NB: Posted by Ingrid, but written by Maria.

At the mountain pass between China and Pakistan the road becomes one third narrower and the landscape numerous times wilder. The turquoise river and yellow leaves stand fluorescent against the massive amounts of beige and gray rock.
We slowly drive needle-sharp curves on steep mountainsides. Some small landslides and springs cross the road.

We arrive in Sust after dark. The friendly border-guards have been waiting for us and guide us smoothly through customs.
Here we get our first close look at the pakistani trucks. They are thoroughly decorated marvels with expanded carved fronts, colorful flowery patterns, wildlife motive miniatures and dingely stuff made of fabric and metal. In short, they make dusty Attila look even more grey.

The next days we spend walking the hills of Passu and Gulmit. We get especially exited by the suspension bridges. Wind pulling our clothes, we walk on wires and airily distributed sticks and boards with pounding hearts and grinning faces.The cameras are running hot trying to capture the overwhelming landscape.

Next stop is the ridiculously scenic town of Karimabad. We drink tea and say superlatives about the scenicness. We feast on chicken. We drink tea and play Trivial Pursuit. We get a guided tour at the Baltit fort. We drink tea and chat with the shopkeepers i Bazaar-street. And of course we need to climb the hills up to "Eagles nest" to see the sunset over Hunza Valley from a birds' perspective.
The hospitable locals, fresh air and great scenery (and tea) makes us want to linger. But as we have a date in Kathmandu in not too long and the situation in Swat is getting more than tense we decide to get moving.

In Gilgit we meet up with gentle Abbas. Anders met him on his way down KKH, and passed his phone number on to us. Abbas works as a guide, mostly with trekking, and it soon becomes clear to us that he's the man to have aboard for a secure journey southwards. He agrees.
We also hook up with Bashir, a merry smart-mustached gentleman we met in China. After admiring his fruit-garden we have a grand evening of drinking tea and solving some world-problems.

Abbas goes with us all the way to Lahore, with overnight stops in Chilas, Besham, Abbotabad and Guirat. The landscape, vegetation, hats, robes and beard-colours are changing rapidly along the way, sometimes even from one village to the next. The temperature is rapidly rising. As is the amount of spices in the dall.
When we turn on the TV in Guirat to watch the news, all the news channels are dead. Musharraf has declared state of emergency, and Cecilie in Bejing can inform us that the Broadcast building and High Court in Islamabad are surrounded by the army. We decide to drop sightseeing in Lahore for this time around, and head straight for the border the next morning.

Pakistani border: A guard askes "May I borrow a ballpoint pen, sir?". He may, and writes on the side of the bus; "I love Pakistan Rangers"