The Hunza Valley, a region in the Gilgit–Baltistan territory of northernmost Pakistan, is renowned not only for its spectacular natural scenery of majestic mountains and glittering lakes but also for the beauty of its people, who enjoy a long life expectancy.
Though some of the inhabitants of the villages and small towns here still live in stone and mud houses, you don’t see any poor people in the streets of Gojal. Of course you don’t see any obviously rich people either. Those who have money tend to spend it on the betterment of the community, and evidence of this can perhaps be found in the close-to-zero illiteracy rate among the new generation. Even the youngest children here grow up speaking two to three languages.
Packing up his underwater gear, Matthieu Paley says goodbye to the sea-dwelling Bajau. After a weekend stop-over in Turkey to see his wife and sons, Paley travels to a place that has a special hold on his heart, the mountains of northern Pakistan. Over the coming weeks, we will be taking you with us as Paley travels the globe on assignment for National Geographic in search of our ancestral ties to the food we eat.
A great one is about to start. We arrived in Islamabad 2 days ago. I am now with the team getting ready to travel North to the high mountains of the Karakoram. We are refueling the O2 cylinders for high altitude flights, buying dry food, and spending hours on Google earth, analyzing landing on the glaciers of Hispar, Biafo and Concordia.
Hi all, we are back to civilization after 20 days into the high mountains of the great Karakoram, Pakistan. Today Islamabad looks like New York! I had a great welcoming by the Red Bull Pakistan crew. I can finally sleep in a real bed and leave my dry food for the next expeditions… They even get us a personal driver taking us around the city.
Pakistan often finds itself in the unenviable position of being labelled as the most dangerous country in the world. It has been on the cover issue of an international magazine for this reason a couple of years ago.
The Hunza Valley is one of my favorite places on earth. The mountains are mysterious and almost mystical. I like going there in August or September to eat fresh apricots just harvested, drink the spring Hunza water from the glacier, taste the Tumoro tea to heal my body and soul. And above all sharing moments with the amazing Hunza people.