Marco Polo is said to have come here to nurse his illness and that the people lived up to 100 years. We had hoped to extend our lives by 5 days, as we had stayed for 5 days... The secrets could be that.....
1) It's a paradise here.. with a feeling that you are on perpetual holiday ..beautiful and amazing scenery.
Hunza valley is surrounded by snow peaked range, namely the Ultar peak I and II, Golden peak, Rakaposhi range and Lady Finger, with rapid hunza river flourishing the valley with green lush and Apricot , Apples, Peach , Mulberry, Cherry are in abundance together with vegetables and birds with black and blue wings chirping away... Sounds like paradise right?
2) People are kind and friendly and the nicest we have met so far. Man and women looked healthy (no emaciated people on the street ) with rosy cheek. Women are more open here as they wear less scarf to cover their head despite being Muslim. Many are Ismailies, a more tolerant sect..... so less stress
3) Healthy and Fresh food-They eat fresh food from their own garden. We noticed very few stalls in the bazaar as you can get your vege and fruit in you own garden--just like garden of EDEN. Apricots are in everything-- drink, soups, cakes and fried dish, with chapati, jam, dried, and snack... Tea with salt...
They have long learnt since Marco Polo time that too much salt and sugar is bad for your health... that's why the hunza food is plain but tasty as they rely on the natural taste.
1)Our guest house room -- Hunza Inn --- the best-- with a window view of the rakaposhi range and the valley just outside. Perched at the mountain side. Cool nice weather.
2) Friendly people
3) Communal dinner with Hunza home made food at our INN -- tasty and felt just like home-cooked
4) Walnut cake and Cafe at the posh cafe de hunza
5) shopping for Handicrafts-- embroidery and carpet
What we did?
1) Baltit Fort-- nice view and a glimpse into the Hunza people's life
2) Altit Fort-- close but it was nice walking in the old maze of old houses around it. And we watched the children playing by the pool and the locals relaxing under the tree.
3) Ganesh Settlement--- oldest Silk road settlement in Pakistan since the 16th century. Still under recent conservation process-- with some watch towers (Hunza used to fight with the neighbouring Nagar Valley people), swimming pool, underground refrigerator (cooled by runnning river water underneath it) and a old mosque. Watched school children at play during recess.
4) Ultar Meadow Trek... 2 hours steep ascent along canal, loose boulder. We almost gave up cos we had difficulty overcoming a big boulder until we met a guide with the Austrian tourist. The Guide happened to be the founder of the Gondorola pass trek in the 80s. ( an important part of the famous concordia trek or K2 Trek!)
How blessed! We reached the meadow but stayed after a quick chai as the weather turned cloudy and started to drizzle.
We descent along a canal about 1000 meters above the river below.
We heard 3 weeks ago , a tourist plunged to his death falling down the ravine while negotiating the canal. He knocked against the rock. It was scary as we looked down.. but beautiful though..
Alas it was rather cloudy. We head back down cutting across a private property with Apricots plantation and got extorted for about 50 rupees for trespassing.....
5) Rest and Rot