I got up as the sun started warming my tent. I planned on having a slice of Apricot Cake as part of my breakfast but my shrunken stomach only accepted one paratha and a couple of boiled eggs. The ride to Sost (the last town before the border with China) was fairly short, but nice. I can now say with certainty that Passu is my favourite place I have seen in Pakistan. I also really liked the look and feel of Morkhun, which I passed today. Everyone here was cheery and I received enthusiastic greetings from men, women and children alike. Even the girls made eye contact and offered hellos before I had a chance to say anything. In comparison, Sost is a very ordinary last stop and I have found little special about the place except for the hills from which it’s carved, which are pretty spectacular, albeit less so than the scenery of the last few days.

On arrival in Sost I went straight to the NATCO office to secure a seat on Monday’s bus into China, given that China does not let you cycle over the border. The ticket price was 2,800r for me plus 800r for the bike. I was unwillingly accompanied to the bus office by a guy who wanted me to see his hotel. I followed him and looked at a couple of rooms. I decided the guy was nice and decided to stay, choosing the cheaper room (500r, AU$6.25) as my own. After getting clean, I walked into town for food, choosing a little roadside restaurant where I got biryani for 150r (AU$1.85). On my way back to the hotel I bought a coke and some chocolate bars. Once in my room, I settled myself on the bed, put in some ear phones and proceeded to drink my coke and munch on my chocolate bars while listening to music and dozing peacefully.

In the evening I went for a walk to hilltop that overlooks Sost before returning to the same little restaurant for dinner, where I got chicken curry and chapatti. The chapatti was the best I have had in all of Pakistan: thin and crispy in the centre and thick and soft around the edges. As I ate I got to know Abbas, who runs the café and hopes to open his own travel agency one day. After dinner, I bought some snacks to get me through tomorrow. I’m planning to cycle to Khunjerab Pass and back!

On the move again

Accommodation $ Hotel
Distance ridden today 41.84km
Average cycling speed 14.5kph
Total distance ridden 18,995km