“Peace be with you”
After a slightly difficult time in Islamabad, and departure… the first words from peoples mouth in Skardu were “Asalaam Aleikum”, which pretty much means “Peace be with you”. Not a single person would ask for money, nor bother me with anything. I finally felt at peace. Sure, on the streets of Skardu, you’ll never see a women walking as this area is quite conservative. Though I reckon that their conservative mentality is only to themselves, not bothering or affecting others.
I check into the wonderful Baltistan Tourist Cottage, where the manager is ever helpful and bends over backwards to help you for no fee. Which was a surprise compared to Islamabad. The day is still early, so I finally put my bicycle back together, store my large bicycle box, and head off on a test run. A quick ride to Satpara lake, which ends up being a completly dirt road, with construction and headwind. I never actually get there… but as my stomach is calling for some food, I head back into town, soon realising that, as this is a conservative town… nothing is really open, expecially during prayer time. During prayer time, you can see crowds walking down the street heading to the mosque.
Once darkness sets around 19:00, locals are finally able to enjoy their meal of the day. I make my way over to Dewan-e-Khas which has an interesting dish of deep fried trout, and fries. I’m guessing that fries are an international thing?
Oh yes… it’s only been days, but I’m already slightly missing safe tap water, toilet paper and plumbing… And constant electricity. Plenty of blackouts in Skardu.