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Sultan Bahu shrine

Writing and Photography Workshop

Beginner Travel Writing and Photography Workshop

 

Coached by Lonely Planet author Marco Ferrarese


Have you ever dreamed of turning your travels into stories that lend you writing assignments and money? 

On top of that, have you ever thought of doing this as you explore the beauty and mystique of Pakistan's mountains and historical plains? Then you have come to the right place.


WHEN

 

Baltistan - 1st - 12th October 2024 - Book this Trip


AND / OR

Punjab - 13th  - 21st October 2024 - Book this Trip

WHERE

The beautiful Northern Regions of Pakistan and the mystic, historical plains of Punjab. The trips can be taken singly or comibined to provide a fully immersive experience.

COST

Northern - $3780 Aussie Dollars - Details Below

Punjab - $2830 Aussie Dollars - Details Below

CLASS SIZE 

Limited to 12 participants

YOUR TEACHERS

Marco Ferrarese lives in Penang, Malaysia, since 2009 from where he covers India and the larger Southeast Asian region for many international guidebooks and publications that include Lonely Planet, the Rough Guides, Fodor's Travel, Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia, the Guardian, BBC Travel, Nikkei Asian Review and South China Morning Post. 

His debut novel "Nazi Goreng", a quirky subcultural thriller set in Penang, was published by Monsoon Books in 2013 and banned by Malaysia's Ministry of Home Affairs in 2016.  

Among his most recent travel guidebook work are chapters for the upcoming Lonely Planet guides to "Malaysia, Singapore & Brunei", "Korea", "Italy" and Fodor's "Essential Peru".
Know more about him and his books at www.marcoferrarese.com 

Marco's Malaysian photographer wife Kit Yeng Chan will also participate in this program, teaching you the basics of snapping well-composed travel and street photography to enhance and better sell your stories.


WHY PAKISTAN AND US?

Marco Ferrarese and Karakoram Bikers' friendship and collaboration goes back to the year 2017 when Marco first traveled to Pakistan for a series of stories that went on to be published on Lonelyplanet.com, Intrepid Travel's adventure.com, Thai Airways' inflight magazine, and several others.

We all think that travel in Pakistan is adventurous, incredible, and yet very safe -- regardless of what your Mum and neighbors may tell you. Marco is a staunch believer that stereotypes break ANY FORM of writing, not just travel-related -- and it's about time to show the world how many beautiful and interesting hidden stories Pakistan can offer to intrepid writers.

 

WHAT DOES THIS TOUR INCLUDE
 

All transport within Pakistan, accommodation, meals, and tuition classes. These tours are by car and or van with the option to ride a motorbike on the northern Baltistan areas only. Punjab area is travel by car and van. We'll take you by the hand to a country of vast diverse landscapes, cultures and histories. We'll keep you safe, happy, well-fed, and highly entertained. We will show you amazing mountains, mesmerizing valleys and incredible monuments (and you will be able to ride on a motorbike to reach them if you wish). Overall, we will TEACH YOU skills that will help you superpower your creativity into writing and photographic skills that will last a lifetime! 

Still not convinced? Ask us any ques
tions - info@karakorambikers.com

 

THE ITINERARY

Gilgit area tour 

1st October - DAY 01: Islamabad to Naran

We travel by road out of Islamabad following the Karakoram Highway before heading into the hills at Mansehra and onto the resort town of Naran. Lush green river gorge and alpine meadows.

 

2nd October - DAY 02: Naran to Gilgit

We continue on straight to Gilgit crossing Babusar Pass, our first taste of the high passes at 4173 metres. Arriving in Gilgit we spend the night in our homestay in the quiet village area of Danyore on the edge of Gilt city. Afternoon spent in the garden with initial writing workshop and free time.

