Gilgit (On the KKH).

We are now camped at the PTDC Motel at Gilgit, a delightful place with trees, grass and views of snow capped mountains (35.922398°N 74.323583°E). After some negotiation we are being charged $2.00USA per person per day. The restaurant, whilst basic is very welcome.

K-Nine with Nanga Parbat in the background.During the last few days we have been driving at only 30kph. Not because the road is bad, it isn't, not because of the other traffic, there is very little, but because the scenery is is so spectacular. Most of the time we have been following the Indus river. The road, which has been remarkably good considering the terrain has been climbing very slowly to 1500 metres. As a result it getting a little cooler. What has made the drive so enjoyable is that we are surrounded by some of the worlds highest mountains. Yesterday we ate lunch within 40km of Nanga Parbat (8126 metres).

On the 2004-05-17 we parked at the Chilas Inn (35.431077N 74.101920E) but opted to eat at the nearby Shangrila Hotel. Most of us ate their excellent sizzling chicken steaks with non-alcoholic beer. (We could have parked at the Shangrila Hotel but the Chilas Inn was more flexible on price). Unfortunately whilst leaving the Chilas Inn Peter clipped the gate-post with the side of Imp. The manager seemed very little perturbed by the damage, and refused any payment. He did suggest that next time we stayed we could spend more in his gift shop and restaurant in compensation (So if you do stay there, tell him we sent you!).

Over the next few days we plan to continue our very slow drive north and hope to cross into China on 2004-05-25.

Stephen Stewart.

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