My name is Dr. Zaffar. I am an Internal Medicine Physician and my clinic is located in the Publix Plaza in front of Reunion. We offer primary care and aesthetics services like Botox, fillers, laser hair removal and removal of spider veins.
Only in fiction movies you see towns go underwater and lakes are formed, but what we were going to experience was reality and not a movie. While on our journey to China, after stopping for a few days in Hunza, which I call “Land of Apricots”, we planned to cross a newly formed lake called Attabad Lake.
Attabad Lake was formed on 4 January 2010 due to a massive landslide at Attabad Village in Hunza Valley. The landslide killed many people and blocked the flow of the Hunza River for five months. The upstream water has displaced thousands of people, submerged villages and blocked all the traffic on Silk Road from China for months. The lake reached 13 miles long and over 100 meters (330 ft) in depth by the first week of June 2010 when it began flowing over the landslide dam.
Silk Road was under water and for many years the only way to cross was on primitive wooden boats, where every week there is at least one incidence of the sinking of a boat along with a car.
I would have never chosen to cross the lake if there was any other way by land to reach China. The night before the crossing our whole team had a long meeting. Everyone was worried about crossing the lake, because the safety record of these small boats was marvelous!
Most of the team was against the idea of transporting cars on these small boats – which are smaller than the cars themselves. Locals park the car on small boards placed across the boat with 2 stones in front and 2 at the back. It takes only one wave to take the boat and car down.
The other problem was wind. We had to cross the lake very early in the morning, otherwise the lake surrounded by mountains becomes a wind tunnel and it becomes extremely dangerous to cross the lake.
Adapted from upcoming book “Road to China”. For pictures & videos visit https://www.facebook.com/karkoramhighway
Dr. Nauman Zaffar, Z Medical Center ( 7810 Lake Wilson Road, Davenport, FL 33896). PH 863-420-7617. www.zclinic.org