Salman Rashid

Travel writer, Fellow of Royal Geographical Society

Celebration at Lukpe La

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"If you do not get underway before three in the morning the slog will be extremely difficult for the snow on Sim Gang turns to mush by mid morning." Mark had warned me. But I had found this a most unsavoury proposition, particularly when the night had been so dreadfully cold that even my companions, acclimatised as they were, found it difficult to get started. It was not before the sun had warmed up the camp site that Khushal Khan emerged from the tent to start breakfast.

Mark had been absolutely right. For the first three hours or so the going was good over firm snow then we ran into the mush. This was the snow that had fallen when we were confined to the shepherds' hut south of Skoro La, and it provided a deceptive covering to the crevasses of Sim Gang. I was at the end of the rope with Azizullah leading, and by the time I stepped on these frail snow bridges, most were ready to collapse. Twice I found myself hanging above a dark abyss with a deathly cold breeze wafting up from the unseen depths.

If the moulins of the Biafo were intriguing the Sim Gang had another denizen to show off: hugely gaping maws equipped with six metre icicles dripping with melt water like the fangs of some drooling primordial beast abandoned from the time of creation in the depths of this glacier. And now famished from years of having been without prey, it salivated at the thought of a meal of humans. Every time we encountered one I would inch forward on the thin cornices that jutted over the openings to look into those huge gullets. Normally, these ended only a few metres below in a partly frozen pool, sometimes, however, they disappeared into darkness. A rock tossed into such an abyss bounced off the sides as it went down until even the sound was swallowed up by the stygian gloom. Azizullah found this practice very irritating. Not only did I stop all of them but I also had no right to pull the entire caravan to its death in case the cornice snapped. They would be perfectly happy, he said, to let me play my little games if I unroped myself.

But I was not ready to do that. I had been strangely irascible since the day before and it was only then that I realised the cause for it. To begin with, I was overcome with a sense of isolation -- Askole, the nearest village, was almost seventy kilometres away; and I had not the faintest idea how we were to go about in case of an accident. Then there was the fear of being on the glacier with its many dangers, supposed and real. At the same time I was extremely apprehensive of failure.

The boots I had purchased in Gilgit (brand new leftovers from some German expedition) hadn't been waxed and polished and had developed leaks between the two layers of soles. Since we had hit the soft snow they had been filled with water. By mid morning my toes, which had started off by being painful, became numb. I fretted about getting frost bitten until Azizullah took off his plastic moccasins and tipped them over to pour out some water, irately saying that it was impossible to be frost bitten while walking.

Even my companions were slightly edgy. The Shimshalis did not sing and whistle, and Dawar had not enlightened the company with any new outlandish untruths about his various supposed abilities. Azizullah, who had been casting worried glances over the mountains on our right, said that we had to cross the watershed into the Braldu before the storm that was moving in from the south was upon us. Even I, mountaineering inexperience notwithstanding, knew that the Sim Gang would become a veritable death trap after a fall of snow. Azizullah pushed on and I panted along at the end of the rope, eyes watering and nose running profusely in the cold wind, and heart and lungs pounding like they had never done before. My breathlessness, I realised, was not so much from exertion but from the sheer horror of the situation.

Keeping to the middle of Sim Gang we reached a small moraine around midday and halted for lunch, after which, for a change, Azizullah made tea. Mistaking the bag of potato mix for powdered milk he produced a dreadful brew. But in view of the long time it took to melt the snow we took it to the vote and drank the "potato tea".
"No one ever heard of potato tea," Khushal Khan complained.
"Rejoice my friend," Azizullah said dramatically, "for we are a band of very fortunate men to be drinking this novelty at a height of more than five thousand metres. This is a world record of sorts."

Somewhere to the south east, near the opening to the Choktoi Glacier, was the spot where Tilman had seen a set of prints left by some bipedal animal. They were without a stagger, one behind the other, and seemed to have been made by a heavy animal, for they were "nearly a foot deep". They came from a glacial pool where the beast appeared to have drunk and disappeared on some rocks about a mile away. Tilman's Sherpas believed this to be the smaller man eating yeti as opposed to the larger yak eating species. In 1909 the Workmans had seen similarly inexplicable foot prints on the west bank of the Biafo not far from Baintha camp ground. Somewhere in that wilderness there seems to lurk an anomalous and elusive creature that habitually leaves its spoor every few decades in order to keep human interest in it alive and kicking.

