Fauzia arrived at 7 o-clock on the dot. In her car were her sister and her nephew, Roshaan. Fauzia had invited me on a day out to see Pakistan’s famous salt mine at Khewra. Wow! I have never seen anything like it. An entire mountain range made almost entirely of salt. It’s mind-blowing to think of the geological processes that created such a wondrous place. Catching the little train into the mine was like travelling into a fantasy land. The walls were pink and translucent, just like…well, just like a natural salt crystal. Where there should have been rock, there was pure salt. Particularly impressive was the walls and other structures that had been constructed out of salt bricks inside of which lights had been placed so that they glowed as if alive. Even though salt has been mined here since being found by Alexander the Great’s horses (who licked the stones in the area) a few hundred years B.C., there is still no end in sight to the salt reserves. For the time being, only fifty percent of the salt in any given area is being removed, with the remaining fifty percent being left to support the mountain. The afternoon took us through the surrounding hills to see Fauzia’s ancestral home, where I was shown one of the coolest trees I have seen. It was two trees actually, but they had grafted themselves together so intimately that it was hard to see where one tree ended and the other began. As if to convey a message for racial equality and acceptance, the bark of one tree was white while that of the other was brown.
|Accommodation||Home of a lovely family|
|Distance ridden today||0km|
|Total distance ridden||18,798km|