancy guesthouse that our friend had organised for us. We got picked up at the bus station and got a midnight view of this country's capital! None of Lahore's pothole roads...here there was wide multi laned highways and the town organised into a grid like the coordinates on a map.
more landscape from the train
Despite it being late in the evening we got stopped and stuck in some traffic becasue of the various police check points... security was ultra high and apparently it had been like this for a while.
The next day we headed out to the diplomatic compound...sounds super official hey! It is basically the part of Islamabad that you find all the different embassies of countries around the world...and other official stuff too. Security is pretty high here and there were various check points, especially for vehicles. We walked in all ok and found the Indian emabssy. The line was long and filled with many Pakistanis applying for visas. There is a seperate line for men and women...many looked like they applied for families. There was a line outside and one inside the little room with 5 small windows. Around each window and up the walls were what looked like sandbags stacked up and each small window is covered with bars. One lucky thing being a foreigner I was able to go straight through the line outside. I went though a metal detector and then is a small changeroom-like room was asked what I had with me...was told I could
houses in town on the train line
not take my usb stick that I had in my pouch inside...was patted down...and then let inside the small room. As a foreigner I was allowed to go to a different counter to what all the other were lining up for...quite insane that the guy at the window was waiting and not doing much while other windows had huge lines...anyway for me it was pretty lucky...so I was able to apply for my visa quickly. The guy was pretty strict and would only give a 3 month single entry visa, and talking was not going to help get the 6 month multiple entry I was hoping for...but at least it was a visa into India and without all the stuff they wanted at other embassys. They also said they could process it by Friday...which was cool...so we wouldn't have to wait around for weeks to have it processed!
After thinking the whole process might take hours we were pretty happy that we would have the rest of the afternoon to do other stuff. We had already decided that we would head north to the mountains while waiting for the visa. and then thought it might be cool if we
local train food!
could rent a motorbike and then have a bit more flexibility with where we wanted to go. After asking around in the neighbouring town Rawalpindi, we found that it was not so easy to rent a bike...so we headed for the bus station to get a minibus up north! After chatting with Shahid he gave us some tips for a nice valley, Kaghan Valley to visit...which he said was beautiful and should be no snow for this time of the year. It was mid afternoon and we managed to catch a bus to Abbotabad and then to Manshera which is basically the gateway to the mountains in this area. Jean met a really nice guy on the bus who we ended up staying with ... and then the next morning after checking out a very cool Manshera Bazaar we took a bus to Balakot and then to a small town Kawai...which was getting into some beautiful mountainous areas.
We were super lucky again after arriving in Kawai after dark, we met a young guy Zahid Ali... who could speak some great english and invited us to stay with his family! We were treated to some happy smiling faces and
one of the many train stations... are they all nuts...?
a nice Pakistani dinner and given his room to stay in the night! The next morning we woke to an amazing view of the mountains! We had another super amazing breakfast and then after seeing some of the rebuilding after a very destructious earthquake in 2003 headed on the road to do some walking. We had read that the summit point called Shogran was quite beautiful so we started walking up to Shogran with some beautiful friendly people saying hello and offering tea along the way. Getting closer to the top we were met with snow and ice...which was beautiful at first...especially seeing the build up of snow on the leaves of the trees, break and fall to the ground :) When we reached the top we were greeted by this quite surreal place! It was packed with hotels and restaurants...but being off season they were all pretty much closed with the thick covering of snow everywhere. We walked around a bit, quite shocked at this town, had a strange moment with one hotel which was open and then decided to head back down while it was still daylight! The trip down was funny, if not a bit dangerous....I think
more desert landscape
for a while we may have been better sliding down on our arses! It was difficult not to go 50m without slipping and falling in the snow and ice! Ouch! but we had to laugh about it too!
