If I have been to compile an inventory of scariest, hair-raising moments in my journey historical past, this jeep journey to Fairy Meadows in Northern Pakistan must be within the prime three (most likely alongside mountain bike driving down demise highway in Bolivia and leaping from the best bunny bounce on this planet in Macao).
The journey began early within the morning once we made our approach by highway to the bottom of the winding highway that makes its approach up towards Fairy Meadows. It was right here that we packed our in a single day baggage, swapped from a bus to the jeeps, and have been advise to “maintain on!” As we climbed up the mountains.
The primary 10-15 minutes of the drive have been abuzz with pleasure. Someplace between the wind blowing in my hair, Indian pop music blasting from the jeep radio and my comrade Zeeshan dancing and singing alongside so as to add to the hilarity of all of it, I used to be utterly amazed by the epic mountain ranges we have been surrounded by.
“Save your digicam battery” yelled the driving force in Urdu which was then translated by Zeeshan, as he insisted there have been higher views additional up the highway. I started to calm down in to my seat and benefit from the views, proper once we turned a bend and entered a way more slender, steep, and gut-wrenching part of the highway that we later realized would take us virtually your entire (one hour) journey as much as the bottom for the hike to Fairy Meadows.
The surroundings is one thing phrases can’t even start to explain. At a distance the hills roll in to 1 one other effortlessly like a mirage, however upon nearer inspection they’re characterised by their sharp, rocky edges… one thing you attempt to put behind your thoughts with the cliff’s edge inside arms attain!
Some hour later the highway plateaus and we enter an oasis of greenery, horses feeding, chickens working wild and faculty kids working to understand out jeep and cling off the edges. The driving force asks us to not movie the village out of respect for the native individuals who very possible welcome many visitors to their nook of the world every day, because the highway to Fairy Meadows has grow to be a bucket checklist vacation spot for travellers to Northern Pakistan (although within the scheme of issues tourism within the nation continues to be very low).
We cease for lunch on the base of the hike to Fairy Meadows which takes someplace between 90 minutes and a pair of.5 hours, relying in your mountain climbing capability. Altitude peaks at 3,400 metres whenever you arrive at Fairy Meadows, creeping larger for those who select to hike to the Nanga Parbat base camp (one other 10 or so hours and suggested to be undertaken the next day).
Arriving at Fairy Meadows looks like considerably of a mirage after working our of ingesting water earlier than the hike had even commenced – however inside minutes of arriving the native hosts are speeding to offer chai tea and water provisions.
The Swiss-style cabins at Fairy Meadows really feel luxurious contemplating the distant location – that includes a queen mattress, electrical energy, scorching water and loads of blankets to remain heat within the chilly evenings. Later within the night we’re all welcomed to the principle cabin for a home-cooked meal across the wooden fireplace. All the standard suspects are right here – dal, naan, spiced chickpeas, combined greens, and hen for the meat eaters. A few folks in our group begin to really feel the consequences of upper altitudes – so you’ll want to pack loads of water and for those who’re susceptible to altitude illness, some counteractive tablets wouldn’t go astray.
After an evening within the meadows, we loved a gradual morning watching the solar rise earlier than 6:00am, wandering across the hidden valleys, lakes and viewpoints. After a hearty Pakistani breakfast (fried omelette, fried eggs, naan bread and naturally chai) we made our approach again down the mountain by foot and onwards to the jeeps to return to an inexpensive altitude (and sure, it was even scarier coming down!)
My go to to Pakistan was as a part of an organised group tour and you’ll ebook the identical tour by contacting Atta, our information, right here: