Tour de Khunjerab .................dedicated to our dear departed friend, Ajab Khan!
This thread was started on the request of many friends, but most of all Ajab Khan who accompanied on this wonderful trip for most part, but had to miss the Khunjerab visit. He contributed hundreds of his beautifully captured pictures to this thread for all of us to remember him by.
The trip route was Naran, Jalkhad, Lulusar, Babusar, Chilas, KKH, Gilgit, Hunza Karimabad, Duikar Eagles nest, Attabad lake, Hoper Glacier, Gilgit, Gupis (the road beyond towards Phandar/ shandur had been swept away by flood waters), Back to Gilgit, Hunza, Attabad, Gulmit, Passu, Sust, Khunjerab top. The return jouney from Khujerab was Gulmit, Attabad crossing, Hunza, Gilgit, Astore, Rama, Chilas, Babusar, Naran and back home!
A brief timeline
Islamabad to Naran non-stop 6-7 hours if you leave early and avoid traffic. Naran to Chilas via Babusir depends how long you stop over on the way, such as at Jalkhad, lulusir, Babusir top etc. Non stop it can be completed in 5-6 hours. Chilas to Gilgit is 130km (in 2 to 2-1/2 hours), gilgit to Hunza Aliabad approx 90-95km in 2 hours. Hunza to Attabad lake 30-40 minutes. The lake crossing is 50-55 minutes (9.5Km), but depends how long you take to negotiate and get onto the boat etc and than hopefully don't have to wait too long to get off at other end. You can take vehicle across on the boat as well (own or rented), charge may vary 3000-4000rs one way each, depending on your vehicle size and negotiating skill. The boat drops you at the other end "Gulmit" a beautiful small village/ town. Distance from Gulmit to Khunjerab is 135km (Sust is after 50km approx). Takes an hour to get to sust atleast, as first 10km the road is katcha and in poor shape. There after its fresh mettled road, like between gilgit n hunza. Sust to Khunjerab can be reached in 2 hours approx.
The first boats leaves (on the lake) roughly after 5:30 am and last one leaves at 6pm. If you are going from Hunza, a day trip to Khunjerab is easily possible, but if you go that far, might as well stay the night in Sust or Gulmit. PTDC Sust is nice enough, and Marcopolo Inn Gulmit is nicer. There are plenty other hotels there as well.
All above timings are doable, but, break downs, puntures, land slides, road work related stops etc can add time very easily!
The chinese (border people as well as tourist) were very cheerful n friendly.
I think you may be able to get down to 2000Rs for Mini Paj crossing. The thing is when you rent a boat to put your vehcile on it, the whole boat is taken. I.e no extra passengers. I am told the boat can take a load above 25 tons (saw whole 10 wheeler truck luggage emptied on it + more. SO when you put your 1-2 ton vehicle on it, they are losing out on money. Anyway, when the vehicle is sitting so high on boat, I wouldn't want other passengers to be moving around and + dangling / leaning on the sides of the boat making it unsteady. There were few people in group who wanted to come on our boat, which would have subsidized the cost for me, but I decided not to. Anyway later when the boat wobbled on the waves created by other boat crossing and the whole boat + TLC were pitching back n forth I knew my decision was right.
Need real guts to load vehicle like this, i have experienced something similar near shor kot but since it was a potohar i was relaxed
you were right the pic on page,3,4 & onwards are missing i don't know if something is wrong on my side but the reply with quote is also not working.....btw the pics are visible to me.will redo the pics @MOD please check for the bug!