Goat

Bridge crossing, Pakistani style.

 

This is what I wrote about this moment at the time (May 2004):

 

Passu is a small village about ninety minutes by minibus further up the Karakoram Highway from Karimabad. Like Minapin, Passu is a beautiful patchwork of green fields and stone walls set in magnificent surroundings. Snow-capped mountains surround Passu on all sides; the most spectacular of them, known to foreigners as The Cathedral, has a series of jagged stalagmites rising up from it like gothic spires. There are several glaciers a short walk away, and two rickety wooden suspension bridges, reminiscent of something out of the Indiana Jones movies, are also nearby.

 

One of those bridges, the one closest to Passu, was the scene for one of the funniest moments of the entire trip, when a Pakistani man attempted to cross the bridge with his goat. The wooden planks were too far apart for the goat to negotiate the bridge on his own, so the man had to carry it. I thought he would take it in his arms as he would a baby, but that was not the case. Instead, he used ropes to tie the goat’s legs together, much to my bemusement. Eventually he hoisted the goat up and, with Wendy’s help, put it on his back and wore it as a backpack; both of the goat’s front legs were tied to the equivalent back leg, creating two open circles into which he could slot his arms. The man slowly crossed the flimsy bridge in this fashion, and the screams of the tormented goat echoed all over the valley.

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Taken in May 2004
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