After a great night out and well rested we hit the road , luckily for us the traffic was light due to the fact that we left really early by Pakistan standards as things only kick off around ten or eleven so being on the road by 08h30 gave us both lanes in places and and a really easy ride up to Manshera , that was to be our breakfast stop .
Our breakfast was served up , comprising of paratha , made fresh before our eyes , a delicious omelette full of chilli and Chanay a chickpea curry that you mop up with your paratha and is even tastier eaten with right hand . The locals , gracious as usual full of questions and kindness , so we spent a wonderfull hour in the company of good food and people .
Further into the mountains we rode , I just loved theses roadside restaurants , where the cold mountain water keeps your drinks cold and while enjoying lunch or a soft drink you can cool your body by sitting with your feet in the water . I remenber years ago when a hotel in Johannesburg used this as a draw card , come to our rooftop bar , sip on cocktails while you dangle your feet in the water . I wonder if Pakistan inspired them , I know where I would rather be , mountain dew straight up , out of the bottle , chilled to perfection by a bit of glacier water , washed down with a view to dizzy you .
I found the riding relaxed , taking in this beautiful scenery , enjoying the twisty road and cool air , still higher we rode towards the tourist capital in the mountains known as Naran . A place that has become so popular with local tourism that those in the know have had to seek out new destinations to relax and recharge , for us it would be empty and enchanting.
I came across this tented town set up along the Kunhar river , alive with activity , sports on the go , animals being tended to and a seemingly idillic relaxed life that beckoned me to join these nomads from the south , abandon wifi , my riding gear, grow a hipster beard and spend my days wondering in the mountains and nights sleeping under the stars . My daydream interupted by the excitment and cheering as the ball hit the bat and flew high and far into the blue sky , the batsmen launch to opposite ends . If only I had eye ball coordination , I would have joined this game close to the clouds . Back to reality , I kicked the starter and that two stroke motor buzzed back to life , clutch in , first engauged , feet up and we left the games behind .
We follow the Kunhar river to Naran which is really beautiful but I am looking forward to riding next to the mighty Indus river that finds its source high in the glacier of Boltoro , the largest of its kind outside the poles. I love the sounds of the rushing water coming off the peaks , the water cloudy in colour , full of what it has collected on the way down , ice , ice cold to the touch , leaving you invigorated once it has cooled your skin.
So much to see in this land , that you could spend a day riding 20 km , today though we had to cover around a 150 km before dark so my daydreaming and stops to take photographs had to be brought into check , this I could not resist though , both holding the blue of the sky in their paintwork , the scooter plain without Jane and the truck a Peacock in mating season , just look at those lashes and seductive eyes , if this truck was behind me and if I had mirrors , hypnotised I would be, looking back into her eyes .
We arrived to a hive of activity as the Mosque was empting after Friday prayers , the road as difficult to navigate as peak hour traffic in Abbottabad , a sharp right turn out of the busyness up a tree lined road toward the mountains and our hotel for the night , a calm and peacfull place .
After a shower that started off with a promise of warmth and pressure to wash the days ride away , ending up in the use of a bucket and a very awakening wash that gave my skin those rewarding goose bumps , Myself Moin and Atzaz set off for a walk in the montains , a time to enjoy the views both up and down , the fresh clean air and the chill in the air taken out by the warmth of the people we spoke to .
Darknees apon us it was time for a delicious dinner of fresh mutton karahi , hot naan , flashing fairy lights and laughter that echoed off the mountains , we ended our day with green tea and more laughter before turning in for the night , for tomorrow Gilgit it is .
Up early to ride the road up to Babusar Pass that sits at 4145 meters and the 233 km to Gilgit our next stop .
Until we meet again.