Blogs from Skardu, Northern Areas, Pakistan, Asia


Asia » Pakistan » Northern Areas » Skardu August 23rd 2019

Day 24 Sleeping in Skardu via Machulo ( 2230m or maybe 2310m depending on your info source) Karim is a late starter. Breakfast isn't until after 0800. We are not alone- there are 3 other tourists (American lawyers as it turns out- we bump into them a few more times in the next 2 days). Breakfast is very appealing- juices, yoghurt, milk, cereal, bircher muslei, fruit, stewed fruit, preserves, eggs, those weird little hotdog sausages, Pakistani vege curry, chappati, Hunza bread. Lots of tea, lots of coffee. I stick to the stuff I've missed- the yoghurt, stewed fruit, muslei, toast and preserves. Mary goes Pakistani, she likes cold savoury stuff even at home- she'll eat cold leftover veges for breakfast. Enough mundane detail. Time to tour the palace. We engage a palace guide who gives us ... read more
Palace View
Historical Ledger in Museum
Carved Door

Asia » Pakistan » Northern Areas » Skardu August 6th 2019

Sleeping Altitude 2230m or maybe 2310m depending on your info source Day 8 0512 sunrise across the mountains, open up the door to let in some cool air. We don't have much of a plan for today as it's mostly for the company to get the permits finalised, organise their porters and cooks and purchase food supplies. Still feel slightly subpar in the gut so decide to hit up my drug stash- Azithromycin, Lomotil, Buscopan and Ondansetron pre breakfast ought to finally knock it on the head. No idea when breakfast is so after a hot bucket and ladle "shower" wander down to the restaurant area. There are several tables occupied - the large French group (actually all svelte, just large in number), a Spanish group (animated), an Irish group (slightly animated- probably less so than ... read more
Shoe Shop Downtown Skardu

Asia » Pakistan » Northern Areas » Skardu August 6th 2018

The Deosai Plains are a National Park established to protect the Himalayan Brown Bear. The second highest plateau in the world, it is only open in the summer, linking Skardu and Astore for a few months a year via a rough 4WD track. Covering 3000 sq kmit is vast and is carefully managed by Park Rangers with the help of a park fee of US$8. Aside from the Himalayan Brown Bear there are also snow leopards, with programmes in place to protect both. The Park sits at 3500m to 4500m high. It is surrounded by the Karakoram, Ladakh, Zansker and Himalayan mountain ranges. Given its geography it was a surprise to see how lush and green the landscape is and, dotted by 340 different plant species, in places it is quite colourful with flowers. Everyone knows ... read more

Asia » Pakistan » Northern Areas » Skardu August 5th 2018

Our 4WD driver had come to Gilgit late on the evening we arrived. We were heading straight out the next day on a 4 day loop; out to Skardu day 1, spend day 2 there, then take 2 days to come back via the Deosai National Park with an overnight stay in Astore, a Himalayan mountain village. The road to Skardu is bad; rough and unsealed, and there’s currently a lot of construction happening to improve it, making it even slower. It took us 9 hours with maybe a half hour lunch stop to travel 168km (that’s an average speed of 19kmh…). Our driver was generally cautious but he could have gone a bit quicker, our Prado is quite old, it has no A/C, sounds rough, makes some funny noises over bumps and before the end ... read more

Asia » Pakistan » Northern Areas » Skardu September 26th 2015

Geo: 36.4743, 75.3552We had a lot of fun with the Germans but sadly the day our paths diverged arrived and we bid them a sad farewell. They were going to hike across Glaciers, no doubt the scenery would be fantastic but Darren's theory ...that if it cant be seen through the windscreen then it is just not worth the effort... and hiking clash. point of clarification on why this theory came about... a multi day trek strikes fear into my buggered knees.Anyway Lisa was keen to go Bear spotting in Densaoi National Park so we headed Southeast to Skardu. Pakistan is a complicated country. The Northern region around the Hunza valley is safe and peaceful, theoretically the East is okay as well. The Taliban come across into Pakistan in a place south west of here and ... read more
Old Silk Road inffo sign
Car Wash
Rock overhang

Asia » Pakistan » Northern Areas » Skardu September 20th 2014

Leaving Skardu could run down Indus gorge again or go up over Deosai high plain (at 4100m 2nd only to one in Tibet), with a nice run past a lake. On the maps it suggested track was no worse than usual, although on bike revered to it as Devil's eye! Well run up from Skardu past Satpara dam was mostly tarmac, but washed over by gravel and sand. Higher, it just got steeper loose gravel, bit tricky given drop on one side. Quite pleased to escape onto the top, just to meet 6 Jeeps with 10 American torists on a guided tour, they were equally surprised to see lone Brit biker. So few km on, they all stopped, where guides had prepared hot coffee and biscuits, would I like some? Yes rather! Gravel tracks with some ... read more
Big rocks
Gravel track
Guided tourists

Asia » Pakistan » Northern Areas » Skardu September 18th 2014

Stayed in Gilgit, biggest city in Northern areas, 'Grand Continental Hotel' As we left Gilgit we crossed & recrossed the'Danyore Bridge' to get right photo, on old bridge & tunnel, just for pedestrians and bikes now, suspension bridge with one end straight into a tunnel. A run up to Skardu then seamed a good idea, 'not far' as usual, but turned into a epic 180km of gravel road at times cut back into vertical cliff wall. You might think Pakistan would ease back into open valley and better road after 100k or so, not a chance here it runs hard all way, they are tough here - perhaps why cricket team does so well. Or another view 'no benefit culture here' - if U work then can have some life, but generally people are happy. Indus ... read more
Tourist info.
Bridge & Tunnel in one
Indus river Rondu gorge.

Asia » Pakistan » Northern Areas » Skardu September 7th 2012

Phew... after a ridiculously long time with no proper internet connection I can finally sit down and write here :) It was all a pretty quick turnaround from Islamabad and the wedding to this: straight from the ac luxury of chaffeur-driven vans, delicious home-cooked food and being glamourous to backpacker mode within just a handful of hours. Shahrukh (Saher's brother) was super kind and managed to wield his powers as an influential member of Pak Army to get me a seat on the next available flight to Skardu. The wedding reception finished after midnight and at 5am I was at the airport waiting to board my 'once in a lifetime experience flight' to Skardu, Baltistan. I'd pre-arranged to do some voluntary work for Project Snow Leopard so I was pretty flaming excited! By sheer coincidence Rabaab ... read more

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