 

3rd October - DAY 03: Gilgit to Karimabad

Today we are back on the Karakoram Highway headed to the old hillside town of Karimabad. Stopping at Rakaposhi view and the old silk route along the way. We meander through villages, across fascinating bridges and explore sections of the pathway that is the old silk route. Lunch stop at Minapin Village in the footsteps of Rakaposhi with writing workshops in the village garden or free time. In the late afternoon we head to Altit Fort and then Duikar/Eagle's Nest to watch the sun go down over Hunza Valley. The 360 degree views from this point are amazing.  

 

4th October - DAY 04: Karimabad

Starting the day with a delicious breakfast of traditional local foods in an inspiring location and writing workshop over breakfast. We then explore the market as we walk up to Baltit Fort, perched high upon the hill overlooking the valley and town. Delving into the ancient history of the silk route and the Mogul empire as well as the strong cultural and ethnic relations with Ladakh and Tibet. This region is steeped in rich cutural heritage with a diverse ethnicity over the entire Kashmiri Hunza Kingdom. Burusho, Xik, Tajik, Hunzakuts and Wakhi people all call this area home. You will likely pick up multiple languages being spoken aside from the common Urdu. Our Hunza team speak Burushaski when conversing with each other, others who help and support our trips also speak Wakhi and Shina. We explore Baltit Fort gaining a greater understanding of the area and its historical place as a centre point of the region. 

We then take an afternoon journey to Hopar Valley visiting rural villages and massive glaciers, the glaciers are the life force of this arid landscape, crucial to the survival of the people.

 

5th October - DAY 05: Karimabad to Passu

Today we leave Karimabad area and begin travelling further north through the rugged peaks towards the spires of Passu Cones. Break points on our route are Attabad Lake, and Hussaini Bridge. We have the chance to test our fear of heights on the wobbly wooden planks of Hussaini suspension bridge and be mesmerised by the fast flowing waters below. Attabad Lake is deep and vast with vivid azure/turquoise waters. It was formed via a massive landslide, where many lives were lost. Some say there is an eerie sadness lingering in the air. The towering mountains stand like sentinels around the lakes shores, watching over in Peace. Workshops in the afternoon at our accommodation.

 

6th October - DAY 06: Passu / Khunjerab Pass / Village walks

Today we have two options to choose from. 1 - visit Khunjerab Pass, the China/Pakistan border and the highest border crossing in the world, surrounded by majestic peaks and glaciers around every turn! The silence and aura of this place is in a whole other world. After visiting the border we return to Passu. We do our best to access all the way to the border pass, if there is snowfall or adverse wether conditions we will spend the day exploring the local area and spectacular surrounds. Option 2 - Local walk around Passu village and along Batura glacier. No set writing workshops on this day.

 

7th October - DAY 07: Passu to Gilgit 

Today we return to Gilgit and to our Danyor homestay. Afternoon at rest or market visit. Early evening writing workshop in our walled garden or traditional dining hall. 

 

8th October - DAY 08: Gilgit

Today is a focus on writing and compiling all our experiences from the trip so far. Free time in the garden or local village walks.

 

9th October - DAY 09: Gilgit to Shigar

The beautiful winding Skardu road, hugging the mountains and following the Indus river. As we arrive into Skardu we cross the “desert in the sky” a stark yet beautiful landscape. Afternoon at Shigar Fort, with afternoon writing workshop in the garden.

 

10th October - DAY 10: Shigar to Khaplu

We travel further out of Shigar following the Indus east towards the meeting of the Indus and Shyok rivers, lunch in a small town called Yugo with village walk. Travelling onwards to Khaplu with sunset at Saling. Evening workshops in Khaplu.

 

11th October - DAY 11: Khaplu to Skardu

Morning walk to Thok Sikhar Mosque and viewpoint or visit Khaplu fort, return to Skardu. Afternoon short walk to Skardu Fort overlooking the Skardu river valley and desert, writing on the rocks.