Half way down we took a smaller track and ended up in a small village called Loggi. We met a beautiful family of brothers who lived in neighbouring houses with their families. They welcomed us for the night and shared tea in front of a nice cosy fire! The next morning after meeting all the women and children in the family and me receiving a new outfit after they saw the state of my jeans with a couple of bit rips, we went down to another bigger village Paras where we stopped for a morning tea before heading across the river to check out the Paras valley. We wanted to check out this valley and walk back to Kawai! After being lead some of the way by really nice local boy, we reached a sweet village called Bella. We had tea with a nice family there and then started walking again on some local tracks crossing by about mid mountain with
...now lush green landscape!
some amazing view of some beautiful snow capped mountains and the view of the river below! The Paras valley was really beautiful place to walk and enjoy the fresh air and surroundings :) As we crossed we got to a point on the path where the path stopped (or looked like it had been destroyed in a mini landslide) and after searching high and low for a safe way to cross we figured we would have to turn back...as the drop to the river and steepness of the slope was not looking so inviting. So after a couple of hours walking and almost seeing Kawai again, we turned back and spent the night pretty much in a barn in the village Bella where we had tea earlier that morning!
The next morning we woke to some curious kids knocking on the door ...but also the rain! After spending the morning and lunch with a lovely family here and thinking the rain had set in and would not clear for a few days, we got a share jeep ride back into Paras, where we got a bus back to Kawai...said hello to Zahid Ali and his beautiful family for the
night. The next morning with the rain clouds setting in, non stop rain overnight and hearing a mini landslide in the distance we decided it would be best to head back, so after another stop in Manshera we took the bus back to Rawalpinidi and decided to stay here and then head into Islamabad the next day for my visa.
After being told by 3-4 hotels that they we full (which we knew was rubbish) we finally found a place to stay in Rawalpindi. The next day we went to pick up my visa, which was all cool, but after waiting at the window a while ...they had obviously forgotten to process it and just did it on the spot. but finally my visa for india...after trying to get it since france! We had decided instead of heading straight back to Lahore that we would check out a city called Multan which is almost central pakistan. We took the overnight bus and got into Multan quite early. After thinking it was going to be a quite relaxed town, found it was the 5th largest town in Pakistan and had the pace to match! We checked out a nice masoleum
passing another town
and then a viewpoint of the whole city! We then checked out a cool old bazaar which was heaps long and selling heaps of differnet things including many fabric shop, clothes, homewares etc. The bazaar was in the old city and above the bazaar were some beautiful old houses albeit a bit rundown. We had some more craziness trying to find a hotel to stay in...and Jean thinks we were being followed by secret service...but finally found a place to stay the night! The following day we decided to head back to Lahore...so got another quality Pakistan train and headed back up north to spend a bit more time in Lahore and get a couple of thing done while waiting for the famous (or infamous) and unfortunately non existant for 2010 Besant Kite Flying festival!
We had been told about a famous kite flying festival in Lahore which was soon where people fly kites and people have bbqs and parties and music on their roof tops! however after a few deaths from the kite strings a few years ago...it has been banned and every year they either may or maynot announce that it will be on. When we got
back to Lahore it was supposed to be the next weekend, so we were hoping and stayed...but in the end it never happened. Oh well...maybe next time! anyway while we were in Lahore we got to relax and chill out with Shahid and his family :) spent quite a lot of time washing our clothes (in between load sharing). we spent time in the markets with fabric and tailors, sent one of our backpacks pack to Oz to travel a bit lighter! We experienced an amazing Sufi music night (a bit show offy and commercial but still quite amazing). Visited a beautiful park and ate some yummy icecream (then got told off after because i was sick...whoops). Jean had his 40th birthday! and we cooked for Shahid and his family.
Anyway...to stop my blabbing...I really enjoyed the time we spent in Pakistan...and would love to visit again! The people a really friendly and I found it was quite relaxing to travel around. Despite all the warning and media attention about safety, I felt safe the whole time we were there. but in saying that we also got shown the roundabout where the Sri Lankan cricket team was attacked in
Lahore and one of Shahids sisters was at a market when a bomb went off a few months before. The food was super good and the cost of things made it quite a cheap country to travel. The north especially was amazingly beautiful and the people to match :) Pakistan was a very beautiful country and we had a great few weeks :) en francais
Le desert, c'est beau le desert hein!!! surtout quand il est, mineral rougeoyant de lumiere matinale, peuple de petit oasis de verdure et ou l'on distingue au loin des mirages qui se forment au fur et a mesure que l'on y avance!!! voila ca c'est ce que l'on a vu ce matin la quand on est arrive a la frontiere entre l'iran et le pakistan!!! vraiment faut etre un surhomme pour vivre la, coince entre une plaine chauffe a blanc par le soleil et des montagnes qui delimitent la frontiere avec l'afganistan!!!
