Saturday, June 13, 2009

From Dave in Pakistan: Hangin' in Skardu Part Dieux

In 1909 when the Duke of the Abruzzi and his entourage came to Skardu, "the Duke was received by the Rajah of Skardu and his brothers, accompanied by a suite of dignitaries, a numerous orchestra and a great crowd."

Vittorio Sella took a photograph of the polo grounds below a fort originally built in 1610. One of the many things the Duke did in Skardu was to take in a game here.

Today I stood in the same place that Sella must have, viewing the fort and taking photographs of a vigorous game of polo. I was wandering about looking for candy bars and toilet paper and so I didn't have anything but a still camera with me. Still, it was a unique feeling to know that I had traveled half way around the world to arrive at this exact spot, almost exactly one century later and to see the same people playing the same game.

The Meager Medical Kit

Today Jim Freeman, our expedition doctor came over to check out the medical kit I cobbled together for this trip. After having been involved in a bad accident on Pumori last year, I've become a lot more conscious of the fact that if you are not prepared to handle major medical problems in the field, people will die because of you lack of preparation. We were extremely lucky that our patient did not die last year. If someone died for lack of simple things like drugs, or oxygen, or the ability to listen to their lungs, I think I would feel like pretty shitty about it.

This kit will do I suppose. And it will have to, since it's the only medical kit that will be present at K2 basecamp. Jim and his kit will be over at Broad Peak basecamp, about an hour and a half's walk away.

On the 15th we leave to Askole on Jeeps and after that I'll be trying to update this blog via satellite phone.

By the way, if you ever come to Skardu, don't touch this flower.

And this is me in my traditional Pakistani kurta. Sweet huh?

1 comment:

  1. Didn't they have something in blue to compliment your eyes?