Karakoram Highway

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October 2nd 2010
Published: October 9th 2010
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We’ve been spoiled with some beautiful mountain drives on this trip. Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better after the Touragat pass from Kyrgyzstan to China, we hired a minibus and local driver to take us up the Karakoram Highway. This is the traditional Silk Road highway that connects Kashgar in China to Pakistan. Gorgeous snow mountains through passes at over 4000 metres elevation, how boring. One of the highlights was when we stopped at Karakol lake with Mushitage Shan (mountain summit at 7546 metres) and its huge glacier overlooking the lake. We spent the night in the town of Tashkurgan (only 60km from the Pakistan border) and went back to Kashgar the next day. There is supposed to be a speed limit through the pass (presumably to prevent accidents on the winding roads) that is enforced by a minimum time limit between check points at either end of the dangerous bit. Our driver just ignored this and went as fast as he could anyways and then stopped and waited for an hour just before the check point to take up the unused time. I felt the front tire come off the ground briefly around one corner. To the driver’s credit, I don’t think our brakes were very good and the gear-box was kind of screwed…

Additional photos below
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9th October 2010

In 1987 took the same route .... in my case from Pakistan to Kashgar, then in to Urumuci and walking in the Tien Shan ..... extraordinary experience as stayed with locals in yurt for a week or so! Is the road really surfaced all the way as your pictures show? I've scanned the old slides and they are on my facebook. About to start travels again (Divorced, retied and kids just started at uni.) so trying to get to see what's worthy of trip. Loved N. Pakistan .... people are wonderful and hospitable. Give my love to all in Passu. Passed through in 87, but had stayed a couple of years earlier.) You've some great pictures .... you've probably passed through now but I'm sure my pictures would cause some amusement with locals. John Mawer
14th October 2010

The Mountains are Gorgeous
Wow... and Jordan that one shot looks like you leaping to pluck something from the summit. (first attempt?). have you been challenged at all by the local menu's? I haven't seen a lot of beef on the hoof. I know from some of my travels it is better not to ask... Have Fun and be safe. Paul

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