If I have been to compile a list of scariest, hair-raising moments in my travel history, this jeep journey to Fairy Meadows in Northern Pakistan would have to be in the major 3 (possibly alongside mountain bike riding down death road in Bolivia and jumping from the highest bunny jump in the planet in Macao).
The journey began early in the morning when we created our way by road to the base of the winding road that tends to make its way up toward Fairy Meadows. It was right here that we packed our overnight bags, swapped from a bus to the jeeps, and have been advise to “hold on!” As we climbed up the mountains.
The initial 10-15 minutes of the drive have been abuzz with excitement. Someplace in between the wind blowing in my hair, Indian pop music blasting from the jeep radio and my comrade Zeeshan dancing and singing along to add to the hilarity of it all, I was totally amazed by the epic mountain ranges we have been surrounded by.
“Save your camera battery” yelled the driver in Urdu which was then translated by Zeeshan, as he insisted there have been far better views additional up the road. I started to unwind in to my seat and get pleasure from the views, proper when we turned a bend and entered a a great deal far more narrow, steep, and gut-wrenching section of the road that we later discovered would take us just about the whole (one particular hour) journey up to the base for the hike to Fairy Meadows.
The scenery is one thing words can not even start to describe. At a distance the hills roll in to one particular an additional effortlessly like a mirage, but upon closer inspection they are characterised by their sharp, rocky edges… one thing you attempt to place in the back of your thoughts with the cliff’s edge inside arms attain!
Some hour later the road plateaus and we enter an oasis of greenery, horses feeding, chickens operating wild and college youngsters operating to grasp out jeep and hang off the sides. The driver asks us not to film the village out of respect for the regional men and women who quite probably welcome several guests to their corner of the planet day-to-day, as the road to Fairy Meadows has grow to be a bucket list location for travellers to Northern Pakistan (even though in the scheme of issues tourism in the nation is nonetheless quite low).
We quit for lunch at the base of the hike to Fairy Meadows which requires someplace in between 90 minutes and two.five hours, based on your hiking potential. Altitude peaks at three,400 metres when you arrive at Fairy Meadows, creeping greater if you pick out to hike to the Nanga Parbat base camp (an additional 10 or so hours and advised to be undertaken the following day).
Arriving at Fairy Meadows feels like somewhat of a mirage immediately after operating our of drinking water prior to the hike had even commenced – but inside minutes of arriving the regional hosts are rushing to offer chai tea and water provisions.
The Swiss-style cabins at Fairy Meadows really feel luxurious contemplating the remote place – featuring a queen bed, electrical energy, hot water and a lot of blankets to remain warm in the cold evenings. Later in the evening we are all welcomed to the key cabin for a dwelling-cooked meal about the wood fire. All the usual suspects are right here – dal, naan, spiced chickpeas, mixed vegetables, and chicken for the meat eaters. A couple of men and women in our group get started to really feel the effects of greater altitudes – so be confident to pack a lot of water and if you are prone to altitude sickness, some counteractive tablets wouldn’t go astray.
Immediately after a evening in the meadows, we enjoyed a slow morning watching the sun rise prior to six:00am, wandering about the hidden valleys, lakes and viewpoints. Immediately after a hearty Pakistani breakfast (fried omelette, fried eggs, naan bread and of course chai) we created our way back down the mountain by foot and onwards to the jeeps to return to a affordable altitude (and yes, it was even scarier coming down!)
My pay a visit to to Pakistan was as element of an organised group tour and you can book the very same tour by contacting Atta, our guide, right here: