I’ve been back in Canada for the past 5 weeks, and I figured that during that time, I’d find some time to sit down and work on my old, barely updated website www.crazypaul.com but alas, I spent close to 3 weeks travelling across Canada with my folks (did you know that it’s a 4 day drive from southern Ontario to Vancouver Island?) and then catching up with great friends, socializing and also spending endless days finally unpacking boxes of crap I’ve mailed home for the past decade. Plenty of boxes filled with useless junk from high school, university and random things from my past travels. I finally discarded binders and boxes of homework and tests from my past, and spent time clearing my parents basement.
(did you know that you can make a few hundred of dollars for scrap metal when you separate and take, cables, brake rotor, aluminium to the scrap yard? )
Anyways, I’m back in Japan right now, and on Wednesday I’ll be flying out of Narita airport and making my way over to Islamabad, Pakistan. My plan at the moment is to spend a few nights in Islamabad, (I get in at 0:30 Thursday morning, probably won’t get into town until 2am… great, into a new country and new city at 2am, and not even sure if my budget hotel reservation is good) get my bearings, purchase a plane ticket to Skardu, Northern Areas of Pakistan and then start cycling.
I’ll be in Pakistan for only 5 weeks, spending about 4 weeks of it in Northn Pakistan. From Skardu, I hope tp cycle over to the KKH (Karakoram Highway), and get a bit of mountaineering, hiking done around Gilgit and the Hunza valley. For some of you who are still wondering why I’m heading off to Northern Pakistan (by the way, the media makes it sound like all of Pakistan is in trouble, it’s not), the northern regions is full of mountains. And as many of you know, I love mountains and the wilderness. The Karakoram mountain ranges are there and is famous for K2 (world’s second highest mountain after Everest, also second-highest climbing mortality rate after Annapurna, where I’ll be going later) and for the massive glaciers outside of the polar regions.
I won’t be summiting any mountains, as I’ll be one my own, but I will be cycling the Karakoram highway up to China, also known as the Ninth Wonder of the World as it is also the highest paved international road in the world. My original intentions were to cycle over to Kashgar, China, but I was having some timing difficulties with getting a Chinese visa. Alas, I’ll be cycling up to the Pakistan/Chinese border also known as the Khunjerab Pass (elevation 4693m/15,397ft) , and then cycling back down the same route, and taking a few side trips to view the various glaciers and mountains along the way.
By the way, the Karakorams gives access to 5 of the 14 eight-thousanders (mountains over 8000m/26,247ft above sea level) and to also a number of big glaciers such as the 62km long Baltoro Glacier (one of the longest glaciers outside of the polar regions) .
Anyways, must get ready to go. I’m currently in Sanjo, Japan… meeting up with previous work mates and friends from my days of living and working in Japan. Must socialize a bit more, before going off on my own. Must also pick up last minute tools and supplies as I’ll have to totally rely on my own when mending my bicycle.
Take care where ever you are in the world. And I hope to update a few of my adventures on this blog when time permits. Cheers!