Trip Start Dec 26, 2003
94Trip End Mar 28, 2005
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The Madina is one of those "classic" backpacker type places & Gilgit is a great place to base oneself for treks across the Northern Areas, based on location & availability of amenities and trek food. The hotel is an oasis in a rathy dusty provincial capital.
It's the kind of place I would avoid if I were not in a country like Pakistan where there just aren't that many travellers kicking around. As one conversation between two travellers was recanted to me:
"Are there many people travelling in Pakistan?"
It is nice to return to the Madina after a trek & have all the hotel staff smile genuinely at you, shake your hand and say with real feeling, "Welcome back." I know that I will be coming back here a number of times more in between treks. The difficulty is not dropping into the comfort zone & just kicking back.
I have to add that I am enjoying spending plenty of time in a small area & having a base, as opposed to moving on, moving on, moving on. I guess that is what happens when you are hiking, you don't cover that much ground.