Pakistan 1993

Passing through the wild Pakistan with death hard on our heels

(an extract from the diary)

“Aaaahhh…!”, my bloodcurdling yell can be heard all over the wide planes of the Indus Valley. One careless second on my part, and our camel bull immediately takes his chance to bite me. Tanja desperately tries to pull down Cockies lower lip with both hands, while I – distracted with pain – try to pull up Cockies upper lip with my right hand so as to get my left hand out of his mouth. The camel bull rears up as if to tear off my hand, and in this movement snaps for it once more. This is the moment I can take advantage of to pull my hand, numb by now, out of his mouth. As if from afar I hear the “comforting” words of my partner: “Well, you’ve still got your hand, Denis!”

It was one of the worst situations ever experienced during my many trips. I still shudder today when thinking back on it.

Our journey through Pakistan was an unforgettable expedition through a country defined by hospitality on the one side and vendetta on the other. We followed the windings of the Indus River for 1.500 kilometres, passing through a fascinating world, a world in my eyes to that day only imaginable in a fairy tale out of the Arabian Nights. We were shot at when crossing the Kohat Pass, and were then guests of the Mudjahedin who went to war as freedom fighters in Afghanistan, and – much to their amusement – shot around with antiaircraft guns. We stayed with the Syed, whose family tree roots directly reach back as far as to the Prophet Mohammed. We were invited to a traditional wedding, and we spent weeks and weeks in Peshawar at the largest Pakistani camel market, nursing camel injuries.

As our book “Die große Reise” (“The Great Journey”) is out of stock, I will publish a large extract out of my diary on this expedition under the category “Diaries Pakistan”.


Pakistan 1991-1992/1993

Tanja and Denis Katzer were the first Europeans to travel through wild Pakistan riding on the back of their camels. They experienced a country where everyday life is determined as much by hospitality as by vendetta. Distance covered: 1.500 kilometres.