I have found my Shangri La. In the Pakistani mountain village called Aliabad where I stayed for a week to explore the Pakistani Himalayas.
Only goats to see on the trails here
Renting a motorbike to explore, reading books and relaxing was nice, but the real highlight of the journey was trekking to the base camp of the Rakaposhi mountain.
Me and a traveler from Hong Kong who I had met in Islamabad started off leaving with the 7am bus from Aliabad to the village of Minapin where we would start the trek. We had a good breakfast and only packed a small backpack with jackets and water before we sett off towards the mountain.
Some of the trails near the cliffs
Along the way up we only saw two shepherds and two locals working on painting trails, and absolutely no tourists or other trekkers. Probably because the season officially ends in September there. The trek was absolutely stunning from the first hour. We walked past dense forests, open fields with 360° view of the surrounding mountains and narrow trails along sleep cliffs.
At the end, the trails went along snow capped mountain ridge where we had perfect views over the glacier sepparating the Rakaposhi Mountain and the Diran Mountain. And as we reached the top there was a flat field, shielded from the cold winds where there were only two empty huts standing.
The sun was about to set and we had counted on the huts being open, cooking tea, food and renting out camping gear, but noone was there and we had to walk down in the dark, only to reach Aliabad again at 9 in the evening.
The empty Rakaposhi base camp
The trek is usually done in two or three days and I would not reccommend anyone doing it in one unless you are a very fast walker. Walking in the dark, cold and starving it was not a pleasant end of the trip, but when we got back we told ourselves that it was still totally worth it.