Bye bye le reve brise de republic islamique parfaite de l'ayatolah khomeini et bonjour pakistan, reve aussi d'1 homme qui croyait pouvoir se proteger d'un pays ennemi beaucoup plus gros que lui, avec seulement l'arme nucleaire!!!
Hop un tampon de sortie
iranien delivre par un homme de tres mauvaise humeur et un peu violent, et direction la cahute pakistanaise a travers un dedale de grillage et de poid lourds!!! excellent tout est fait par ordinateur dernier cri!!! ca va vite tres vite!!! une petite frayeur pour le visa d'angie mais bon tout s'arrange aves un grand sourir pakistanais!!! on nous envoi vers l'office des douanes pour une derniere signature et voila nous sommes libre ou presque de voyager au pakistan!!!
WELCOME TO PAKISTAN :) BIENVENU AU PAKISTAN :)
Mais tout n'est pas si simple dans ces coins recules de la planete ou d'1 cote, des amerlocs et des talibans ce font la gueguerre du mal contre le bien ou vice et versa d'ailleurs, et de l'autre cote des soldats de l'armee pakistanaise et des paramilitaires a la soldes du Pakistan, qui essayent de contenir ce conflit, a l'exterieur du pakistan, sur une frontiere de plus de 2800kms!!!
Enfin bon apres les douanes, un grand soldat nous demande de le suivre jusqu'au poste de police!!! il nous explique qu' etant donne la suitation nous avons besoin d'une escorte pour nous proteger!!! Ah ah ah
une escorte! mais monsieur l’agent on en
stopping the traffic for the train to pass
veut pas, on est assez grand pour nous balader tout seul!!! Et beh non,il dit le monsieur le flic!!! après ¾ d’heure de negosiations le chef inspecteur nous prend dans son 4x4 et nous amene a taftan place central et nous depose devant 1 des seuls agences de bus du coin!!! Duree du voyage 5mns!!! Au moins 5 gus avec leurs mitraillettes et pistolets comme escorte!!! Pasw mal non hein
Voila taftan c’est grand comme Loyat, (pour ceux qui connaissent), avec un petit bazaar au milieu!!! Le coin est connu pour ses arrieres bases talibanes tout autour, puisqu’on ce trouve a seulement 30 ou 50 bornes de la frontier afgane!!! Donc le gouvernement pakistanais flip de voir des etrangers dans le coin juste au cas ou ils se font kidnaper par ces meme talibans, et comme ils peuvent pas fermer le seul poste de frontiere avec l’iran, ils essayent de leur mieux de nous proteger = version officielle!!!
Maintenant en realite le conflit en afganistan c’est deplace plus au nord est et donc a taftan y’a plus de talibans mais que des mercenaries balouchis a la recherché de quelques dollards pour exister et ayant comme reve celui de liberer leur
saying goodbye to our new mates
territoire de la main mise pakistanaise!!! Enfin bon a chacun son histoire sur ce sujet!!! Il faudrait y passer quelques annees pour reelement comprendre qui fait quoi et qui veut quoi
Donc on monte dans le bus après un rapide tour de la place avec notre bodyguard et notre longue remontee du sud ouest du balouchistan vers le centre est Lahore, commence!!! Desert desert desert mineral tout autour avec parfois quelques dromadaires et chevres parfois non loin de petits oasis!!! Des superbes montagnes rouges aux flancs vertigineux!!! Une route parfois cahotique, assez large pour seulement une voiture, et pourtant bus et camion s’y croisent!!! Un bus bonde, qui s’arrete toutes les 30mns environs a des check points militaries!!! Un beau couche de soleil sur un des lacs sales qui separent le Pakistan de l’afganistan!!! Merci la nature pour ce beau cadeau!!!
