our sponsors, you wouldn't see this site, please visit our
had our first trekking stage from Askole along the
river Braldu to Jola. The camps between trekking
stages are predetermined because there are only enough
space for tents and water at some places. The payment
of carrymen [porters] depends on the number of stages.
Askole to Jola there are 2 stages of about 10
kilometers each. Its better to get up early because
the more one goes in the coolness in the morning the
less one sweat on steep ascents on dusty paths in the
heat at noon.
starting, we have to do an time-consuming procedure:
the weighing and allocation of equipment to the
individual carrymen. Though all weights are already
trimmed to 25kg, all have to be re-weighed in front of
the carrymen. Our trek has the remarkable number of
160 carrymen, because we travel together with the
Spanish expedition. A lot of these carrymen transports
food for the carrymen themselves. Salman Ali, our
Sirdar, already starts at 5.30 a.m. with weighing and
when he can depart from Askole it is already noon ...
this time, we are already on our way and get ahead
fast in the broad valley of the river Braldu. On both
sides, there are phantastic mountains. It seems
unbelievable that this is only the beginning and the surroundings
will become even more spectacular day by day...
we had to do a detour of about 1 hour because of a new
bridge that replaces the old rope bridge. Between 14
and 18 o'clock all arrive at Jola.
stage is about the same length than this of yesterday.
Moreover, we will have to do a adventurous river
a slightly longer breakfast with a cake because of
Christian's birthday, we start at 6 a.m. ...
carryman has his own rhythm and so the go in small
groups. They make short rests in between and prepare
tea from muddy water of the river in a battered tin on
a tiny fireplace. We prefer the drinking water in our
bottles of which one needs a lot because of the dry
air and temperatures around 30 degrees Celsius at
lunch we get to a location where one of the larger
tributary of the Braldu needs to be crossed. There is
not any bridge or something else. The water gets until
our knees at the deepest points and has a considerable
current and some take a involuntary cool bath. Among
them the carryman who carries our eggs and 300 eggs,
our ration for the following seven weeks, break.
Thanks God, the Spanish expedition promise to share
their eggs with us...
is already high life when we reach Pajiu. Because all
expeditions make a one-day stand here, we meet the
Austrian expedition that started one day earlier.
Moreover, there a Korean expedition and two smaller
trekking groups. At night, the carrymen celebrate a
huge party, dance and sing to the rhythm of drums made
of empty petrol containers.
p.m., shortly after all got into their tents, it
one-day-break in Pajiu not only serves for recreation
but for the preparation of the following stages. Early
in the morning, the allocation of food starts. Each
carryman gets about 1kg flour and salt, sugar, tea,
oil, lentils and a match box. Moreover, everybody get
a piece of meat from 3 slaughtered goats.
start with the conservation of food, and we make
bread, grill meat, boil lentils and cook Tschapatis
use the day for taking photographs, laundering,
reading, sleeping and writing our diaries...