News from Antoine Bletton and his team in Pakistan
After some incidents and hours spent in bus, the team arrived yesterday night (12/05) in Skardu (2200m). Last city = last food shopping before leaving
The 2 Pastis bottles bought in the Swiss Duty free were not welcome when transiting by Saudi Arabia. Seb needed to negotiate 2 hours in front of some burkas (more than integral) in order to explain to them where the bottles were coming from. Finally, custom officers put them in checked baggage.
The landing in Islamabad was also not very pleasant. A new law passed during the night, obliging tourists to travel accompanied with an Army officer. Cost of this: $1500 and 45€ of daily compensation, as we are travelling 2 months, it’s huge!
This time, 2 negotiation days were not enough, we had to pay and the expedition was 2 days late!
After 18 hours by car, driving on chaotic roads (Pakistani version of the “Gorges de l’Arly”), we reached Skardu. They just met their cook, very nice man. The Army officer was always very near to them; he didn’t know anything about mountains and was scarred about base camp cold.
The context was indeed a little bit tense, the population was fortunately very kind to us.
They hoped the unkindness of the base camp would break the officer down because he was not very nice.
The day after, they had to be patient: 8 hours of 4x4 to cross only 144 kms! After that, they needed 3 days by walk to reach the base camp.