We arrived at Saidu Sharif which was the terminus, because it was the local office of the PTDC – (Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation), also the poshest hotel in Swat. Despite the manager offering us discounts, saying breakfast and heating free, it was still Rs 220 – three times the price we wanted to pay.


We passed up the offer and started back the 1.5 miles to Mingora, the actual town and the bazaar. A rickshaw soon pulled in, the original two occupants moved to the front and we two plus rucksacks in the back although I still had a leg sticking out the side. So about four-ish we arrived in Mingora and took only a short time to find a nice enough place to stay at only Rs40.

However, it was becoming colder rapidly and the electricity went out from 5 until 8pm – load shedding its called – the power goes off regularly because of the overstretched capacity of the national grid, so most of it goes to the biggest cities. Most people away from there seem quite inured to it, and always have supplies of candles, Tilley lamps, gas lamps and whatnot to accommodate a minor inconvenience.



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