After what seemed like one problem mounting after another we finally got under way by flying into Skardu and the start of the trail to the high Karakorum. The video dispatch attached gives further my feelings on the security situation here, but suffice to say this area and what lies beyond is the Pakistan that few people read about and even fewer see. An area of outstanding natural beauty, of a warm and hospitable people, the Balti, and yes, an area that , compared to some regions in the country, is considered extremely safe. Of course one must never let guards down and both ourselves and the numerous departments will do everything to ensure a safe - and hopefully successful - journey. For now we are enjoying the huge and warn welcome being accorded to us – and doing some much needed training!