Beyond the moraine we were in a pure ice world with little bare rock to be seen. To our right the glacier was badly cut up by yawning chasms and to the left was a massive icefall that stretched in tiers to the foot of a snowy ridge which was Lukpe La. We picked our way through the maze of crevasses, sinking up to our middles in the soft snow. Ten hours after having set out we started the slog up the gentle saddle of Lukpe La. We were on the verge of crossing the great Asiatic Watershed and there was no fanfare, no spot lamps, no television cameras and no pretty girls panting for our autographs. I felt a twinge of jealousy for Pakistani test cricketers who have hardly ever won a match in their lives and have it all.

But in retrospect I know it would not have helped my image very much. What with the running nose, heavy breathing, scruffy appearance and the look of agony that comes when one has crossed the threshold of exhaustion, I certainly was not much to look at.

The ascent that had seemed so insignificant from the base went on endlessly with Azizullah promising to camp immediately below the other side. Suddenly, barely a hundred metres from the crest of the pass, I knew I could take no more and without a word I sat down. I was done in; I was not ready to walk another step and I couldn't make myself care about the storm that promised to break during the night. My companions could have carried on without realising that I was not following had it not been for the rope that yanked them to a halt. They were averse to the idea of camping on the windy spur and tried to put some sense in my head. But unimpressed, I sat staring into the snow.
"I can't go any farther. We have to make camp here," I finally said.
"It's going to snow during the night and we are right in the path of an avalanche." Azizullah said, pointing to the ridge on our left. It was a snow slope with a jagged crack running across it half way up, and was quite likely to avalanche in the event of the blizzard that seemed to be building up. I seemed not even to have the strength to talk and simply sat there when Azizullah flew off the handle.
"If you didn't have the balls to do such a thing why did you blunder into it?" he said with unconcealed spite. I looked up at him and it was perhaps the helplessness on my face that made him relent.
"All I ask is to move a couple of hundred metres away from this slope," Azizullah pleaded. And that was all he got from me that evening.

When they had put up the tent I crawled in, swathed myself in all my warm clothing and got into the sleeping bag, too tired even to ask for a cup of tea or some food. The Shimshalis and Dawar sat outside discussing the imbecility of camping at just below five thousand seven hundred metres on such a wind swept spur and how we were likely to be snowed under during the night. The Shimshalis were as exhausted as I was for they did not discuss food and when Azizullah suggested cooking, Khushal Khan offered him some of his dried apricots.

With sunset the wind picked up, tearing at our tent as it howled over the crest of the pass and somewhere in the distance thunder rumbled ominously. A couple of hours after sunset Khushal stuck his head out and reported that it had started to snow lightly. My heart sank; I had heard of the ferocity of Karakorum storms and how they stayed once they moved in; and if that was going to be, we were heading into a nightmare on the Braldu. Throughout the night the tent flapped wildly and we slept fitfully. Khushal mumbled continually, Azizullah sat up at least twice in the night and Dawar snored and smacked his lips. I dreamed of being with Eric Shipton when he fell into a crevasse on a glacier not far to the east of our camp and found myself marvelling at his ability to stay calm in the situation.

"High passes have an eerie stillness about them" wrote John Keay, the historian. That was how the morning dawned. My watch said it was just before five and after the din of the stormy night I found the death like silence quite unnerving. For half an hour I lay in my sleeping bag not daring to look outside fearing the hush indicated that we had been snowed under. I saw mental pictures of the blizzard that was still raging on outside. But when I did look out, it was on a scene that I had least expected. Our tent was facing west and the mountains on that side were resplendent in golden sunshine under a deep blue sky. The excited noises coming out of me made my companions sit up with a start and we all scrambled to get outside to see the glory of this new and wonderful day.

There was not a breath of wind. The sky to the west and north was a vitreous blue, but in the east a great shoal of clouds drifted lazily across the peaks. Thick pillars of sunlight slanted out of this murk as though to hold up the great dome above and bathed the icy wilderness in an ethereal light. There was but a thin sprinkling of snow and no sign of the storm that had so worried Azizullah. "You are a very fortunate man," Azizullah said shaking my hand. "I know these mountains well and never before have I seen this happening. When a storm moves in, it stays; what has happened today is very unusual."

