Tracing the Route

April-May 1999


Preview: The Gilgit Game

"Gilgit is a small township in the heart of the Western Himalayas. Remote in the extreme -- two hundred miles from the southern fringe of the mountains in the Punjab and a similar distance from Sinkiang on their northern flanks -- the place is today the administrative centre of Pakistan's sparsely populated Northern Areas. A dusty little bazaar does a roaring trade in Chinese cottons and hardware, "fallen" from the backs of passing jeeps. The orchards are justly renowned for their apricots, grapes and apples, and there is even an embryonic tourist industry; a couple of rest houses and a projected luxury hotel cater for the adventurous visitor come to eye the mountain.

"But this is all by the way. The point of Gilgit, now as always, is strategic. High above the snowline, somewhere admidst the peaks and glaciers that wall in the Gilgit valley, the long and jealously guarded frontiers of India, China, Russia, Afghanistan and Pakistan meet. It is the hub, the crow's-nest, the fulcrum of Asia."

The Gilgit Game is unfortunately out of print.


Preview: The Silk Road

"The 1,284-kilometre Karkoram Highway linking Islamabad and Kashgar is a stunning roadway winding through some of the most inhospitable terrain in the world, past the region of Chinese Turkestan and the great mountain ranges of the Himalayas, Karakorams and Pamirs, following one of the ancient Silk Road routes to the valleys of the Indus, Gilgit and Hunza rivers."

The Silk Road is available from amazon.com.

 

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