Expedition member, Anna Cater (Sydney) tells us what she loved most about this very special expedition
I was really keen to visit Pakistan as India is like my second home, and the two countries were one nation until 70 years ago. But I still had no idea what to expect.
Pakistan surpassed my wildest expectations. Travelling through the southern province of Sindh made you feel like a pioneer. We only saw one other tourist in 10 days. And we were the first foreign tourists to visit Ranikot Fort in 40 years.
Our local Pakistani guide, Ghulam Murtaza, is an archeologist and incredibly passionate about his country – its past, its present and its future. “We are going upwards, things are taking off,” he said at the end of our trip.
Being a journalist and documentary filmmaker, I tend to ask a lot of questions, and he knew the answers to every one of my questions.
In Sufism, all people are equal. In Pakistan, the poorest people habituate the shrines. Murtaza said they don’t have “their wishes fulfilled by the authorities, so they let them go to the shrines where they ask Sufis to help them. When you get an education, you lose the reverence for this.”
What did I love the most? The shrines and the people.
In India you are always aware when you are in Muslim areas but in Pakistan I always felt safe and welcome. Murtaza told us people are “happy to see foreigners” and that was evident everywhere we went.