Karakoram Highway being 8th wonder of the world
In my last post, I declared Karakoram highway as 8th wonder of the world. However, that’s not a complete truth. There are many more contenders. This zigzag road has miles of barren land and black rocky mountains along the way. Indeed, it has a spectacular view but the road gets dangerous at many points.
City of Besham
Our first stop in travel was the city of Besham. It is the largest town of Shangla District in KPK. It is a popular destination among Karakoram Highway travelers due to its location. Normally, people coming from Punjab stay here for a night and then move forward to GB though KKH. We slept in hotel for 3 hours. We took quick shower and tried to leave Besham at 5 am. But unfortunately, our car tyre was flat. It burst due to the iron rod which came out of the road structure.
Long story short, we had to wait for 3 hours for the repaired tyre. Salute to the craftsmanship of the guy who repaired the tyre in a way that it didn’t bother us anywhere in the journey.
People of Besham
People of Besham are mostly Pashtons. They see strange faces everyday in their city so they are friendly and hospitable. The thing i liked most about them is they are very helpful. From Manshehra to Behsam there is as such no big city. And same is the true till Chilas. So it’s better if you fill your car tank from this city. Besham is economical city both from accommodation and food perspective.
Finally on Our Way
We left at 8:30 am after our car was ready. Though we had a bit of rough morning as we were up at 5 am for travel but inside our car cabin environment was still jolly. I have realized from my experience. You can know more about a person by travelling together. Long travels remove masks if someone is wearing any. You get to know about a person’s personality, his patience level, his habits, etc. Here is our case, things were already very clear. Touqir was cracking jokes until after crossing Dassu, we realized our fuel tank was on reserve. It brought a pinch of tension plus strategies of dealing in case car stops.
Interesting Psyche of Mountain People
There is a psyche of people living in mountains that their sense of kilometers is different from the rest of the world. For example, if a person living in a city tells you that distance to your destination is 5 km then its 5 km more or less but the case with people living in mountains is different. We were told by one person that nearest city from where we can get petrol is Sazain and it’s just 10 km away. We kept on driving until those 10 km were over and then we got another direction of 10 km. It was actually a 30-km distance ☺
When we reached Sazain, we came to know there was no petrol pump around. There was just one shop selling petrol in plastic bottles. That shop was closed and owner was not around. But thanks to Pashtun hospitality, a young boy searched that shop owner for us. We were able to get 8 liter petrol from that shop. We had our lunch there and started moving again towards Chilas. On the way, we saw the site for Diamir Bhasha Dam.
Finally in Chilas
From Besham, it took us almost 7 hours to reach Chilas. For me, Chilas is always an indicator that now destination is not far. It’s a small town equipped with all basic needs. But usually travelers don’t stay here. We filled our car tank from here and started moving towards Jaglot.