Day to Day
B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
Day 1 - Arrive Islamabad/Rawalpindi
You will be met at the airport for a 30 minute transfer to our hotel in Rawalpindi.
The city of Rawalpindi is a garrison town established under the British Raj, and it
is still the headquarters of the Pakistani Army. The city is rather sprawling with
enormous and complicated bazaars where you can easily get lost, but they are
great fun to explore and everyone is extremely friendly. We meet up for a trip
briefing and then have dinner.
Shalimar Hotel. Rawalpindi D
Day 2 - Skardu - Khaplu
After breakfast we head to the airport for our flight to Skardu. This short, but
spectacular, one-hour flight skirts past the breathtaking Rupal and Diamir faces of
Nanga Parbat. It is even possible to catch a fleeting glimpse of K2 and the other
high peaks of the Baltoro in the distance before landing at Skardu. After lunch in
town we continue our journey which will take 2 to 3 hours by jeep on a
spectacular road beside the Indus to the village of Khaplu. At 2600m-high we will
be beginning our acclimitaztion in this village of stone houses. Here we check
into our hotel located high above the village with magnificent views over the rock
spires and towers that mark the entrance to the Hushe Valley.
BT Hotel. B L D
Day 3 - Khaplu –Thalley Brok - Khaplu
As part of our acclimatisation we will spend our day at the lovely settlement of
Khaplu, with its stunning views across the broad valley of the Shyok to the Batura
Spires. Depending on how we feel we will either take a short cycle, 16 km, on a
part-finished jeep road up to a lake where the views of the Karakoram peaks are
superb. If we are acclimatizing well we'll go for a longer cycle, 50 km, up the
Thalley Valley where the landscape varies from the sands of the Indus Valley to
the high snow-capped peaks. Returning to our hotel in Khaplu there will be time
to explore the old polo field and the beautiful, 600 year-old Rajah's Palace.
BT Hotel. Ride 50 km. B L D
Day 4 - Khaplu - Hushe - Khaplu
Testing out our lungs we will have an undulating ride as we cross a number of
‘nullahs’or small river valleys until we reach the beginning of the Hushe River
Valley. Here the road gradually ascends to Hushe Village on a rough jeep track.
Hushe is the highest village in the area at a height of 3100 metres (10,200 feet)
and is the last permanent habitation in this area, with the huge bulk of
Masherbrum (also known as K1) at 7,821 metres (25,659 ft) dominating the
valley to the north. After lunch it is nearly all downhill, as we ride back to our hotel
BT Hotel. Ride 60 km. B L D
Day 5 - Khaplu - Skardu
Following the eastern banks of the Shyok River to Kiris, the once wild jeep track
has now been tarred resulting in an excellent biking road. With hardly any traffic
but passing through a succession of small, lush villages set against a backdrop of
dramatic mountains, this road is made for riding. Beyond Kiris and the confluence
of the Shyok and Indus rivers, the landscape becomes more barren but
unforgettable. It is a full day's ride to our hotel in Skardu although there will be
time to explore this wild west bazaar town which is the gateway for all expeditions
to K2, the second highest mountain in the world.
Skardu Mashabrum Hotel. Ride 100 km. B L D
Day 6 - Skardu - Deosai Plateau
It is a relatively decent tarmac road out of Skardu which climbs steeply to the
beautiful Satpara Lake and continues up on to the Deosai Plateau. It’s a hard
slog of around 35 km with a 2000 metre climb to reach the start of the plateau,
where the terrain levels out. Our aim is to reach the start of the national park and
set up our camp (4100 m) close to a lake.
Tented Camp. Ride 50 km. B L D
Day 7 - Across the Deosai Plateau
Now on the Deosai Plateau proper it’s only a short climb up to the Chachur Pass
(4200m / 13,780ft). There is only a rough dirt jeep track to follow now, with the
occasional small river crossing. Beyond Sheosar Lake, our route turns into a
downhill blast. We aim for a side jeep road, which has a short climb up to the
village of Tarashing. Here, we will camp (4200 m) in the shadow of the mighty
Rupal Face of Nanga Parbat, the ninth highest mountain in the world.