Breakfast was eaten in jubilation and we walked up the last few steps to the crest of the five thousand seven hundred metre high Lukpe La, the one pass on the Asiatic Watershed that has been crossed by very few men. Tilman and Auden with their Sherpas were the first when they came from the Skamri Glacier in the east to explore the upper reaches of the Biafo in August 1937 and the last were the two women who Azizullah asserted were "from Shipton's village" and who did this traverse of the Braldu four years ago in the memory of that great explorer. In between it had been crossed by about six people and so far as I knew, I was the only Pakistani, save a handful of local porters, to have done this traverse.

At the base of the pass, to the left, was another huge icefall -- a torn and crumpled mass of gritty ice, and to the right was the heavily crevassed head of the Braldu. Immediately in front was a gently rising snowy ridge that seemed to lead through them to what appeared from the distance to be a smooth icy surface. For lunch Azizullah wanted to be at a spot that he said had been named Aziz Camp by the two British women in recognition of his excellent work as guide cum porter. We attacked the ridge in the hope of avoiding the slog through the maze of crevasses and ended up struggling through its soft snow and hidden crevasses for more than two hours. At length, we reached its end, where it reared up like some monstrous cobra. It was a giant wind sculpted ice cornice that towered almost fifty metres above the ravaged icefall below. We were awe struck by the scene of devastation in front, through which, it seemed, there was no way of getting to Aziz Camp. The Shimshalis whistled and Dawar's jaw worked furiously as though struggling to form some unsayable words. Beyond this ice field, to the north and the east, was a panorama of great snowy pyramids; a panorama that few men have beheld.

Suddenly Azizullah realised the precariousness of our situation. "Get back. Get back!" he cried and rushed back pulling us with him.

Engrossed as we were in the scenery, we had been crowding at the very edge of the cornice and we were damn lucky that it did not give under our combined weight, sending us all crashing down into the jagged icefall. The way we were crowded together, even if it had broken only under the man in front, it would surely have resulted in everyone being pulled down. For the first time I had seen signs of fear on Azizullah's face and I, who had spent the last day and a half in terror, was calm only because I had not realised the danger we had barely escaped.
"Rashid sahib, I'll say it again. You are indeed a very fortunate man. We have just deceived death." 

Azizullah said when we were safe again. Had we been on that shelf two hours later when the sun had sufficiently weakened it, it would have required something much more than good luck to hold it up.

For the next six hours we struggled through a confusion of crevasses, several times being forced to back track, until by mid afternoon we reached a small moraine. In almost eight hours we had travelled about as many kilometres and we were hungry and exhausted. After food and tea we all lay on the warm rocks heated by the brilliant sun and slept only to be roused an hour later by Azizullah shouting in the manner of a drill instructor: Aziz Camp was under the icefall, it was late in the afternoon and we had to find a suitable camping spot before nightfall. And so it was an hour later that we reached another rocky moraine that Azizullah named Rashid Camp because, he said, I was the first Pakistani to have reached it.

On the "home side" of Lukpe La the Shimshalis were once again their usual selves: they laughed and sang their song about Tuz Clok as they prepared dinner and Dawar made another startling disclosure about himself: that he had not "been" since leaving Skardu exactly ten days ago. Azizullah said he ought to hang on a couple of days more so as not to pollute the Braldu. Worst still, he added, if Dawar let go now he was very likely to bring down an avalanche on us.

We had barely settled down when the croaking call of ravens startled us -- an unreal and incongruous sound in an uninhabited world. It was a pair of shiny, handsome birds circling around the ridge on the west and cawing desolately. I was fascinated. This was the first wild life I had seen since leaving Baintha camp ground, except of course, the two large and almost dead house flies near the crest of Lukpe La and the sprightly brown moth that flew past us as we came down the pass, winging due south seemingly with great singularity of purpose.
"Raisins." said Azizullah.
"You mean `ravens' of course. Don't you?"
"No. Raisins. The British women said so." Of all the strange and fascinating stories related to Azizullah by these wonderful women this was surely the peachiest.
"Flying raisins! This is the first time I have seen them," I tried a swipe at facetiousness.
"That's very curious. I thought all raisins flew." Azizullah was genuinely nonplussed and I had a vision of sacks of raisins flying about the skies of Lahore. But not wishing him to lose faith in the women I let the matter rest.

