Back to the northwest region of Pakistan after 29 years. With the help of Wild Frontiers, I travelled from Islamabad to Chitral by road (17.5 hours), crossing over Lowri Pass. Then on to Ayun, where we stayed with the ruler in his palace, with its beautiful garden and orchard. From Ayun, we travelled up to the Birir Valley and had our first encounter of the trip with the Kalash people.
Our plan to travel to the Rumbar Valley had to be put on hold as the only bridge had been damaged, and the police closed the road. Attar, our local guide, eventually arranged transport to pick us up on the other side of the damaged bridge. The police then let us travel up the gorge that led to the Bumburet and Rumbar valleys.
After returning to Chitral, the road took us to Mastuj, over Shandur Pass and on to Gilgit. After a brief stay, we travelled up the Karakoram highway into the Hunza Valley.