Pakistan

Chitral - Gilgit track
The gravel road to the Shandour Pass is one car wide, exists of big rocks and is worn out by the car tires so that in the middle a wall of 20 cm high is formed. Left there is the mountain and on the right side the canyon with the river. We trail in first gear over the rocks and are very concentrated. One little mistake can be fatal. Only when we stop we have time to enjoy the views at the mountains.

Start of the Shandour Pass

The last 600 meter to the summit we have a many sharp and steep hairpins and Harald's Suzuki has problems to pull through (probably due to the high altitude and of less compression by worn out cylinder of the 160,000 ! km old engine). Harald revs up and Udo is pushing at the back and pushes him through the first hairpin. Then we ride 100 meter and there is another hairpin. Till three times Udo has to push Harald's bike. Totally exhausted we reach the summit of the Shandour at 3800 meters. The summit is wide and flat and at the Shandour Hotel we take a cola and come back to life. This costs a lot of energy.
We are glad that we made it sofar but realizing that the way down can also be difficult.

Steep hairpins to the Shandour pass

Problems to make the steep hairpins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A rest at the Shandour Hotel (3700 m); Udo drops his bike 3 times within 50 meters...

Later that afternoon Udo is so exhausted that within 50 meter he drops 3 times his bike. Now it is time to stop. We pitch our tent and make a hot noodle soup. The whole day we rode in first and second gear. We both agreed that this is the most toughest part we rode on our suzuki's. Our hands hurt from the bouncing steer and we feel the muscles in our back from balancing on the bike. And we still have 200 km to go...

Time for a noodle soup and camp

The next morning we are little bit nervous. How will be the rest of the track? We can feel relaxed when we arrive in Gilgit. The road is sometimes better so that we can ride parts in second gear. When we come out a curve there is a new surprise. A steep part uphill of 60 meters with halfway a big bump. Is this a speedbump? We don't think so, because we ride slowly. Udo revs it up and starts to climb. He get launched over the bump, both wheels in the air and when he touches the road the rear tire is spinning until Udo reaches the end of the climb. Later more fun. Now they made a part of the road of boulders. How the hell we can ride over this...

Road made of boulders...


At a certain moment Harald's bike stops. We think of some electrical problem but it turns out that his fuel is almost finished. He has to switch the fuel valve to reserve and have 3 liters to go... Luckely a few kilometers further we see a village where can buy some petrol. It turned out that we used 1 liter for 8 kilometers (12.5 l to 100 KM). Riding 2 days off road at this altitude in first and second gear with the same RPM's as normal in the 5th gear, we used much more petrol for less kilometers. If we knew that this track was so difficult we never would done it...
After 3 though days we reach Gilgit where we stay in a Japanese managed Hotel. The owners like to cook japanese food and we ordered some. It was really good.
In the hotel we met a japanese guy who did the Chitral-Gilgit track by horse. He thought by horse it was difficult. We did it on our "steel horses".

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