Gilgit – CURRY!
We checked into our 100rupees a night hotel (thats about 85pence) and went straight out to get some new clothes. Shalwar Kameez to be precise – a trip to Pakistan wouldnt be complete without a proper Pakistani suit.
We popped down to the local shop and bagged ourselves a couple of gems – second hand shalwar kameez made of the finest cotton. We rushed back to the hotel to try them on, then ventured out onto the streets to eat some curry. The looks we got were much the same – that of bewilderment – but im sure we received less, as the casual glancers had gleemed over us thinking we were just another Pakistani – result!
The people who talked to us complimented us on our ‘cool clothes’ and before long we didn’t feel so stupid anymore. The kameez it seems is not so much a religious dress of any sort – its just Pakistani culture, or even fashion. Safe to say though, they were quite sweaty, and it wasn’t long before i was peeling mine off my back in favour of a tshirt and shorts.
The curry we had was probably some the best food to date. It was so cheap – each dish was no more than a quid tops. We ate chicken Karahi, Lamb karahi, Dhaal, chappal kebab, endless djapati and mountains and mountains of Mountain Dew – the nectar of the gods and the favourite drink of Pakistan.
We had two nights in Gilgit, with little more on our agenda other than eating, sleeping, eating some more and deciding what route to take from Chilas. We had two options – stick to the KKH and head into Indus Kohistan – famous for its frosty reception and stone throwing kids – or climb up over the Barbusar pass from Chilas and head down the Kaghan Valley – a huge climb of 3,000m to the pass but the just reward of a beautiful green valley all the way down to Abbottabad – we chose the Kaghan.