Some years back me and my Australian friend, who I would refer to as John here, went to the famous Deosai National Park. Also on agenda was Nanga Parbat, which is kind on the way if you are taking the route through Astore and Camp Chilum. Since it was a considerably long trip I will give you a day by day breakdown of events.

Day 1: We took an 8:00 am NATCO (Northern Area Transportation Company) bus from Rawalpindi heading for Gilgit. Reached Besham late in the evening and took a few hours break.

Day 2: Started early next day for Gilgit and reached our destination in the afternoon. Moved in a convoy from Besham as the area is not considered that safe.

Day 3: Took a local wagon to Astore. From Astore we took a jeep to Tarashing and reached our destination in the evening. Stayed at a small hotel overlooking the majestic Nanga Parbat. Checked in with the local police, which was kind of compulsory.

Day 4: With a donkey and porter arranged we headed off to Latbo village, a beautiful base camp of Nanga Parbat. Trekked all day to reach Latbo village. Also crossed Bazin glacier on the way. Set our camp for the night.

Day 5: Got up way early in the morning as temperature dropped rapidly in the night and it was not that comfortable in the camp. Saw the sunrise and spent the day soaking up the sun, keeping warm and munching dry fruit.

Day 6: Started trip back to Tarashing. Took a different route this time, avoiding the Bazin glacier and travelling on the right side of the river (being fed by Bazin glacier). Got separated from John and got a bit lost but made it the hotel in Tarashing by lunch time.

Day 7: After negotiations with several jeep drivers, settled for a Rs.7000 deal to take us all the way to Skardu via Deosai Plains. Took turns to sit on the front seat of the jeep. Quite a dusty track through Deosai Plains and hardly any human presence on the way. Stopped to take pictures of Sheosar lake (4142 m) and river crossings. Did not see the famous Deosai Brown Bear but heard that there were about 35 in the area. Stopped at Satpara lake en-route to Skardu.

Day 8: After spending the night at a local hotel in Skardu took a morning flight back to Islamabad. Flight schedules are quite unpredictable in this area and you must be prepared to come back by road or wait it out for the weather to clear.

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