Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Shigar Valley trip of Sept 2009

The trip back from Shigar Valley was spent in Skardu.
Skardu is the capital of Baltistan, at an altitude of 8500 and above. From Skardu, we drove to Satpara Lake, a name derived from Sat,(seven) Para (springs) sevensprings which form the Lake in a valley. The Lake is pristine, clear as clear can be with the mountains reflected in it. A breathtaking sight.

The Satpara Dam is being built close by, which will generate enough electricity for Skardu and the neighbouring villages. The road also leads to the Dosai Plateau which in spring bursts forth with wild flowers and the plains are transformed.

We flew in from Islamabad in a PIA fokker plane, which flew above the Karakoram range. Seeing the peaks of Rakaposhi, Gashaerbaum 1 and 2, K2 in the distance, and Nanga Parbat was an awe inspiring moment. The pilot allowed us in the cockpit from where it felt as if one was cruising along between the mountains, over them, close to them. Such an amazing feeling, watching crests upon crests, endless snow capped peaks with aquamarine lakes way up in the mountains. Who could ever get there?
And from way up at 28000 feet you get to see the Indus snaking its way through the mountains, through valleys and mountains. The peaks alone still capped with snow. The rest bare, stark, steep, rocky at times, muddy at others.

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