Blossom & Autumn tour North Pak along Karakorum highway, 9d
BLOSSOM AND AUTUMN TOUR OF GILGIT BALTISTAN:
We drive or Fly past the extreme western end of the Himalayas – Nanga Parbat – the Killer Mountain. By plane, we fly beside its peak OR on the ground we look up at its massif. Gilgit and Hunza are located in the extreme north of Pakistan in Gilgit-Baltistan (Northern Areas). Hunza is nestled in the giant mountains of the Karakoram Range while Gilgit is touched by both the Karakorum and Hindu Kush mountain ranges.
The Karakorum KKH is considered to be the 8th wonder of the world ”, snaking into the people’s Republic of China through the Khunjerab Pass 4733M. We follow the KKH across a massive lake formed by a landslide, through Passu Valley and up to Khunjerab Pass where Pakistan meets China. Marmots are visible on the pass, skinny in spring and fat in Autumn. Ibex ( large mountain goat) and Yak can also be seen if you look out carefully.
Hunza has vastly developed its agricultural resources and orchards of cherry, apple, apricot peach and almond the valley and the hillsides. In spring the hills are transformed with masses of pink and white blossoms. In summer (June- Oct) the fruit is abundant as the trees are fed with channeled snow and glacier meltwaters. In Autumn oranges reds and browns startle you at every turn. Dried and fresh fruit is one of the famous products of the area and also influences the local cuisine.
DAY -1 ARRIVAL ISLAMABAD/ RAWALPINDI:
Arrival at Islamabad International Airport and transfer to a comfortable centrally located Hotel. The remainder of the day is free for you to relax and recover from the long flight to Pakistan. In the Afternoon for those who desire will be a tour of Pakistan capital of Islamabad and busting Bazaars of Rawalpindi. Visit Pakistan movement, Lok Virsa Heritage here displaying/depicted all Pakistan culture, visit Damane Koh a beautiful picnic point for Pakistani holiday’s makers where you have a panoramic view of Capital Islamabad worth looking Faisal Mosque and Gov. official building Parliament House, Prime Minister House, Supreme court and some major business towers top looking from this location visit Fisal Mosque see modern Muslim feature of architecture and later drive you onto Murree road one of very busy road in Rawalpindi In the evening we have a welcome dinner where you will have the opportunity to meet your guide and other members of group. Overnight stay at Hotel.
Day 02-ISLAMABAD –KARAKORUM HIGHWAY-CHILAS VALLEY:
We travel on the Grand Trunk Road and onto the KKH at Hasanabdal. Passing fruit groves (Lychee, orange, tobacco) and small crop fields before heading up to Abbottabad, a garrison city and hill station for escaping the summer heat. The winding path begins up to a high plain and down to snake along the Indus river towered over by mountains and foothills of the Himalaya. We pass through frontier-like towns of Besham and Dassu before Chilas, the start of Gilgit Baltistan
Day 03 CHILAS TO GAHKUCH VALLEY-KARGHA BUHDHA- HINDU KUSH MOUNTAIN GORGE:
Driving to Gilgit we stop at ancient rock carvings and the meeting point of the 3 highest and longest mountain ranges – the Karakorum stretching to China, Himalaya crossing India/ Nepal and the Hindu Khush crossing Afghanistan and central Asia. We visit the Karga Buddha and lunch in the main bazaar of Gilgit. Then we travel along the Ghizer – Gilgit River to Gakuch explore the Ghizar valley and Upper Gachuch stopping at some of the 6 valleys full of colorful fruit tree blossoms. Peach Apricot and cherry make the mountains appear dappled in pink and white.
Day 04 GAHKUCH –GUPI- KHALTI LAKE-GILGIT:
Drive to Gupis, from where you can make scenic pictures of khalti lake, and on to upper Gupis for views of the older softer Hindu Kush mountain ranges and the beautiful views over the colorful whole valley. A little of the usual beaten tourist track locals and scenery are welcoming and breathtaking. Drive back to Gupis taking in the views from a new perspective and with afternoon light.
Day 05 GILGIT –RAKAPOSHI VIEW- HUNZA-ALTIT FORT-BALTIT FORT:
Drive back to Gilgit and rejoin the Karakorum Highway. Enjoy local stops for delicacies and handicrafts before stopping at the collision point of continental plates and reaching Rakaposhi Viewpoint with views to Rakaposhi (Rakhaposhi Peak 7788 Meter High), The longest mountain in the world and in the Karakorum range. After tea with a view it is onto the Hunza valley where everything comes with a view. We visit historic Altit Fort and stop at our hotel for the night with excellent views over the Hunza Valley and to the surrounding peaks.
Day 06 KARIABAD –ATTA ABAD LAKE-BOATING- GULMIT –SUSPENSION BRIDGE-BORIT LAKE-PASSU:
Wake to see sun Rise over (Diran Peak ) with breathtaking views to Golden peak, Rakaposhi, Ultar 1 Ultar 2 and lady finger and down into Hunza Valley and to Nagar. We drive through the high fruit tree ted fields being readied for spring planting and cross the long tunnels to Attabad lake. Here we take a boat tour to explore the lake formed when a landslide blocked the Indus river submerging a village and farmlands. We stop at i suspension bridge before Borit Lake for lunch under a looming Shispar peak. Look down onto Passu glaciers white crevasses. Pass Ghulkin Glacier which can spill over the KKH and see the spectacular cathedral peaks Hunza river and beautifully rounded river rocks.
Day 07 PASSU –NAGAR- HOPER VALLEY-GANISH VILLAGE:
Travel back along the Hunza River and up to Hopper Valley. We walk on its’ Black Glacier before exploring Hopper Village and returning to our hotel with views of Lady Finger and Ultar 1 and 2. We visit the main Hunza bazaar, full of dried fruit oils and handicrafts, before visiting Baltit fort. Guests can return at their leisure.
Day 08 –HUNZA –DANYORE-CHILAS-KKH-ROCK CARVING-DASSU-INDUS RIVER-BESHAM:
Hunza – Gilgit –Besham via Karakorum highway. Take in the spectacular scenic view of mountains and Indus valley we stop at more ancient rock carvings along the way and take advantage of natural viewpoints and waterfalls.
Day 09 BESHAM-THAKOT BRIGE-MENSEHRA-ABBOTTAABAD-TAXILA MUSEUM –ISLAMABAD-AIRPORT.
In the greener Himalayan foothills, we wind back down and stop off at the world heritage dig sites and Taxila Museum before visiting Shah Fasial mosque and Islamabad sights with dinner in food street before stopping for and Airport Transfer with a lot of good memories from colorful culture and high mountains.