 

12th October - DAY 12: Flight Skardu to Islamabad 

Morning flight to Islamabad with afternoon relaxing in the garden of our hotel, wrap up writing session on the northern areas. Part one Hunza/Skardu region ends here. For those continuing on to the Punjab area trip read on :) 

 

Punjab area tour

 

13th October - DAY 13: Islamabad and Rawalpindi 

Meet and connect with the Punjab group, introductory chat over breakfast about the writing and photography for new arrivals. Visit Faisal Mosque then a small walk in Margala hIlls to a hidden viewpoint over the city. Afternoon visit to Saidpur historical village and dinner in Jinnah Market, exploring the Bazaar.

 

14th October - Day 14: Peshawar

On the way towards Peshawar we visit Takht Bai Buddhist complex and eat Chapli kebab in Mardan. In the afternoon we stroll around the old Peshawar Missa Khan Bazaar visit Masjid Mahabad Khan, Sethi Hours and Food street for dinner. 

 

15th October - DAY 15: Faisalabad

Morning workshop at our Peshawar hotel over Breakfast. We then head out on our route towards Faisalabad stopping at Katas Raj Temple and Umar Hayat Mahal.

 

16th October - DAY 16: Punjab Villages 

Leaving faisalabad we explore the Sufi culture of rural Punjab. We visit Mai Heer Shrine the site dedicated to the tragic Sufi love story of Heer Ranjha, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heer_Ranjha the most famous version is written by the sufi poet Waris Shah written in 1766. We also visit the shrine of poet Sultan Bahu and visit the village of Peer Abdul Rehman and experience local rural family life in Jhang. Sunset and evening writing workshop overlooking the fields of Punjab.

 

17th October DAY 17: Multan 

From Jhang we travel to Multan and visit the Tomb of Hazrat Shah Rukn-e-Alam. We explore the streets of the old inner city and visit traditional blue ceramic makers. Afternoon writing sessions.

 

18th October - DAY 18: Lahore

Today we head to Lahore via the motorway but with a stop at the old town of Sharaqpur famous for its clay pots and Gulab Jaman and a visit to the Shrine of Mian Sher Muhammad. We also visit the Shrine of the poet Waris Shah and Hiran Minar an historical site built during the reign of Mughal Emperor Jahangir for his beloved pet antelope. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiran_Minar 

 

19th October - DAY 19: Lahore

Today we experience the bustling life of Lahore old city. Starting our day at Delhi gate and exploring early morning market life and narrows lanes, we see iconic sites such as Wazir Khan Mosque, Golden Mosque, hidden garden with sacred tree a quiet spot where we can reflect. Visit an old Havali if possible and many of the old city gates, Mochi gate, Bhatti Gate as well las iconic food places such as Khalifa Bakery, Saeen Kebabs and Rafique sweets dating to before partition.  In afternoon visit Lahore fort and Badshai Mosque with dinner at food street with writing workshop from the old rooftops overlooking Badshahi Mosque.

 

20th October - DAY 20: Lahore

Breakfast at hotel with morning writing workshop consolidating all that we have seen and experienced so far. Lunch at temple road for chai, visit Mian Mir shrine, Shalimar gardens and Wagah border ceremony. Evening walk through Anarkalie Bazaar. 

 

21st October - DAY 21: return to Islamabad 

 

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • accommodation, twin share unless single supplement is requested.

  • daily breakfast, lunch and dinner.

  • car / van, motorbike and mechanics including fuel .

  • entry to forts, Khunerjab National Park.

  • English/Urdu speaking, first aid accredited guide.

  • internal flight Skardu to Islamabad.

  • letter of invitation to visit Pakistan. (needed to obtain entry tourism visa)

  • writing and photography workshops and tuition

Pricing 

Northern Baltistan tour - price per person twin share - $3780 

Single Supplement - If you prefer a private room please let us know - Price for private room option = $4140

Deposit payment = $530 To secure your spot on the tour BOOK NOW

 

Punjab Area tour - price per person twin share - $2830

Single Supplement - If you prefer a private room please let us know - Price for private room option = $3160

Deposit payment = $530 To secure your spot on the tour BOOK NOW


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