We packed up camp and hit the trail on a warm and sunny morning to get day three underway. The plan was to hike via the village of Naranag up to just below snow level at a place called Bucheri Top and set up camp here for the night.
Our guide and the horses as we reached Naranag.
It was very warm by the time we reached Naranag and a grueling three hours uphill awaited. We zig zagged with the horses up along the trail. We passed a flock of 500 sheep clinging to the edge of this steep mountain, with shepherds closely minding them. I was soon to realise the reason for this. As I hiked along with Mustafa and the horses, Emma and Liyakat were a little behind on the tough climb. Out of nowhere I heard a roar and a flash of black passed along side the trail. In an instant I could see the bear blast it’s way down the hill and out of sight. It was no more than 20 metres from me and even Mustafa got a serious fright, saying it was highly unusually to get so close. I didn’t feel the bear was interested in us with so many sheep to chose from and the guides explained that on a regular basis sheep were lost to bears. The opportunistic hunter in action.
Camp site at Bucheri Top.
We reached camp in the early afternoon and we all helped to set up the tents and get ready for an evening by the fire. A good move on the locals behalf to stick the different campers close and light lots of fires, the hungry bears were in the area. We lit a huge fire and sat around until we hit the hay for a real late night, at around 10pm! Tomorrow we would head up into the snow, no bears up there, and the nights would be cold. The real adventure into the wilds had begun.
View from Camp