Arrivee a Quetta la capital balouchi pakistanaise après 12 heures de desert et pas un seul taliban a se fouttre sous la dent
!!! Premier rickshaw il est 22h, en avant a la recherche d’1 hypothetic hotel!! Dur dur parce qu’au Pakistan pour acceuillir des etrangers dans une zone militarisee il faut un permis special!!! Voila ca y’est’ l’hotel
est mitteux et meme cradot, cher pour ce qu’il est mais les mecs y sont cool!!! On descend au marche pour y trouver une soupe de lentilles et de pois chiches avec du pain tradi plat(roti nan)!!! Bonne discution avec des pachtounes afganis qui viennent du panchir (Haut lieu de la rebellion pashtoune menee tres couragement par mr le commandant Shah Massood), et qui on connu ce meme commandant massood!!! Ces pashtounes sont generalement grands et barraques comme des armoires a glace, on voit le brassage d’ethnies arabe, perse, tadjique, mongole, et indienne dans leurs traits et leurs yeux!!! Ils sont tres loyales et adorent bouffer de la viande!!! Des mecs cool quoi hein
Le lendemain en route par le train pour Lahore une des plus vieille cite au monde!!! Comme d’hab on arrive a l’arrache et quand meme on reussit a trouver 2 billets couchette a pas cher!!! hihihi
les trains au pakistan ne sont pas en tres bon etat et couchette 3e classe veut dire, un banquette en scaille rudimentaire sans draps ni couverture, et sans mur de division!!! maintenant en 2e et 1ere classe c'est autre chose!!! bon pas grave on rencontre des jeunes etudiants super
playing Pakistans national sport...or at least attempting to
sympas qui nous donne une bonne lesson d'apprentissage de la vie et culture au pakistan!!! WELCOME TO PAKISTAN
!!! Arrivee a Lahore apres 24hrs et accueil par notre couchsurfing pote Shaheed!!! Arret pour un petit dejeune d'enthologie, miam miam la cuisine pakistanaise est un reel delice!!! rencontre avec les 4 femmes de shaheed (3 soeurs et 1 maman)!!! Puis durant les 2 jours suivant visite de Lahore!!!
Que de beaux monuments partout!!! bon il faut l'avouer la vieille ville est constament plongee dans un nuage de pollution, mais elle est truffee de bazaars, et de vieilles maisons a l'architecture coloniales anglaise, sikh, ou persanne!!! tout dabord la mosquee Badshahi et le fort de lahore et le jardins de Shalimar puis le grand bazaar "Urdu" qui s'etale sur des kilometres carres avec ses milliers d'echoppes vendant tout et n'importe quoi, ou le bazaar "Londa" qui c'est specialise dans l'occasion!!! Mais aussi l'ancien jardin botanic anglais (jinnah park) fameux pour les rencontres pas si secrettes que ca entre etudiants et etudiantes!!!
Il est temps de partir de Lahore pour islamabad, pour faire le visa indien pour Angie!!!
Islamabad est une ville enorme et vide!! beaucoup de verdure, beaucoup de belles et grosses
maisons construites le lond de boulevards enormes, mais tout parait vide!!! enfin bon on y arrive vers 10 heures du soir avec un bus de fabrication nord correen!!! on recois un coup de file de'1 pote de lahore qui nous dit qu'un mec va venir nous chercher pour nous amene dans un hotel!! bagnole de luxe et hotel de luxe!!! ooops heureusement on y reste qu'1 nuit!!! lendemain direction l'enclave des ambassades!!! plein de barrages partout, la peur des attentats est definitivement la!!! on depose le passeport d'angie et hop on se casse pour le nord du pakistan, la ou les montagnes touchent le ciel
1 bus, 2 bus il fait deja nuit alors on voit rien du paysage!!! pas grave la surprise sera encore plus belle demain au reveil!!! un type nous invite chez lui en arrivant dans la petite ville de Manserah!!! c'est un mec cool, qui travail comme guide tout autour du pakistan, pour principalement des documentaires de la BBC!!! bonne chat et plein de bons conceils pour notre viree prochaine dans les montagnes!!! le lendemain youppy hourra direction la vallee de Kaghan, avec un mini bus et ensuite une jeep!!! on arrive dans le tout
The Badshahi Mosque
petit village de Kawaii vers 9h du soir et apres quelques bla bla bla un jeune pakistanais du nom de Zahid Ali Khan, super sympa et tres causeur nous invite chez lui!!! alors la ca fait du bien!!! une petite maison a flan de colline, une famille avec les anciens les jeunes et les bebes tous serer autour du feu!!! comme en bretagne y'a pas si longtemps avant que la tele et la nintendo cassent les liens familliaux!!! enfin bon ils nous recoivent comme des VIPs, avec super bonne bouffe tres locale, plein de joie et de bonheur, et meme une chambre pour nous tout seul!!! merci Mr Zahid Ali Khan et ta famille
Voila maintenant c'est le matin, alors imaginez la moyenne montagne au flancs qui tombent a pic et couverte de pins avec de la neige au sommet et des petits villages comme soupoudres ca et la; et tout au fond dans la brume, le massif du Naga Parbat un des plus haut du monde avec le K2 et l'Everest!!! la haut les couleurs matinales sont orangees roses avec des pointes de rouge et ocre, une pure merveille de la nature!!! donc petit dej et depart pour
Hazuri Bagh Baradari
une marche de quelques jours a travers cette belle nature!!! bon biensur ca monte et il fait chaud!!! apres 2h de marche on arrive a la neige et la glace!!! apres 3h on atteind un petit village touristic estivale completement mort!!! on essaye d'y rester pour la nuit mais pas possible alors on redescend vers la vallee!!! le soleil se couche la montagne est super belle, on marche a travers la neige et les pins!!! un village et des gens nous acceuillent pour la nuit!!! la pareil une grande famille (dont le pere et un des fils travaillent en arabie sahoudite comme menuisier)qui caremment nous donne une petite maison avec une cheminee pour passer la nuit au chaud!!!
