The Sikh Golden Temple is one of the most sensational places I have been. The temple and its surrounding are imbued with spiritual energy. Imagine the gold glitter in the first sunlight with the melodious singing of a guru...
WELCOME TO INDIA!
What!? I'm here? I can't believe this! .
This border crossing is very special. One can feel the rivalry between both countries in the air.
And a same, but different world opens up in front of me! India here I come!
This is my last night in Pakistan. This country has made me reflect more about the western world than any other place I have been before. I have written an article about my experience in Balochistan, see link in Bio.
One word, Pakistan: wow.
Today I crossed the 10.000 km mark! I can't believe I've come so far. So many splendid places! So many wonderful people!
Looking back, I already feel that this trip has changed me as a person. I can't say exactly how. But I'm sure of one thing : whatever it is, this change has been good, profoundly good.
I am now at the gates of India. I'm so grateful that I have made it that far. THANK YOU to all those who have helped me along the way!
Tonight is my last night in the Pakistani mountains. Soon i'll bike south towards Islamabad, Lahore and then India. I feel immense gratitude for all those good souls who have welcomed me with a smile in their face and hearts. Thank you Hunza people!
Biking through the Hunza Valley has been some of the most refreshing and imposing experiences in my life. The mountains unfolded in front of me as the wind blew past my ears. I almost couldn't believe I was there, alone, free, yet small and nothing compared to the vastness of those painted mountains.
I made it to the Gate of China! At 4700m, this is the highest paved border crossing in the world. Temperature showed -30° Celsius. It was predictably closed and impossible to cross. I was so stoked to see the Chinese flag for the first time in this trip! We also had some crazy encounter with yacks on the way up. I have no idea how those animals survive at that temperature.
The closer I get to China as I travel north, the more people change. This man from Gilgit is the first man I saw with thin eyes. I couldn't stop looking at him. He was the living proof that China is near.
This lake didn't exist in 2009. It was created after a landslide created a natural damn and entirely submerged a village and the old Silk Road under it. Now the Chinese have built a tunnel which allows us to connect China and Pakistan by road. That's where I am going
On May 2, 2011, U.S "SEAL Team Six" landed with helicopters on the place in the picture and breached the walls with explosives. Osama Bin Laden was hiding there for five years and died at the hands of the commandos.
I biked there on new years eve, nervous about what I was about to find. The place today is a playground for kids which were excited to see my bicycle. I had a amazing time playing with them that afternoon.
This pretty much sums up my experience of Pakistan so far. We all have some vague idea about this country being home for terrorists and other fanatics. However, not once have I felt under physical threat since I arrived here 20 days ago. Quite the contrary, i have been welcome with rich food and unrivaled hospitality. Granted, Pakistan is one of the most conservative countries I have ever visited. But that makes them strive for virtue in a peaceful way. Their curiosity makes them very approachable. Simple fact: In no other country have I found it so easy to hug a stranger than in Pakistan. I am glad I biked through this country to see how things really are.
Architecture is getting exotic. That's the tomb of the Sufi Rukn-e-Alam. Sufism an order of Islam which searches for God, Love or Truth inside oneself rather than in strict following of rules.
"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about." ~Rumi
I paid the boys some lunch after a full day of protecting me. They earned it, they brought me wherever I needed, always patient and helping. Some kebab for everyone! Thank you guys!