I’ve been looking for a Big Trip for later this year for ages, and having re-read World Expeditions‘ Central Asia and Iran offerings I wasn’t so convinced that they were right for me. So back to the drawing board (aka going online), I took a look through my “Planning” links, and returned to the Wild Frontiers website that has elicited so much excitement a few weeks back.
Looking more closely at the scheduled departure dates and destinations, and realising that I’d only got 12 days holiday left until 31 December 2006, (too many weekday parties over the summer!!) I decided that a trip to Northern Pakistan was the answer, and the Wild Frontiers itineries, all-inclusive-pricing and not one, but two, conversations with Jonny Bealby himself clinched it.
Having just missed the last space on Hindu Kush Explorer II in September, I’m booked on Hindu Kush Adventure, which means I’ll be there over Ramadan, and – hopefully – in photogenic conditions (blue skies, colourful autumn leaves, turquoise melt water rivers). I would have liked to have done the Shandur Pass camp, which is the main difference between the two trips, but then again I am (inevitably) drawn to the journey up the Khyber Pass on the Khyber Steam Train…..
Day 1: Depart UK
Day 2: Arrive Islamabad
Day 3: Transfer to Peshawar, old town
Day 4: Khyber Steam Train up the Khyber Pass
Day 5: Drive over the Lowari Pass to Ayun
Day 6: Into to the Kalash Valley
Day 7: Kalash
Day 8: Kalash and Wild Frontiers hideaway
Day 9: Chitral Town
Day 10: Mastuj
Day 11: Mastuj and walk up the Yakund Valley
Day 12: Over the Shandur Pass to Kalti PTDC
Day 13: Gilgit
Day 14: Hunza
Day 15: Hunza
Day 16: Karimabad and Gilgit
Day 17: Fly to Islamabad
Day 18: Early morning flight to UK
To be honest, looking at the itineries on the WF website, I reckon that I could happily spend *months* on trips with them in Central Asia they’re offering Gateways to Tartary, Silk Road Odyssey, Trans Caspian Adventure, Silk Road Mountains and Towns. They have trips in Tibet/China, and even Afghanistan……