All the way from Lahore I had nursed a small package wrapped in brown paper. This had been given me by my Scottish friend, Don Munro, the day before I had departed. "Open it only when you get to the highest point on your expedition" he had said. Lukpe La, on the backbone of Asia, the highest I was going to be, had been crossed, so I dug out the package. It was a single bottle of Talisker Malt Whisky. Its peaty warmth reminded me of far off places but still seemed remarkably suitable for the wild and desolate setting. The empty bottle was left on the moraine with a little note about the four of us and my address for future travellers to correspond with me. Don, good man that he is, had also provided me with all the warm clothing I had, and before I left Skardu I had sent him a card saying that I was ready to make my plunge into the icy wilderness of the great glacial system, ending it with the words, "Remember the Shaksgam Expedition 1937". Six weeks later, on my return to Lahore, I discovered that Don had re read Shipton's Blank on the Map and worried himself sick for he believed that I was not sufficiently well equipped to be in the glaciers. But unknown to him, whereas the Shaksgam Expedition had been bedeviled by bad weather, fate was smiling on me as Azizullah declared time and again.

To the east were two wide tributary glaciers rising in a snowy ridge, beyond which, unseen by us, was the Skamri Glacier. Younghusband explored it in 1889 and called it Crevasse Glacier on account of "the great number and size of the crevasses". It is one of the tributaries of the Shaksgam River and was mapped in detail by Shipton's expedition. Following a side valley near its head Shipton and Spender went north while Tilman and Auden crossed the ridge that we saw and entered the Sim Gang Glacier. Then the Skamri had been a part of India which was inherited by Pakistan at the time of partition in 1947. But in 1962 the military dictator, in order to win China's favour, granted a belt of land more than seventy kilometres wide to that country. With this grant went the Oprang and Shaksgam Rivers, most of the Skamri and the whole of the Sarpo Laggo and K-2 North glaciers that descend from the northern flanks of the Asiatic Divide.

The uninhabited country that lay immediately across the watershed where Shipton and his colleagues had roamed for three months in an unrivalled effort of survey, mapping and high adventure was now beyond my reach. All we had to do was cross the ridge on the east and go part of the way down the Skamri to be accosted by Chinese border guards -- that is, if China considered them necessary and could maintain them in that boundless desolation.

As Tilman came across this ridge he built a cairn and left a message for Shipton and Spender saying that he was certain he had found a way into the Biafo Glacier, implying none other than Lukpe La. I wondered aloud where that cairn would be. "The British women had a pair of binoculars and they showed it to me," Azizullah said, and then staring hard, added, "I can see it even now." I asked if he could point it out to me.
"No problem. See that snow slide on the ridge in front?" Azizullah said coming over to me.
"Yes. I see five of them."
"No, the biggest one."
"If you look closely the two in the middle are exactly the same size."
"All right forget it. See that rock?" Azizullah tried another angle. There were a million rocks on the hillside he was pointing out. I gave up and Azizullah, not realising how much Wakhi I had picked up, said to the others that it was not only my head but my eyes too that needed examining.

The morning dawned with unrivalled glory washing the snowy peaks on the west in brilliant sunshine. Over breakfast a heated discussion erupted about the way we had come. Azizullah and Dawar pointed to the saddle that led into the Nobande Sobande Glacier east of Sim Gang as being Lukpe La and showered me with scorn when I disagreed. Both of them asserted that they could read a map but failed to see that Lukpe La is aligned in an east-west direction. Finally I withdrew with a silent prayer for any novice mountain walker who might come this far with these intrepid mountain guides to end up in the wilderness of the Nobande Sobande group.

Below Rashid Camp the glacier was strewn with carcasses of large stork like birds. The Braldu-Biafo system forms a fly way for migratory birds from the Central Asian steppes to the lakes of Sindh and Rajasthan and I felt that the birds did not fall out of the sky from exhaustion but from the sheer terror of the desolation that lay below them. It has been postulated that these birds, whose ancestors flew across this land long before the range was formed, are following an instinct that they have been programmed with.

Just before we ran into the crevassed part of the glacier we came upon the pug marks of a snow leopard that came from the west and disappeared on some rocks. They seemed to have been made immediately after the snow fall that we had encountered on Lukpe La. The Shimshalis and I crowded around the spoor excitedly discussing the possibility of seeing the handsome animal; but Dawar remained unimpressed by the prospect. As we stood there chattering away I suddenly felt a pang of joy at the thought that we shared this exquisite wilderness with such a magnificent animal; and that even as we studied its spoor it was perhaps watching us from its post on some inaccessible crag.

In 1986, Azizullah said, almost the entire glacier had been like a highway; now it was a badly crumpled surface of gritty ice slashed by innumerable crevasses. Beyond these came a forest of ice pinnacles. These were similar to what Shipton had experienced on all the glaciers north of the watershed. They were great pillars of ice towering up to twenty metres above us, completely cutting off our field of vision -- all we could see were the ice columns around us and the slash of blue above. For three hours we stumbled through this maze until we ran into a corridor through which we hurriedly raced down.

