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Day 8: Eagle’s Nest (Duikar)

Author: Nawab Tanweer Ahmad
Date of Trip: September 2015

Date: 22nd September 2015

Duikar a village at an altitude of 9043.3 feet (2850 m) is the highest village in Hunza Valley and is above Altit village.  It’s at a distance of nearly 11km from Karimabad, about 25 minutes’ drive by jeep or two and half hour walk. Situated in Duikar is famous Hotel & Restaurant by the name Eagle’s Nest and this is our today’s destination.

We wake up and went out for the breakfast at “Hunza Snack Bar”, last evening we also had a soup from this restaurant. It was Chicken Soup and was very delicious filled with chicken pieces and egg. We totally enjoy that soup, but in the breakfast, we eat Arzooq, tea, and omelet. The weather was excellent today as the valley is shrouded in clouds and it was dazzling since night. Since we own a rain cover with us, therefore, we didn’t suffer any problem roaming around in the city.

Traveling to different shops talking with the locals, we stop at a store where a carpenter is busy in designing a beautiful door, that door is made of walnut wood and crafting on the door is excellent. Letting the cat out of the bag with the carpenter we come to recognize that all the products placed in his shop, including door, wardrobe, chair, table and all other furniture items are constructed of virgin forest. Going forward, we entered another store by the name “Hunzo-e-Hayan” and this is also a wood craft shop where there are many decoration items as well as daily household use items made of Walnut and Apricot wood. There were also Taxidermy local animals in that store, we purchased some wooden items and proceed onward.

We have seen many different sorts of birds since we came here in Hunza, but the most special and a beautiful bird that we have seen for the first time is “Blue Whistling Thrush”. This bird is big in size with a fascinating blue color. At that place were many flocks of birds sitting all around, we got photographs of those before going along our walk about the city. In that location were also cows, goats, and sheep owned by the locals there, but most peculiar are the Yaks. The yak is a long-haired bull-like animal found throughout the Himalaya region of Southern Central Asia. People of Hunza bread these yaks for milk and essence.

Walking about on feet is the best way to explore the beauty of this region. After having a walk around in this area, we return back to our room. Since today is our last day in Karimabad, after three wonderful days, we packed all our luggage and make ourselves get up for another journey to Duikar, where we will be staying at the Eagle’s Nest Hotel. We already have booked a room at Eagle’s Nest in advance and Mr. Rehman from “Mountain Art & Gems Gallery” will drop us off at Eagle’s Nest in his jeep. After checking out at Hotel Blue Moon we shift all our luggage in the jeep and started our journey to Duikar.

The route to Duikar is very beautiful with trees and water streams on the way and since it was still raining the surrounding looks marvelous. The road passes through the Altit village and is ascending up on the mountain. After about 30 minutes of a drive, we reached the Duikar village at 9043.3 feet above sea level. Our jeep stop at the entrance of the Eagle’s Nest Hotel and we immediately run into the hotel as it has started raining heavily. The hotel staff brought our luggage into the reception, the reception was a large well decorated and carpeted hall. The guy at reception asked us about our booking and handed over the keys to the room, he told us to wait in the hall until the rain ends and have a welcome tea. We decided to sit at the corner of the hall from where we can have the marvelous sight of the whole Hunza Valley below and the surrounding mountains above. The tea was tasty and the panorama of the valley was mesmerizing.

While waiting for the rain to stop, we roamed around the hotel hall and visited different rooms. Adjacent to the reception in the lobby is also store that sells different decoration items, handicraft products, and precious gemstones. We were experiencing a good time, then a staff boy handed us two umbrellas and ask us if we like to go into our room so that our luggage can be shifted. Unfortunately, they only have two umbrellas, but we have coped with it, so if anyone is traveling in a rainy season remember to carry an umbrella with them. We decided to go to the room and freshen up and get changed. The rooms we have booked are on Rakaposhi block, this block is in a marvelous location it is near the edge and there is a beautiful garden in front of the block from where the whole Hunza valley can be sighted below and the mighty mountains surrounding us.

After settling up in our room we came out in the garden that is in front of our room. We can see the Hunza valley below covered with clouds and the Golden Peak, Lady Finger, Rakaposhi and other mountains covered with snow surrounding the valley. The air was fresh but cold, it is still dazzling and we were enjoying every moment of it. Whenever the rain starts heavy we return back to our block under the ceiling and see the stunning surrounding from inside and when it gets low we come out. The time just flies and after the stunning sunset, the surrounding area became dark, the mountains also hide in the dark, and from above here the lights in the Hunza valley can be seen at different places.

Now is the time for dinner so we went to the reception area and ordered the dinner, the cook told us that it will take some 20 minutes for the dinner to be served. So we sit in the lobby and surf the web, updating our Facebook and checking email. One thing to mention is that there is free Wi-Fi in nearly every hotel, you just have to ask for the password at the reception. At Eagle’s Nest there was some Japanese tourist too, and for them, the hotel offered the special seating arrangement along the floor with little tables for food.

After nearly 20 minutes the food was dished up in the dining area, it was ‘Chicken Karhai’ and ‘Naan’. The food was savored and we all liked it a lot. After dinner, we decided to return back to our room, but there was one problem that there were no lights on walkways between blocks and reception and it was still raining. But we have already prepared for such kind of situation and had a torch light with us that helps us while moving around the area.

We return back to our room the bed was very comfortable, but the night was really frigid. While we were at the reception we asked the staff if they can supply a heater for us, but we were surprised to know that they only have one heater in the hotel and it is already provided to the guests in another room. But they have provided us with sufficient blankets and comforters so that we can sleep with comfort. After discussing the today’s fabulous day and plan for tomorrow we all fell asleep.

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