Last day in Pakistan. Tomorrow afternoon I will arrive in Bucharest after two months of expedition, two months of 1000% living.
The almost one month of hard work up the steep icy slopes...The 15 fleeting minutes atop the big Mountain... Thank you, Broad Peak/8047m, for giving and for teaching me so much!
In Islamabad now, re-learning how to sleep in a real bed. Feels a bit unreal.
The flight from Skardu to Islamabad had been two times canceled due to bad weather and I was super lucky to have caught a third flight. A fourth flight was canceled as well. A big queue of people started to form and it would have been increasingly difficult to get into the plane. "Local intelligence" told me that this "bad weather" reason is not always true. They simply have a shortage of planes and they often send the planes to other destinations using the bad weather as a good excuse. The second option would have been the 27 hour road drive, crossing through Chillas, a town famed for its security concerns. Only two weeks ago six policemen had been shot there by the insurgents.
...but it is not about this I initially intended to write in this post...
For myself, meeting and interacting and trying to know the ways of the local people is as important as climbing the mountain.
It was just one day before ending the almost 100km trek back from the base camp to the remote village of Askole. I was waiting for Liviu Mihaiu's call from Radio Guerrilla and trying to get a good satellite signal. I sat on a big stone, not far from a lone porter who was having a rest as well, arranging his big load. He had his back against me. When he turned, my mouth dropped while I recognized Hussain, a Balti man whom I met back in 2007, on my Gasherbrum 1 expedition. He was then carrying to the base camp my big black Pelikan box containing the communications equipment I was using to send feeds to Realitatea TV. This totally unexpected encounter was simply one of the most special moments of the whole expedition.