When Shipton and Spender had separated from Tilman and Auden on the Skamri Glacier they had envisaged that by crossing a pass to the north, that they called the Wesm-i-Dur, they would emerge about half way up the Braldu. But they had miscalculated, for they came out several hundred metres north of the snout of the Braldu and had to trek up to the head of this glacier in order to connect their survey with that of Tilman's. Although, without doubt, ice conditions on the glacier must have changed several times in the period between Shipton's visit and mine, it was indeed curious that we found the ice pinnacles and the corridor in exactly the same spot as the Shaksgam Expedition. Shipton wrote: "We got into difficulties farther up the glacier, but in the middle of the afternoon we reached a corridor leading through the pinnacles for several miles, without interruption, so that by nightfall we found that we had covered another five miles, and were approaching the smooth ice of the upper part of the glacier."

At length, our corridor was abruptly blocked by a jumble of ice pinnacles again so we made our way to the left lateral moraine which turned out to be a mass of huge boulders. Thus it was for the next three hours until we reached a small grassy shelf with a tiny stream and decided to stop for the night. This was Mullah Qurban Pert -- Mullah Qurban's Meadow, but Khushal Khan said that since both Azizullah and I had camps named after us it would be quite in order to rename the meadow Khushal Camp. This was done by scratching out a message on one of the rocks.

The entire slope was strewn with bharal (blue sheep) skulls some of which, with their stubby curving horns, must have been handsome animals. I was indignant at what I thought was the work of Shimshali hunters but Azizullah pointed out that we were still too far up the Braldu for a hunt to be worthwhile and that these were the remains of past snow leopard meals.

The Shimshalis were in high spirits. They talked of home which, for the time being, was the summer pasture of Shuwert where the wives of both men were tending their yaks and goats, and spoke longingly of all the good things that awaited them. These "good things" of course were nothing but food: the various kinds of breads, the kurut, a hard sour cheese, and the ghee that went with them. For the trek from Shuwert to Shimshal Azizullah promised to purchase a sheep, the cost of which was to be shared by all of us, and from the flesh pots of Shimshal he promised me feasts fit for kings. Throughout the evening and part of the night the conversation revolved around food, as though our very lives depended on it.

Below Khushal Camp, still being in the pinnacled section of the glacier, we marched along the left bank. It was a scree slope high above a mess of shattered rock and huge chunks of gritty ice. I scrabbled along on all fours solemnly promising myself that never again was I going to get myself into anything as foolish. If folks at home had ever entertained the idea that I was out doing momentous deeds of heroism they should have seen me then reduced, as I was, to a drivelling idiot wishing for nothing else but to get it over with. I felt then that the swagger had been taken out of me once and for all. My feelings of inadequacy were further compounded by the fact that while I fearfully crawled along grabbing at rocks and whatever plants that stuck out of the gravel, my companions merrily raced on with the help of their walking sticks.

On my insistence we descended to the bottom of the moraine and followed a tiny stream snaking through the maze of rocks and ice until we ran into a wall of blue green ice towering ten metres above us trapping us between the crevasses and pinnacles on one side and a scree slope on the other. We climbed up the slope and for the next five hours I was either making a craven fool of myself on the scree or testing my hamstrings at the bottom of the gorge as we stepped over huge boulders that tipped from one side to the other under our weight.

Then just when I thought I was going to give up again, we went over a high ice mound and came out on the snout of the Braldu. It was an undulating surface of grey ice punctuated with blue ponds and a few ice pinnacles. Beyond this we could see the river winding in several channels through a broad gravel plain. Azizullah let out a whoop of delight and headed for the right bank. Soon, we were on dry land again, lateral to the terminal moraine. Here the Braldu spouted forth from a dark crescent shaped ice tunnel, no paltry stream but a full blown river spawned in a womb of primordial ice. It shoved along huge boulders of ice as it raced first north and then east to meet the Shaksgam River on its long journey to slake the parched deserts of Turkestan. Overseeing the birth of the Braldu was, on the right, the denticulated crag of Uch Wesm Sar II along with its complement of satellites that came in shades ranging from soft ochre to flaming orange, while on the left was the ice clad nipple at the end of the long ridge that separated the gorge of the Braldu from Shikorgah Valley.

