After two months, three dangerously overstayed visas and a lost passport, our little adventure has come to an end. Here’s a quick rundown on what we have learned for anyone interested in paddling Pakistan.
As a yorkshireman, I was born triple-hard. Those not fortunate enough to have been born in God’s own county will naturally be concerned about personal safety. It would be irresponsible to suggest that Pakistan is ‘as safe as houses’. We did encounter violence during the trip, most of which was the result of petty arguments and climaxed with a grown-up playground-style scuffle. There are also guns in Pakistan; at one point whilst running away from gunfire, Griff commando rolled under barbed wire. True story. The only sensible advice would be to remain positive, friendly and calm; after all, who could ever get angry at Dave Benson-Phillips?
Logistics, accommodation and everything else
In a word, Amin. Amin will mention the name of a guy who is friends with his cousin’s friend’s uncle and the hotel bill will drop a decimal point or two. Amin will personaly deliver matches to your isolated multiday campsite because 'who wants cold tea?' Amin drinks two pints of milk a night to give him ‘stamina’ and having spent time in Europe, Amin understands why we wear such short shorts. Without Amin, we would have paddled less and spent more. And he’s more than just a driver, he’s a great friend. Incidentally, he’s asked us to shop around for a British wife. Applications on a postcard.
Eventually, we’ll write a ‘what we did on our holidays’ style report on the rivers that we enjoyed. Until then, I can promise you that hiding away amongst the monsters are some truly beautiful sections of whitewater.
Here’s a final few photos of our 'expedition'. We had a great time and would again like to thank Palm for their help with the equipment and saint-like patience with my idle ramblings. We’re in India now and if you’ll have me, I’ll continue to keep you posted.