'New Post on August 5, 2014'

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Thread 5

Adventurous stories from Agustinus Wibowo, a backpacker who travel around Asia, which share on www.kompas.com I posted this amazing travel into thread series. I have to translate from Indonesian to English and hope still remain the originality. Happy Reading.
Karakoram Highway - Pakistan

Be covered under the snow mountain at 7790 meters way, Karimabad village in silence. Here, time flew slowly under swallowed giant top mountains. In below spread-Hunza Valley which located in north Pakistan between three big mountains: Himalaya, Karakoram, and Pamir. Road of Karakoram Highway was length in the curvaceous, connected the capital city of Islamabad-Pakistan-with the ancient city of Kashgar in the country China.
"Travel is really painful," Al-Malik sighed, "I am already old. Travel like this is not for my ages ". Al-Malik and I had been come up to travel of Karimabad village in the heart of Hunza Valley. Seven hours journey Lahore-Rawalpindi plus 22 minutes by bus the Karakoram Highway, and added two more hours to travel to Karimabad. The wind filled the road up and down and wholes on road everywhere.
Mountains in northern Pakistan isolated to rural areas throughout the province of Northern Areas (NA) in this high plain. Sharp ridge on the cliff edge with the river bubble water could be built from asphalt road that connected Pakistan-China, re-line trading Sutra, and showed village-Hunza village on map. However, for Al-Malik, it was like punishment for him. He never suffered like this. "How come there wasn’t flight to Gilgit?" He complained again. "There is, but we should leave the bus ride, continue to return then you can go by plane. Once in a while you should try the common life Pakistani people in " cheered me and he felt cured.
"But this is my first experience first and will be last. I wont repeat kind of this trip again". The sky was already dark when we started up in Karimabad. Two years ago, I had been here, stayed in a simple motel which belong to Ji Haider, grandfather Haider, as I used to call him. However, I already forgot the place was. I wonder that time I could see some men sit in the street covered with thick blanket.
Suddenly came an old grandfather with white bearded and used hat roofed and brown pakkol. "Welcome back" exclaimed him, "Welcome back!” his smiled very friendly, like welcoming an old friend. Apparently grandfather Haider still remembered me, I had slept in three nights in his simple motel. I felt sentimental toward him. An old grandfather in front of me was still strong and still enthusiast with others "I am very happy you come again" smiled Haider-ji with cheery.
He led me and Al-Malik to his simple motel. Too Dark only lightness from torch that only light on if there were special guests, just both of us here. Indeed, who would come to the Hunza in the winter like this ?. Imagine that just terrific. My body shivered since yesterday's evening. Come down here, in front of Mount Rakaposhi, the air temperature was lower again make my body more shivered. Even in night, the tea can be frozen. But grandfather Haider never complained. Business in winter usually lower, but he was always grateful to receive anyone who come. He immediately told Hussain, the chef, to prepare tomato soup for both of us.
Al-Malik always smiled to grandfather Haider. As always, he first introduced himself as the 'Pakistani' and 'Muslim', now he also felt proud to call himself 'Ismaili'. Hunza was the land that became the third place to find his identity as Ismaili. He also repeatedly praised the food was made by Hussain, even though I didn’t know whether the compliment was simply true or just to make them happy. Under the light, grandfather Haider showed three thick books to me. This was the value book of guests. All guests who stay here must write messages, impressions, and travel tips. This book was a kind of trace all those who had a small layover in grandfather Haider motel.
Two years ago, when I came here in summer, I read all posted messages in this book under the sun while my eyes enjoying the giant mountains in conceitedness. These books made me dream about the adventure, wondered travel hundreds of my predecessor. There was a story that invited adventurous Afghanistan click amazed, there was a story of courage climber K-2, or funny experienced across the suspension bridge near the glacier.
I still found my name on the guest list, which I wrote two years ago. There is a column name, address, father's name, date of birth place, and work. Backpacker usually filled the columns not so serious. There were filled in the fields of work as president, spy, even gakusei-ese (Japanese: student). Indeed, the most adventurous circled the world in a matter of annual monthly until they took brave decision to leave work and life float as backpacker. How was a column filled with the work? Unemployment ? Ah, not elegant off course. Better to fill with funny profession to make next backpacker smile when they read this.
Thick book was also tied my destiny with Li Lam. One month after I stop in this motel grandfather Haider about two years ago, a female backpacker from Malaysia named Lam Yuet came to this place, in hers mission around the world. Lam Yuet was a sister from Lam Li. We met accidentally in the Mongolian border, three years ago. Lam Yuet found my name in guest book grandfather Haider. The fact that any step, there was always the thread to connects us together. Space in the world, there were lines match-maker seems bound tie mystery by the Nature.
Grandfather Haider set up a special room for me and Al-Malik. His motel have two floors, we get down the floor. Top floor is too cold and no bathroom. In weather like this who will dare to bath ?. We both shivered cold in the room, even though grandfather Haider already carried us to more heat room according Al-Malik ordered. Originally it was a bit reluctant, but Al convinced that he will pay all costs the oil to add the room more heat. Under the two-layer blanket is, I suffered in cold. Al-Malik complained again. "Is here not star rate hotel ? Earlier we walked before we reach here I saw there was a similar star rate hotel. The name was Hunza Darbar. Tomorrow I will move to it" he talked and never stopped," This is crazy, man. This place is very cold. And we live in a room like this ". The room as like as rented room, there were only three-row bed and bathroom. 70 rupee charge for per person for one night, it was about only a few dollars and bit more. Of course, in this room like this, Al-Malik didn’t fit with his age and his high class lifestyle, because he used to live the luxury house in London. "No matter what, the point is I will move tomorrow. And I hope tomorrow I can get ticket to fly to Islamabad" he said before his body sink under the hill his two thick blankets.

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