Les gens des montagnes au pakistan sont absolument adorables et veritables!!! ils ont compri quelque chose qui le rend beaucoup plus humain!!! en tout cas ils nous ont donne une belle lecon de choses, merci
il faut savoir aussi que tous ces gens de la kaghan Valley n'ont pas grand chose et ont vecu 5ans plutot un tremblement de terre qui a tue plus de 20000 personnes dans un rayon de 50kms!!! dur dur la vie quand la nature devient folle!!!
Le 3eme jour super belle balade a flanc de montagne!!! un peu de frousse sur des sentiers qui disparaissent dans des glissements de terrein et qui nous force a rebrousser chemin!!! Acceuil au dessus d'1 etable et bonne discussion avec des jeunes du coin!!! le lendemain c'est la pluie qui s'intalle pour 5 jours non stop!!! donc on bouge vers islamabad en s'arretant biensur pour un petit coucou chez notre pote Zahid et Assan!!!
Le visa indien en poche on quitte le nord du pakistan pour le centre et la ville tres sacree, mystique et souffie de Multan!!! au debut on pense y rester une journee, mais apres un tour de rickshaw, 3 jeunes etudiants et une attente de 3hrs pour internet, on decide d'y rester une nuit!!! pour la petite histoire c'est la que le Sheikh Rukn-ud-Din Abul Fath (1251-1335) connu sous le titre de Rukn-e-Alam (pilir du monde) etait un des grand saint soufi de Multan, Pakistan!!! le bazaar est gradiose et colore!!! il y fait tres chaud et pourtant c'est l'hivers!!! les gens y parraissent tres occupes mais sereins!!!
Depart pour Lahore le lendemain et retour chez notre pote Shaheed et sa famille souriante!!! on y restera
Badshahi Masjid..big square
1 semaine ou quelque chose comme ca, simplement a goutter la vie sur le balcon de la maison en attendant une festival de serfvolants qui sera interdit au dernier moment, a decouvrir la campagne alentours, a discuter avec des etudiants de politique, ou a se ballader dans la ville et ses marches!!! on y fait faire une commande de kourta (chemise traditionelle pakistanaise) pour Ludo, Yume et Lilian!!! on y decouvre la culture soufie et sa musique:
Le soufisme (arabe : تصوف [taṣawūf]) est un mouvement spirituel, mystique, et ascétique de l'islam, et une doctrine ésotérique apparue au VIIIe siècle, ayant pris ses racines initiales dans l'orthodoxie sunnite essentiellement, mais qui s'est rapidement transformé, pour certains de ses courants tout au moins, pour ensuite influencer les dissidences chiites (ismaïlisme, Druzes)(source wikipedia)
Et hop voila il est tant de partir vers le grand pays que certains appelle aussi sous continent, l'Inde et sa beaute atemporelle!!! Shaheed nous fait un dernier bye bye a la frontiere!!! merci Mr Shaheed et ta famille, j'espere qu'un jour on pourra vous recevoir comme vous nous avez recu!!! Inchallah
There are more photos below