Three years before Shipton lead his expedition into this unknown wilderness Colonel Reginald Schomberg, another explorer who travelled extensively in the Karakorums between 1934 and 1945, came from the west and walked a few kilometres up the Braldu Glacier. Since this is the same name as that of the river that debouches from the Baltoro Glacier he believed that it was of Balti origin and recalled former times when the glacier was part of a much frequented route to Baltistan. This seems rather unlikely for there is no Balti tradition of travel in this area; neither was there one when the first explorers ventured into Baltistan. However, Schomberg, following the theory of Godwin-Austen and Younghusband that "the great increase of snow and ice" had led to the abandonment of the Muztagh Pass, declared that this route too had been a victim of the same fate.

Even before Shipton's time the erratic behaviour of the advance and retreat of glaciers was well known. But it was this man who forwarded the astute and well founded hypothesis that it was not a build up of snow and ice, rather the breaking up of the glaciers that had caused the routes over them to be abandoned. He believed that in the earlier days the snow covered ice slopes led easily to the passes (as we had seen on Lukpe La) but gradually became jagged and impassable because of glacial deterioration. He also noted that the basis of the early explorers' theories were the reports of untrained observers who "having encountered greater difficulty with the ice on the passes, assumed as a matter of course that there was more ice than before". He believed that glaciers that were in a rapid state of decay presented many more obstacles than those that were actively growing.

The Braldu, according to Azizullah, had been "like a highway" in 1986. Now it was in a state similar to what the Shaksgam Expedition had experienced, perhaps because of corresponding weather conditions.

We entered the vast stony plain with the Braldu keeping to the west and passed a curious many pointed reddish brown hill that looked vaguely like an immense castle. Beyond this, coming out of the east, was the turbid stream that issued from the Wesm-i-Dur Glacier. But Azizullah called it Turg Dur -- Valley of Trees, because of the forest that he said grew at its head. We waded across the stream to the deserted camping ground of Uchelga with its ramshackle sheep pen and fire place. Azizullah pottered about a bit and said that it had been used about a month earlier by hunters. Pointing to a cave in the rock wall on the east, he said that was where they had probably hidden the meat. Khushal Khan suggested helping ourselves to that supply but I did not feel up to delving into a writhing mass of maggots and assorted insects.

Though I had wanted to cross the glaciers with pack animals, I was now forced to acknowledge the stupidity of my dream -- the Sim Gang would certainly have defeated us. The man at Askole who had asked for twenty five thousand rupees as non refundable security for risking his yak on the glaciers had been no fool. He knew it could not be done. Since I was still holding forth on how Schomberg crossed a stream on a yak Azizullah offered to bring one from the summer pasture of Shuwert for me to cross the Braldu on. "In the tradition of old explorers" he said. Accordingly, after a quick supper, he and Khushal departed for the sheep pen of Madelga, about ten kilometres to the north, where they planned to spend the night and ford the river early in the morning.

The next day Dawar and I leisurely followed the little cairns that Azizullah had left behind and were at Madelga in two hours. It was a ghastly day with the sun burning out of a clear blue sky and a nebulous dusty haze hanging in the still air. The crumbling walls of the sheep pen afforded no shelter and there was no clear water, so we allowed the silt laden Braldu to fertilise our innards. And across the river that seemed easily fordable was Chikar -- a great blotch of refreshing green spilled on the khaki hillside, a tantalising assurance of plenty of good water and shelter from the sun. But neither Dawar nor I was up to attempting a crossing of the river, as a result I had to forgo the bath and change of clothing that I had so longed for.

All I could do was lie under the paltry shade of my poncho and hope that Azizullah's promise of returning the following day with the yak was not another typical "Inshallah" promise in which everything was left in the hands of Allah.

Previous: Between Two Burrs on the MapEpilogueHorse TradingWilderness of the GiantLittle Tibet, World's End, Between Two Burrs on the Map

Another Adventure: The Apricot Road to Yarkand

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posted by Salman Rashid @ 00:00,


At 4 January 2015 at 23:55, Blogger Memoona Saqlain Rizvi said...

Is it continued???

At 5 January 2015 at 10:29, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

It will continue. this is part of my 1995 book Between Two Burrs on the Map. Now out of print. The last copies were picked up by my friend Rehan Afzal and dished out to various friends.

At 5 January 2015 at 17:46, Blogger Memoona Saqlain Rizvi said...

S.R kindly ask Rehan Afzal if he still has one to spare. I want to buy the book.


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