Friday, April 19, 2019

Hunza Valley

We’ve been in the mountains for the past few days.  The weather has lived up to mtn weather - drizzle, sleet/snow and beautiful blue skies.  Travelling through some very conservative tribal areas on the 2 day drive from Islamabad. Seeing young girls in the villages, but not a single adult female. Really weird and sounds like a very difficult life for women here.

The Hunza Valley is such a contrast. Most are Ismaili Muslims and very progressive. Excellent schools, universities and a very high literacy rate in Gilgit along with lots of mtn tourism. I saw 2 different woman driving cars!!

Very chilly and snowing at the China/Pakistan border (highest border crossing in the world)

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

The Long Road....

Chai stops are always welcome! 

Chickens! (what’s for dinner?)

Chai stops are always welcome. 

Our Indigenous population used Inukshuks to find their way and Bhudists used carvings to show the way. 

Chicken!  (what’s for dinner?)

Lots of police checkpoints - they want to promote tourism and take it seriously. We passed by Osama Bin Laden’s home on our way in Abottabad. 

First we saw the fire truck and then the firemen!!

The Long Way Home

Once we arrived in Islamabad from Lahore we began our looonnngg drive along the Karakoram Highway to make our way north. The scenery and people have changed dramatically again.  The road conditions have been varied with road construction; road that needs reconstruction and new highway. 

We stopped at Taxila on the way to Beshram. Bhudist 

Taxila Museum 30 km from Islamabad

The start of the amazing scenery on our 2 day drive along the Karakorum Highway towards Beshram, and the Hunza Valley 

Another visitor to Gilgit

Friday, April 12, 2019

Let's get ready to rumble....

So far Pakistan has not disappointed. The people are friendly and continually asking for selfies with us and wondering where we are from. Interesting that our guide always answers that our group is from Canada when someone asks. 

We had a great experience at lunch in Multan when a local young man paid for ALL of our meals!! 

The other unexpected surprise was being spectators at a mud wrestling competition!!  The wrestlers are matched by weight, cover themselves in mustard seed oil and then add sand in anticipation of the match. 

One of our security guards “Fidel Castro”

Monday, April 8, 2019


The blog has been resurrected for another trip, sans bike... I have to sort out how to use this blog again, it’s been so long since I posted. Also posting from my iPhone as I didn’t bring my computer along.

I’m away for a trip to Pakistan - part 1 is Lahore/southern Pakistan and part 2 is northern Pakistan from Islamabad. Part 3 is Afghanistan!!  I’m with a friend from Calgary, Carla, and her friend, Jenny, from Toronto and 10 new friends!  We have Canada well represented as well as Scotland, Ireland, UK and Australia.  Many of these travellers have done multiple trips with Lupine, so I’m the newbie.  Our guide is a local from Lahore called Peter and he is wonderful. The local tour operator/owner, Karim, is a Pakistani-Canadian. That was a real surprise.  It came to light as we were showing off our green/white hand paint and he remarked it could also be the Roughriders colours - huh? Where did that reference come from??  He lives in Saskatchewan!!

I must learn how to post photos from my phone, so will be able to add some pics from this trip.
Day 1 will be hard to top with a trip to the Wagha border.   Stay tuned.

Turkish Delight

Goat head stew anyone?  A local delicacy....

Pakistani Rangers at the Wagha Station flag lowering ceremony between India and Pakistan. Each country trying to outdo the other with cheers, chants and patriotism. Happens every day at the only border crossing between Pakistan & India.  
The video is of an audience member showing a lot of enthusiasm 

Saturday, April 6, 2019

“In Limbo” 2018

“In “Limbo” does describe how I felt in 2018....

I must confess that 2017 was an amazing year and filled with incredibly satisfying and life affirming experiences. Coming back to work and the routine of everyday life was difficult for me. I was re- reading some of my old blogs and my summary of India filling ALL of my senses was certainly an apt description.

I struggled with my old friend “depression” upon my return and felt myself floundering to keep my head above water at work and at home. Time marches on and in retrospect I should have sought out some counseling.

2018 arrived and I signed up for a mountain biking trip to Moab, Utah with a group of ladies from Spin Sisters in April. My training was inconsistent and I had packed on extra weight again too.  Off I went and day 1 involved an awkward fall off the bike which ultimately resulted in a left tibial plateau fracture and strained medial collateral ligament (MCL).  No surgery required, but a fracture in my knee joint was difficult - crutches x 8 weeks, non-weight bearing and off work x 4 months!!

In the midst of this, there was large fire at my condo in May which burned off the 4th floor (I live on 3rd) and there was extensive smoke & water damage. Being displaced for the next 10 months was a challenge.  Thank goodness for family and a wonderful group of friends. I would not have made it through this without them. My Dad & Lise housed me and provided much needed support. My friends took care of me in endless thoughtful ways - weekends at a lake cabin, emotional support and I’m so lucky to have my network of friends and family.

In the process of healing both my mind and body, my friend Carla was talking about a trip to Pakistan in April 2019.  This sounded very intriguing to me and I decided to sign up too. The trip is through Lupine Travel, a UK company. And today here I am in Lahore, Pakistan.  Let the adventures begin!!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

My Favourite Photos


Day 1

Day 40

Taj Mahal

A reminder of the daily chai stops

The philosophical conversations that took place during bike clinic

Indian boys - "Posers" everywhere!  A very male-centric society

Oh, the beautiful faces you will see....

Early morning on the bridge

Tiffin box delivery and sort - Churchgate Station, Mumbai

Churchgate Station - Mumbai

Indian Bikes!

"Ice Cream" Hindu Temples

Lunch stops in the shade

They repair everything

Gawd - laundry was a daily chore..... No laundry = no internet 'til it's done!


Hand carved teak wood blocks for block printing on fabric

Kiln dried, hand made clay/straw bricks that created so many homes along the way

My 2 favourite guys - Dennis & Morris!!

Daily trip sheet

The flagging tape that guided us every day to our destinations

The Finale

EFI Baby! 
[I rode Every F*cking (fabulous) Inch]

My last day in India....