Slowly, Slowly (What's Urdu for That?)... STILL at Paiju, Pakistan

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August 11th 2019
Published: November 17th 2019
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Wet NightWet NightWet Night

This shot is after the water subsided a bit, nice muddy tracks between tents
Sleeping at:Paiju

Sleeping Altitude: 3450m

Trekking Distance: Rest Day

Day: 13

Today was an unscheduled stop- another day at Paiju due to the potential for landslides after the last 24hrs of rain. Juma was apologetic but said it was too dangerous for us, and to be really honest, it would have been more dangerous for the porters who are the ones lugging all of the supplies and equipment- loads of 20kg and loads that aren't tidy back pack shapes but are tables and mats and stoves, etc. It was advantageous for Ian - gave his feet another day to heel, also looking at it in terms of acclimatisation another day at 3450m would be beneficial to everyone. The downside- less wriggle room for the rest of the schedule if there were more delays. I think Juma made the right call though, most of the other groups stayed too.

So, with another day of no plans I had a wander around the other camps, had a chat with one of the French group and with the older couple I mentioned the other day, turns out that they are Polish and this is their last big trip of
The HorsesThe HorsesThe Horses

They are coralled at times and let loose at other times, one had gotten away which provided a great deal of interest to all of the trekkers and porters at camp... see photo to follow
this type (I didn't ask why). They have hiked extensively through Europe- invited me to Poland (yay!). After lunch decided to take a solo walk over some of tomorrow's route and up the hill. Gen, Chisato, Anthony, Fernando and Danny decided they would climb part of one of the small peaks a bit further on. My walk was good- overcast and windy and gloriously cool. The scramble up the hill was awesome- a massive muddy waterfall and lots of horses to keep me entertained. The ground was a bit unstable in parts and I questioned whether I should be up there by myself. I didn't need to worry though as it turned out that a horseman I met up with had been watching me the whole time (glad I had a pee before leaving camp)! Got back in time for coffee (or black tea or lemon tea) and afternoon snack. Today it was rice crackers- we pimped them up with halal vinegar and tomato sauce! Taste sensation! The dead goat carcass is gone, all is good.

The others got back an hour after me- they had had a very hairy few episodes having to cross unstable slopes but were all pretty pumped. Dinner was animated. We're all looking forward to getting back on the trail tomorrow. Mary has a horse organised for the next 3 days that we will take to get to Concordia. Stay awake for ages, the tent has dried and the temperature is comfortable and the porters are having a great night of singing and dancing to celebrate Big Eid (Eid al-Adha- Festival of Sacrifice in the muslim year). Very melodic celebration to go to sleep to.

Additional photos below
Photos: 21, Displayed: 21


Alternative ToiletsAlternative Toilets
Alternative Toilets

These were the ones closest to us which we used rather than the heavily used ones across the "bridge", Anthony was told unceremoniously by a grumpy porter that they belonged to the porters and we should go elsewhere- this began a daily ritual of avoiding the grumpy porter (actually the only porter that was anything other than very friendly
Survivors (But Not For Long)Survivors (But Not For Long)
Survivors (But Not For Long)

Each of the groups had 1-2 goats along depending on group size, kind of missed ours
Improvised Tent PegImprovised Tent Peg
Improvised Tent Peg

Long bone - goat I suspect
East Bank ShowEast Bank Show
East Bank Show

Huge group of trekkers and porters watching the recapture of the escapee horse
Afternoon HikeAfternoon Hike
Afternoon Hike

Horses grazing, water flowing

Baltoro Glacier Baltoro Glacier
Baltoro Glacier

Window of blue sky which is great to see


He wanted me to take his photo, very keen to have a chat
Excellent Chinese Tent Excellent Chinese Tent
Excellent Chinese Tent

Contrasting with the plastic sheeting the porters sheltered under. Our tents from Snowland were somewhere in the middle!

18th November 2019

Low cloud to the west I think
Wanna Oliver said to Mr Sykes, "Can I have some more?"
19th November 2019

More, more, more on the way. BTW I have enjoyed your blogs immensely, the countries you have visited often have predated my trips and been v helpful.

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