Part of driving overland around the world is to look for hidden gems and visit untouched regions, and destinations. Why would you only visit Iconic locations easily accessible by plane/car or ship which often are expensive, all you’re doing is battling the crowds and less friendly than the more remote parts of the country. In these lesser-known destinations, the food is more authentic and much cheaper, bush camping everywhere or when near a beach no-one around.
All guests to Pakistan are held in high esteem and considered a blessing from God. Better off people even slaughter sheep or goat for their guest as we experienced. Having bush camped near villages we were looked upon as guest of the whole village. This open heartedness, great hospitality and help given by the people of Pakistan is what our visit made it so special. A special thanks to a few people in Pakistan, Mukaram Tareen Jahangard for looking after us while in Lahore and pointing out all highlights in Pakistan. Mr Tayyab from Tourism Pakistan who together with Mukaram Tareen organized our permits to travel in restricted areas. The police special force in Quetta for looking after us while in Quetta and the Anti-Terrorist squad also known as the elite Force and the police commando’s for protecting us during the 750 km crossing of Baluchistan to the Iran border.
A overland adventure to Pakistan has to include the wild and beautiful north of Pakistan travel the famous Karakorum Highway, narrow tracks and mountain passes to small remote villages, This region has some of the highest and most impressive mountains in the world. old fortresses, the Hunza and Chitral valleys, home to the small pre-Islamic Kalasha. Other must do areas are The Kashmir region, Skardu, Gilgit, Hunza, Chilas, Swat Valley, Peshawar, Islamabad, Lahore, Multan, Quetta, and the Baluchistan Region. Last but not the least, the daily border ceremony on the Pakistan side
Abbottabad; the city has gained fame as the site where Osama Bin Laden, leader of Al Qaeda, was shot and killed on May 2, 2011it was known locally as the Waziristan Haveli. Interesting fact is that the compound was located on the end of a dirt road only a few hundred meters away from the Military Academy.
We never completed the Karakorum highway due to a massive landslide which created a lake in January 2010 and at the time of our arrival our truck was too big to be ferried across the lake. However we are told the new tunnels are now open and so is the brand new road all the way to the China Border.
India is the second most populated country in the world, (2014) India is projected to be the world’s most populous country in the world in the next 10 years overtaking China. India is one of the oldest civilizations in the world with a kaleidoscopic variety and rich cultural heritage. India covers most climates from the snow-covered Himalayan heights to the tropical rain forests of the south. the stark difference between rich and poor that is noticed as you travel overland through the new and old parts of its cities. From world-class airports and hotels, luxurious shopping malls, restaurants, pubs and cafes to overcrowded streets and alleyways in the same cities with little shops offering every possible modern and ethnic product and native street food to beggars and people living in the medium strip in a carton box.
6 Months overland travel in India was not enough. India is diverse in nature, people, tribes, cuisine, faiths, dance forms, music, arts, crafts, spirituality and history. Everything from the 7th wonder of the world the Taj Mahal, to artistic palaces and forts of India that were crafted hundreds of years ago, vast tract of forests that are home to many exquisite wildlife and showcase bountiful nature at its best in its range of national parks and sanctuaries located across the length and breadth of the country.
Must visit in
Dehli & Agra, Jaisalmer, Jaipur, Bikaner, Amritsar, Jammu & Kashmir Region, Ladakh region, Shrinagar, Shimla, Manali, Rishikash, Rohtang Pass, Ley, Udaipur,
Kolkata, Puri, Chennai (Madras) Puducherry, Mysuru, Kanchipuram, Mahabalipuram,
Varanasi, Raipur, Hampi, Bengaluru, (Bangalore) Hyderabad
WESTERN and SOUTHERN INDIA
Mumbai (Bombay) Goa Region, Kochi, (Cochin) Kerala Region (the most picturesque part of India we think) Mahabaleshwar, Kanyakumari also known as Cape Comorin, the Southern Most tip of the Indian Subcontinent. Kanyakumari is popular because it is the only places on earth where you can see the Sun Rise and Sun Set from the ocean. It is even more special and spectacular on Chitra Paurnami [full moon that occurs in Apr-May] when one can view both the sun and the moon facing each other on the same horizon.
Unfortunately, we never visited the far North East of India, main reason border with Myanmar was closed at the time and we were running out of Visa and Temporary Import Requirements.