Having packed a bag last night in readiness, I got away quickly in the morning and began my hike before the sun’s heat made me think twice, but for the life of me I couldn’t find the path on which Roshaan had taking me the day before yesterday. I could see where I needed to end up however, and I slowly made my way there on a circuitous route. Eventually I came across a spot I recognised. When Roshaan and I had hiked out there, we’d stopped at a point where a torrent of water divides the two opposing cliff faces along which the hiking trail runs. The rushing water appeared to create an un-crossable barrier, but I was determined to get across. It was a little hair-raising, involving one flying leap between slippery boulders, but I managed to find a way to the other side. I had a vague idea that the trail leads around the mountainside to Eagle’s Nest, but I wasn’t certain. Whether or not I made to Eagle’s Nest, I knew I would have a nice hike nonetheless (the incredible views in every direction making certain of that), so I pushed on. In the end I came across Eagle’s Nest without knowing it. I was dodging the settlement when I happened to see a little sign mentioning the lookout. I had until then assumed the lookout was at the top of a massive hill to my left, which was the highest peak in the area and which I didn’t have the time or energy to climb. The view from Eagle’s Nest was very nice and I shot a video before wondering how to get back home: do I walk the very long way back along the road, or do I backtrack the way I’d come? I decided to backtrack and brave another flying leap across the dangerous waterway.
I had only taken a few little snacks with me so I was starving by the time I got home. As I was having lunch at Rainbow Hotel, I got chatting to three other diners who turned out to be two brothers and a sister. Long story short, they invited me to join them on a drive into Hoper Valley, where yesterday I’d been too lazy to visit. Described as the most beautiful in the Nagar district, the valley was a beautiful sight. I joined my new friends for dinner, meeting their mum in the process. With her kids translating, she asked me all sorts of questions about life in Australia and I in turn learned a lot more about life in Pakistan. She was particularly interested in understanding how I could live a life that was so independent of my family. Aren’t I neglecting my family, particularly my parents, by being away from them for so long? The questions stem from the fact that in Pakistan (and generally speaking) parents work hard to support their children well into adulthood, even providing land and houses, and in return they are cared for by their children as they get older. Families are much tighter as a result, with many generations living under one roof. It was a while before I satisfied her concerns – the effective point of my explanation being that in Australia, we work hard to create a secure future for ourselves so that our kids are free to live independent lives, relieved of the burden of caring financially for our parents. This system is also buoyed by our relatively good health care system and other forms of government assistance.
|Distance ridden today||0km|
|Total distance ridden||18,902km|