Nerve wrecking moments

Cricket is without a doubt the number one sport in Pakistan. But in gilgit, cricket has competition. Polo is the sport of the Himalaya and everywhere you walk you see children playing with selfmade polo sticks. The older men play the real game. Proudly they pass by on their horses on their way to the polo field.

We are on our way to a carved buddha statue just outside Gilgit. As we don¡¯t know the exact road, we ask around several times. Unfortunately most people here drive four wheel drive cars and we are directed on a dirt track. As we decided to spare hippie, we turn around and ask some more. Then we find another road which leads us to another obastacle, a suspension bridge. The wood looks worn out and the iron ropes old and rusty. Is this bridge built for cars, we ask ourselves. As there isn¡¯t a soul in the area we search for tyre tracks but can¡¯t find any proper ones. If the bridge is built for cars will it hold hippie?

The excitement is there and we want to cross it. Then a small car arrives and drives across. Our turn! Slowely we drive hippie onto the bridge. The bridge squeeks and rocks heavily under the weight of the car. By this time our hearts are pounding. In first gear we crawl forward. The bridge still swings but seems to hold. Halfway we hear the iron ropes squeek and we hope they are going to hold. We don¡¯t look down as the river is far beneath us, rushing through the gorge. Then after some nervewrecking moments we reach the other side. Pfeww, that was very cool. A few minutes past the bridge we reach the point from where we can see the Buddha carving. Nice but not as spectacular as driving across the bridge. On the way back we cross the bridge again. This time no pounding hearts but sheer excitement.

Another wonderful day in the Himalaya¡¯s!