LIFE IN THE MOST REMOTE VALLEY NEAR SIACHEN GLACIER LOC S2. EP20 | Pakistan Motorcycle Tour
It's really amazing out here. Just have a look at the road. Wow. Going magically along the river. Assalam Alekum and Good Morning Everyone from Yugo. It's a small village that I accidentally discovered last night.
I wanted to go to Khaplu. But it was late and my search for a hotel brought me here, at a hotel called Markhor Resort. In my opinion it must be among the tidiest and cleanest hotels in Pakistan. I think I was lucky to finally get such a nice place to stay. So I got up today and had my breakfast. The chef here is such a nice fellow.
He especially made a local delicacy for me, known as Kaiser. It's made from milk, butter and clarified butter. I was actually bored of oily parathas. It also had cumins and green chilies. Overall it was very delicious and I really liked it. Do try it whenever you come here; especially if you are bored of parathas.
Today I plan to go ahead to visit Saltoro mountains near Siachen glacier. I don't know if I'll be allowed to go there as it's an Army area. But I'll try to go as far as I can and then I'll come back.
There's a small village called Saling near Khaplu. I remember spending a night there on my way back from K2 track. I found it to be truly amazing. So I intend to spend the night there. It's gonna take all of the day today.
Riding in this area is not kilometer intensive. Khaplu is merely 24 km from here. Let's start the day with the hopes of having a great day ahead. Thank you so much Ismail. Hope to see you soon again. Bismillah ... In the name of Allah
* Prayer for the journey * May Allah makes this a safe day for us. Ismail was the owner of the hotel and a real gentleman. He was just telling me that this region hasn't had much rain this season. On the contrary I was quite happy not to see rain after so many days. Unlike other regions, there hasn't been much rain here.
These mountains are normally quite green. Lack of rain has dulled that green look. I wish I could help him.
That kid was asking me for a lift but there's so much luggage. I don't have a spare helmet as well. I'm strictly against letting anyone on a motorcycle without helmet. I'll be responsible for his life in a way. Too much to ask of me.
I want to stay out of any trouble. This is Shyok river which meets the Indus river later. There's another river by the name of Shigar river. Both of these join to constitute the Indus river. There will be other water bodies as well but these two are the main rivers. Something from my pocket has fallen here.
I'm not exactly sure what it was but it was somewhere here. I'm clueless. Let's get back to the motorcycle. I couldn't find what fell there. I don't even know what it was. It could be something that got loose.
No idea. I did give my luggage a thorough check and it seemed okay. I'm gonna find out about it when I'll eventually need it. Won't have any idea before that.
So staying there further would have been a waste of time. It could all be in my head. I mean after all it is quite possible. I suddenly had this feeling that something from the motorcycle fell off. As told earlier, the track from Yugo to Khaplu is almost 24 km.
It's not in the bests of conditions and they are laying asphalt at some points. But the previous section was great. I was happy I could find a hotel there last night. Otherwise these 24 km would have cost me another hour on road. But I was already super exhausted.
I fell asleep as soon as I was in my bed and got up 6 am the next morning. That's why I consider myself fortunate at having found a nice hotel there. Otherwise it was definitely more trouble for me.
I have covered about 12 km or so in last 45 minutes. Unlike last night I'm going nice and steady. I was desperate to find a place to sleep last night. I'm not particularly in a hurry at the moment. We just have to keep going even after reaching Khaplu. I've completed another section, although I don't know in terms of km.
But it's done anyway. The surface is as good as new. I have reached Ghanche district and Khaplu is its capital. Khaplu is quite an old city, dating back to Buddhist time. Its old settlers were moslty Tibetans and Turks.
There are many ancient buildings here, one of them being the Khaplu Fort. We are gonna visit that for sure. They also have Hotel Serena over there. But I need to find a motorcycle shop first. There we will get the chain of the motorcycle cleaned and then we will leave for Saltoro.
We'll visit the local landmarks here on our way back from Saltoro. Even if it's night, the hotel would still be open. So we can visit it later. We can even do that tomorrow. But I do want to come back from Saltoro before evening. I guess the fuel station here also doesn't have petrol that's why it's closed.
So I need to keep an eye on my petrol supply as well. We are passing by the PTDC motel. Looks reasonable from outside. I hope it's reasonable from inside as well. I've got the motorcycle chain cleaned with kerosene oil in Khaplu. I originally wanted to go all the way to the Saltoro valley. But the motorcycle has enough fuel to last 177 km only.
The problem is that there's no petrol in Khaplu. Petrol tankers have not been able to reach here because of road construction. And it may take a few more days. I plan to conserve at least 100 km worth of fuel when I return to Khaplu. So that I can safely reach Skardu. Lets keep going at the moment; possibly for another couple of hours or so.
Until going further might get us stuck there. That would be the time to start the return journey. I think the bridge to Saling village is in this direction. That's the area where I'm planning to stay for the night.
For this reason I will try not to spend too much time up there. Was that noise coming from your motorcycle? Is it your motorcycle that was making all those noises? For a moment I thought my tire got flat. I have experienced the same thing earlier. That sounds really awkward. That driver was a gentleman as he gave me some space to get through. Waiting for the Army check post to open.
We need to get ourselves registered here and ask them for instructions. Better turn the camera off as video recording is prohibited here. Where can I get petrol here? From there? Okay. Thanks. Let's ask them. They have placed it in the front but no idea about the quality. Assalam Alekum Sir. Do you have petrol?
I have finally found some petrol here and I've got almost 4.5 liter. Which means that now I can go as far ahead as I want and come back. No problems regarding fuel now. I've been told at the check post that I CAN go ahead. What I have done with the petrol is that I filled the tank through a filter. So that even if the fuel has impurities, the fuel pump doesn't get affected.
This is the shop where I got the fuel. So if you are facing a similar problem here, you can get the fuel from a shop. If you ask some local, they will guide you.
That's how I came to know about it. Let's grab something to drink from here and get going. What an awesome view of Masherbrum from here. The peak is still hidden behind the clouds.
May be on our way back ... GoPro has quite a wide angle so it may not be capturing it perfectly. No device can capture this view as well as our eyes can. Is there any restaurant here? or a tea place? Yes. Where? By the bridge.
How far is the bridge? Couple of kilometers. Okay. Thanks. I have passed by some small villages. Now we are passing a small desert, beside a flowing river. And you can see a valley in front of us.
So you can see different wonders of nature at one place. With mountains on the right and desert of left, trees in front .... And all that by the side of a flowing river .. Just wow. Tourists weren't allowed to come here without permission until last year.
However, tourists can visit these places without permission now. This road goes straight to the Siachen border. Special permission was needed to go there before. Not now. So you can also visit this place after seeing this vlog.
I didn't have to ask for any permission. When I was at the Army check post before, the guys were like what's there to watch? As the saying goes, 'Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder'. Perhaps not everyone can appreciate this beauty.
But tourists like me, who haven't seen such landscapes before, it's a great place to be. Just look at the road ... Riding on this road beside the river .... !! Just check out how pointed the peak of these mountains appear to be.
Amazing. I can't help myself making stops here and there. I think I have hardly covered a few kilometers in an hour.
I'm like stopping to take some photographs every few kilometers. I think I should have been in Dum Sum by now. I could rather have gone beyond that if I wanted. So if I'm still 20 km behind, there's a reason for that. This previous section was simply marvelous. But I'd like to get a little faster now.
So that I get back before it's dark. Or go ahead before it's dark, if that's what I want. One of the reasons it's looking more beautiful today, is .. that the snow covered mountains in the background that were always hidden I'm not sure if you can hear me in this noise.
So I was saying that, unlike previous times, the mountains are visible today. They have always been covered with clouds and were barely visible. Time to step up the gear. I can see some peaks in that direction and I hope that's where I need to go.
Man ... so many apricots ... Lets ask them ... Assalam Alekum How are you? Fine. And you? I needed to ask if I could eat these apricots directly from the trees. Why not. I don't want to get into any trouble. I saw some trees before. I think there will be more ahead.
I would suggest that you don't eat them like this. You get them, clean them, cool them and then eat them. Because you can't eat them like we do. Our stomachs are used to eating them.
Okay. So I will keep them in a bag. Thank you so much. I saw apricots and I wanted to eat them. But I have been advised to cool them first. So I'll put them in a bag and eat them later while I'm camping.
We are passing through a village called Thakas. This is the village, guys, and I think we have already crossed it. It's a rather small village with many small shops.
Although I didn't notice any restaurants, but I'm sure there'll be some. The village of Dum Sum is right in front of us now. Look at how beautiful its bridge is. Let's cross it.
So here we are at Dum Sum. Well I wanted to go till Gyari. For how many days has it been blocked? Almost a fortnight. Well ... In that case, I guess it's enough getting this far. Where are you from? Nankana Sahib. Thank you Sir.
Thank you Do you like my motorcycle? It's great. Okay. Gimme a fist bump. So this is Gum Sum, 39 km from Gyari. Gyari is the place where we had an avalanche on April 7, 2012. That caused the death of 140 Pakistani soldiers and some civilian contractors.
So there's a memorial there. Normally tourists can go that far. But there has been a landslide so the road is closed.
I was told at the army check post that I could go as far as Dum Sum. All tourists can go there under normal circumstances. I did want to go farther but the roads are closed.
But at least the road to this point is great. You can even come here on your car. However, there are some off road sections because of landslides. So I'm thinking about going back now. It's gonna be a couple of hours to Khaplu. So if you go to Gyari, you can add 1 - 1.5 hours for that.
Right now I'm standing at the bridge, blocking all the traffic. Time to get going now. I, sort of, blocked all the traffic here for the sake of my vlog.
For that, I'd like to apologize. We have reached Saling. Well not Saling but its bridge. And I was a little amazed about this bridge. The old bridge was really beautiful.
So I had it in my mind to ride on that bridge and enjoy its movements. But it's closed as it has gone beyond repair. So this is the new bridge. A strong wind is blowing here. And the sand from the bridge is going in my eyes as well as my mouth. That's what's keeping me from speaking properly.
So we are out here, camping in Saling. I was a little late to get here but not too late. So I have set up my tent here and I'm not alone here. I've Ali Ahmad with me. Some of you must have watched him in his videos. He has a nice YouTube that I really enjoy watching. Please go and check it out if you haven't watched it already.
We have another friend here, who's holding the light to help us. Haroon. I'll introduce him to you guys in the next vlog. Time to finish this vlog now. I hope you guys would have loved this vlog.
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