Two boys playing cricket on a remote highway in the mountains of Pakistan
Two boys playing cricket just off the Karakoram Highway

While traveling the Karakoram Highway through Pakistan I stopped in Passu for three nights. My memory of Passu in July of 1989 was it just being made up of a small collection of houses. Nothing else. One of those was the guest house that I stayed in. This was run by a lovely man who use to be in the Pakistan army. Because of his military career, and despite what the isolation of his guest house might suggest, he had a good knowledge of the world outside of the mountains where he now lived. I remember his son playing with a pen knife that I was carrying and asking how much it cost? I mentally converted the UK Sterling price to Pakistan Rupees, and told the young boy. The price would have seemed ridiculous in that small isolated world, and he could not believe what I just shared. His father gave me a knowing nod.

Passu was near to the tongue of the both the Passu and Batura Glaciers. Surrounded by the peaks of the Karakoram mountains, I found it a spectacular place to immerse myself in the wildness of nature. The scale of all that surround me gave one a sense of insignificance. Traffic on the highway was next to nothing, allowing the safe space for these two boys to play a game of cricket just a cricket ball’s throw from the road.

Grey, rugged, sharp mountain peaks with a little snow on them, surrounded by cloud
Mountain peaks over looking Passu

I write this remembering overcast days. Fresh clean, clear air allowing a clarity of thought. And the high mountain peaks, alongside the air quality and ruggedness of the terrain, all reminding me that I was near the roof of the world.