Tented Camp. Ride 60 km. B L D
Day 8 - Deosai Plateau - Astor - Muskin
We have time for a short exploration in the morning, before a fantastic descent to
the small bazaar town of Astor where we leave the Deosai. We then enter a
narrow gorge that descends to the mighty Indus River. Depending on our
progress we will look for a camp somewhere in the shade around Muskin.
Tented Camp. Ride 60 km. B L D
Day 9 - Muskin - Gilgit
More downhill biking into the roaring Indus Valley where we eventually cross the
river and climb onto its western bank to reach the Karakoram Highway. It's then a
rolling route that winds its way to Gilgit. Here, we check in to the comfortable
Chinar Inn that has a relaxing garden shaded by poplars and a chinar or plane
tree. Gilgit is another fascinating town and our first chance to take in the sights
and sounds of Hunza at the bazaar, as well as enjoy our first shower for a few
Chinar Inn. Ride 50 km. B L D
Day 10 - Gilgit - Karimabad
Today is our first day off the bikes in seven days! We load our bikes onto the
support vehicles for a drive up the KKH to the Hunza Valley, a journey of about 4
hours. On the way we will stop off at a cafe below Rakaposhi, which at 7788
metres (25,552 feet) is the 29th highest mountain on earth. Rakaposhi was first
climbed in 1958 by a British expedition that included George Banks and Tom
Patey. The glacier spilling down from its flanks reaches almost to the road. Once
we arrive in Karimbad we will explore this old capital city and the dramatic Balti
and Alti Forts. These 700-year-old forts were occupied by the former Mir's of
Hunza and were lived in until 1945. Once in a state of disrepair, these Tibetaninfluenced
forts have since been restored and provide a perfect window into the
lives of the Mir's.
Hunza embassy hotel. B L D
Day 11- Karimabad - Hopar - Karimabad
Today we explore Hunza's once rival state of Nagar. We bike down to the
Karakoam Highway and cross it for a stunning ride through the Nagar Valley. We
cycle on an old jeep road that follows the Hispar river to the village of Nagar and
climb gradually upwards for 800 metres to a spectacular viewpoint above the
village of Hopar, which lies at the end of the jeep road and the start of the jagged
Bualtar Glacier. There we have a well-earned lunch at the “Hopar Hilton”and if
you have the energy it is worth taking a short walk above Hopar for a magnificent
view of the Bualtar Glacier and the surrounding peaks of the Karakoram.
Retracing our tracks to Karimabad, it is downhill all the way, well nearly. From the
highway there is a last short climb to Karimabad, which should finish you off
Hunza embassy hotel l. Ride 30 km. B L D
Day 12 –Karimabad - Chalt
Back on the KKH, we drop down to Shia village of Chalt. This first hour of the day
is one of the most relaxed and beautiful sections of our trip, being a constant
downhill, cycling through small villages shaded by poplar trees and all
overshadowed by the huge white bulk of Rakaposhi. Just past Minapin we again
leave the main road and cross the river to join part of the original caravan route of
the Silk Road. Home to various fruit trees, you should try the local specialty of
nuts from the inside of apricot kernels. We celebrate our last night’s camping
within the gardens of the Mir’s house at Chalt.
Tented Camp. Ride 40 km. B L D
Day 13 - Chalt –Gilgit
From Chalt, we again join the KKH but only for a short while, as we soon re-cross
the river on a wild foot bridge and join the old road to Gilgit from Naltar. We follow
the river to Gilgit, arriving in time for a late lunch at our hotel. There will be plenty
of time in the afternoon to do some shopping or simply to relax. Gilgit has an
interesting bazaar, full of trade goods from China and Afghanistan.
Chinar Inn. Ride 60 km. B L D
Day 14 - Gilgit - Rawalpindi
After an early breakfast, we will go to Gilgit Airport and catch the flight to
Islamabad. It is a short transfer from our hotel in Rawalpindi to Islamabad Airport.
The afternoon is free to explore the bustling Raja Bazaar.
Shalimar Hotel Rawalpindi. B L D
Day 15 - Depart Islamabad/Rawalpindi
After breakfast we'll transfer you to the airport for onward travel.