I met Nanga Parbat Adventure ( a tour organizer based in Islamabad Pakistan ) through European friends. For years I have wanted to know Pakistan and, of course, Gilgit Baltistan, where the highest mountains in the world rise in the sky. I am a traveler and I like to travel alone. I have toured all the continents of the world, except Australia. Arriving at the Islamabad airport exit on June 28, 2021, I just wanted to drink. I knew I was going to meet a NPA guide: here he is, very white dress that I adore, with a gentleman’s smile and a bottle of fresh water in his hand: as if he had read my thoughts.
This extraordinary empathy accompanied me throughout the legendary journey. A guest house with a delightful garden, a post-colonial Art Nouveau villa that I immediately remember the home of the great English writer in Nairobi (Kenya). Immediately, Abass, my guide, calmly, elegantly, an archeology student, accompanied me to visit the extraordinary museum of Buddhist vestiges.
I was struck by Islamabad’s resemblance to Washington, the capital of the United States. Modern, four-lane streets where gardeners worked to take care of flowers, grass and so on. Green parks everywhere, the seat of parliament and the great mosque, the high court of justice covered in white marble, mighty and designed by good architects. Colorful women with rainbow dresses. The men in their unmistakable Pakistani suit. The day after the beautiful Watts valley. The river, a tumultuous ocean in a silver ribbon. Buddhist vestiges on the road and spectacular views. The Margalla’s Hills, enchanting green hills that frame the great plain of Islamabad, with two million inhabitants.
Loving, from the movies, the colorful and painted trucks Abbas takes me to Rawalpindi, the old city divided by ISL only by a road. There is the enchantment of an entire square where the artisans of the sector restore and paint these old trucks that travel throughout Pakistan, from Karachi, in the South to China. Traveling meticulous art that makes you happy like most Pakistanis, ironic, kind, easy human contact. Then the Gilgit Baltistan: I remain with bated breath when flying over the sparkling mountain like a huge diamond: the Nanga Parbat. The mythical mountain that all of me knows for its beauty and might.
More, more, more than I expected: the most extraordinary spectacle I have seen in my life. A team of Liver Khan, the founder of the NPA Company, was waiting for me at Gilgit airport. Liver Khan through the Eden valley takes me to a delightful hotel next to the Parliament of this region.
Even there, the garden, flowers … gardeners always working to have the grass, a green carpet. Super welcome, surrounded by snow-capped mountains, fine and fresh air. Then the enchantment of the journey, on the Karakoram Highway to the border of China. Passing through Hunza and its visit able fortress, home to the Aga Khan lineage and the Israelite Muslims. A guide inside shows me the museum, the house, the furnishings. Liver Khan, welcomed by all with cordiality and affection: known everywhere and much loved. Of course, the rules of international tourism … but here as never before I felt like a local citizen.
I communicated with many who, despite speaking Urdu and Shina, were fluent in English, the national language of the state. Last but not least, Passu is his hotelier … extraordinary encounters, friends as if I had known forever. Great desire to return … to know the Pakistani land again. I wholeheartedly thank the NPA for organizing the most beautiful trip of my life in my last years. With gratitude! Alessandra Chinaglia, Venice, Italy.