PAKISTAN Kashmir – BAGH

I passed by the very touristic Muree to get to Kashmir. There is usually lots oftraffic, especially during the weekends as lots people go out to the nature. With traffic jams it can take many hours to even get to Kashmir ‘border’ bridge. The aim was to explore Bagh’s surroundings (Bagh, as a town by itself has nothing to offer). We arrived late. The strangest thing was that nobody wanted to host me. All hotels (we tried all of them) refused or kicked me out knowing that I’m foreigner and not my companion’s wife though, even though we were going to stay in separate rooms. All this after lots of talks and conferences on how Pakistan is developing tourism, opening up for it and welcoming to its guests…. Really? It seemed locals in that part of Kashmir had no idea about it and didn’t give a damn about any traveler and tourism. At the same time complaining that they need more money. As you see, there as usually lots of ‘logic’ in locals thinking. My travel companion asked one local if he knew where it would be possible to stay for a night. That local showed the last hotel we had not yet tried. These 2 guys wasted half of an hour convincing the hotel worker let me to stay there. They had lots rooms free but still refused to accept me. Eventually they did, but we had to pay double price and take 2 rooms, as just one would not correspond with Muslim rules of right behavior. Sure, they knew that we were going to stay in the same room, separate beds. But seems it was just a reason to make us pay as much as possible. The hotel was crappy but we needed to stretch our bodies and rest, it was midnight. My companion brought his own 3kg of prepared meat for a barbeque. He asked a local chef to grill it. He did it but in the end we had to pay 600 (instead of about 100 that usually costs) rupees for that service, (to buy a grilled chicken breast can cost just 100 rupees….) plus he gave us back at most just 1 kg of meat. A real robbery, but we were too tired to fight. Of course the other local who accompanied us to the hotel asked for 1000 rupees too. Real robberies, but he got less. We’d had enough of crappy disrespect. The next morning we went to explore the nature and to not interact with impolite, cheating locals. Pakistanis are known for their hospitality (especially in Peshawar and Hunza), but Kashmir is on the other side of this human value. We went toward Toli Peer and then Sudhan Galli. The nature is beautiful. A really pleasant calm, fresh air and beauty. We were in a hurry to explore, at the same time making a discotheque in our car. My companion just repeated that we need to be on time to the capital. He had very important duties, to pick up a consular of an embassy. It took about 6 hours driving to get to Islamabad from Bagh, to be on time for the 2am pick up from the airport. We arrived at 10pm. More than enough time before the flight, but next day I saw that my companion fell asleep and didn’t pick anyone up from the airport.

Had some bad experiences with Kashmiri men what you can find in https://www.vanetatrips.com/2020/03/31/pakistan-2019-males-police-and-safety-cheaters-and-other-beauties/#more-1406

 

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Diana Vaneta

Just another wonderful day. In my stories you won't find lots of descriptions of visited and seen beauties. Usually such information is easy to find on the internet. For me, the most important is how visiting places and meeting people made me feel. The real beauty of a country can hardly be described by words. In order to preserve privacy, all the names of persons in my stories are changed. And unfortunately my destinations are not intended for lazy, comfort-searching tourists. My priority is to explore countries which are considered ‘dangerous', complicated or out of the average lists of tourist destinations and mainly involve places, which there is little or no information about. You would ask, why? My answer is, because usually in those countries people tend to be the most incredibly welcoming, friendly, respectful, helpful. Every time I leave them, I leave a piece of me with my newfound family.

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