Where's Malcolm? travel blog

Baltit Fort stands above Karimabad, with the Mount Ultar behind.

Balit Fort, Karimabad.

Behind Baltit Fort, looking onto the Hunza Valley.

My excellent guide around Baltit Fort.


Kharimabad backstreet near the fort.

The water channel that formed part of our day trek.

As ever, the children see a camera and want their photo taken......

And then they want their photo taken again.....

This valley was a killer! 4 hours to walk up the left...

Karimibad viewed from Nagyr. The Ultar icefall is visible on the right...

A couple of Brazilians we met at the Passu Inn advised us that we just had to visit Karimibad, so we decide to make it our next stop.

The journey there is one of those mini-experiences, and if you've ever wondered how many Pakistani's including their luggage can fit inside a Toyota Hi-Ace mini-van designed to to hold 14, the answer 20 on the inside, 3 hanging onto the outside, and all luggage is tied to the roof along with 2 live sheep (!). As there's no room inside, Wes and I start our journey hanging onto the back. Now you would have thought the driver would slow down a bit, bearing in mind the pot-holed road, fully laden mini-van and 3 people hanging onto the back. Well, not a chance. Its one of the scariest short journey's of my life. After half an hour or so, some people leave taking their sheep with them, so we're then crammed inside. We arrive in Karimabad via another connecting mini-van, and book ourselves into the basic Hunza Inn.

Karimabad by all accounts is one of the most beautiful places in Pakistan, and is the old capital of the surrounding area of Hunza. Karimabad is perched high above the KKH, and Baltit Fort fort with the Ultar Nala mountain behind it, overlooks the town and the surrounding alley. It does make for quite a setting.

On our first day I visited the fort, and being the only visitor at the time, was given a one to one tour around the fort by the excellent tour guide and researcher. After that, Wes and I started our day trek with a walk towards the Ultar Meadow, but decide not to continue as it looks like that particular trek may be too adventurous for us. We then decide to follow one of the water channels back down, which takes us behind Baltit Fort and onto the nearby village of Melishkar. Somehow during this part of the trek I manage to slip and land badly; I think I managed to put one of my neck vertabrae slightly out of joint. Whatever I did, my neck started to lock during the walk back to the Inn, which pretty much put me out of action for the next 3 days. The only good side to this is that it did provide me with an opportunity to bring things up to date with this blog and upload my photos (179 photos to upload and save - in this part of the world that takes a LONG time). Wes needed to press on and sort out his flight to the UK, so we parted company two days later.

Once recovered, I decided to do a day trek to the other side of the Hunza river. I crossed the river and walked up a valley, which turned out to be a bit of a killer. Things started out OK, and after an hour crossed over the river, and then made it up to the top of the other side of the valley, and proceeded to walk on the road to Nagyr. However, the way ahead was blocked by a landslide, so I took what turned out to be the ambitious option and scrambled down the valley side, walked by the river, and then back up the valley side again. All in all an exhausting day.

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