Postcard from Pakistan: Along the Karakoram Highway to Hunza
Our 19-day journey along the Karakoram Highway from western China into northern Pakistan offered numerous riches and astonishments. Perhaps most moving of all was the spectacularly scenic Hunza Valley, pictured here. This verdant oasis is especially famous for its apricots, which are purported to bestow longevity, a quality for which the Hunzukuts are famous. The only catch, as one wizened gentleman informed us, is that you must eat as many as they do! Through our guides, we learned how the water channels that crisscross the valley, painstakingly built by hand and maintained over hundreds of years, allow the local inhabitants to eke out a living in this stunning but harsh environment. While the vistas are a highlight of any visit to Hunza, our explorations revealed smaller-scale treasures as well, such as Baltit Fort (shown in the photo above) and Altit Fort, both lovingly restored by the inspiring Aga Khan Trust for Culture. As we wandered through these poignant palaces, which date back more than 700 and 900 years, respectively, I felt transported through time, and found myself imagining life as the Mir of Hunza…
GeoEx’s next Hunza trip is from June 20-July 8. For more information on this extraordinary adventure, visit Pakistan’s Hunza Valley.