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24 DAYS TRAVEL BEYOND THE MOUNTAINS OF SHIMSHAL VALLEY GILGIT BALTISTAN PAKIS

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1-24 Days
DAY BY DAY DETAIL ITINERARY DAY 01: ARRIVE AT ISB, DRIVE TO CHILES / NARRAN (MEET THE INDUS) ARRIVE AT ISLAMABAD AIRPORT IN THE MORNING. TRANSFER TO AIR-CONDITIONED BUSES; PROCEED OVERLAND TO CHILAS / NARRAN. AS WE START OUR DRIVE FROM ISLAMABAD. THE HIGHWAY, REPUTED AS THE EIGHTH WONDER OF THE WORLD - WAS JOINTLY CONSTRUCTED BY PAKISTANI AND CHINESE ENGINEERS AND TOOK 850 LIVES & 20 YEARS TO COMPLETE. WHERE THE INDUS RIVER IS JOINED BY THE GILGIT RIVER. CONTINUE DRIVE TO CHILAS. OVERNIGHT STAY AT HOTEL/GH (07/08 HOURS, 320 KM) DAY 02: DRIVE TO TATTU & TREK FAIRY MEADOWS -JEEP /TREK WE WILL DRIVE ON KARAKORAM HIGHWAY WE WILL ARRIVE AT RAIKOT; AT RAIKOT BOARD ON 4X4 SOFT TOP JEEPS AFTER A ONE-HOUR DRIVE, WE WILL ARRIVE AT TATTU, A SMALL VILLAGE INHABITED BY SHINA SPEAKING CHILASIS. OUR TREK COMMENCEMENT POINT. AS LOADS ARE DISTRIBUTED AMONG THE PORTERS, WE LEAVE THE JEEPS AND START WALKING. WE ASCEND GRADUALLY, WALKING THROUGH THE DRY LUNAR LANDSCAPE OF THIS MEETING POINT OF THE HINDUKUSH AND THE HIMALAYAN RANGE. SOON WE ENTER THE NARROW, BARREN GORGE OF TATO RIVER, THE TRACK CLINGS HIGH ON ITS LEFT BANK. CROSSING THROUGH THE GREEN JUNIPER AND PINE TREES ARRIVE AT FAIRY MEADOWS FOR OVERNIGHT HUTS/ CAMPING. (07/08 HOURS) DAY-03: TREK TO BASE CAMP OF NANGA PARBAT (4000 METERS) AN IDEAL DAY’S WALK TO THE BASE CAMP OF NANGA PARBAT. WE WALK THROUGH THE PINE TREES, COVERED VALLEY WITH RAIKOT GLACIER FLOWING ON OUR LEFT SIDE, AND THE SUMMIT OF NANGA PARBAT STRAIGHT AHEAD. AFTER ABOUT TWO HOURS WE TRAVERSE THE LATERAL MORAINE OF THE GLACIER AND THEN ARRIVE AT A FLAT MEADOW OF THE BAYAL CAMPING SITE. FROM HERE TURN RIGHT FOR A SHORT PATCH TO ARRIVE AT THE OLD BASE CAMP OF NANGA PARBAT. THE MEADOW HERE IS NORMALLY FILLED WITH HIMALAYAN FLOWERS AND SHOUTING MARMOTS. HALF AN HOUR FROM HERE IS GERMAN MOUNTAINEER DREXEL’S MONUMENT. LUNCH AT 4,000 METERS. ENJOY THRILLING VIEWS OF NANGA PARBAT AND ITS SURROUNDING PEAKS. LATER WALK BACK TO THE CAMP AT FAIRY MEADOWS HUT/ CAMP. (7/8 HOURS ROUND TREK.) DAY 04: TREK & DRIVE BACK TO GILGIT – HUNZA KARIMABAD TWO HOURS DOWNHILL WALK FROM FAIRY MEADOWS ALONG TATTU RIVER. AT TATTU BOARD ON YOUR JEEPS ONCE AGAIN AND ARRIVE AT RAIKOT BRIDGE ON KKH OVER THE INDUS RIVER. AT RAIKOT OUR AC VAN WILL BE WAITING FOR US. TRANSFER INTO THE VAN AND DRIVE BACK TO DRIVE ON KKH TO GILGIT. THE CAPITAL CITY OF NORTHERN AREAS OF PAKISTAN. AT RAIKOT BRIDGE WE CROSS CHINESE-MADE BRIDGE TO ENTER THE GORGE OF THE INDUS RIVER. FOR CENTURIES THE TRADERS AND BUDDHIST MISSIONARIES USED THIS BRANCH OF THE SILK ROUTE. WE DRIVE OUT FROM GILGIT TO RE-ENTER THE TOWN FROM THE HISTORIC ROUTE, CROSSING A SUSPENSION BRIDGE OVER THE RIVER. AT KARGAH TO VISIT THE ROCK-CARVED BUDDHA FROM THE 7TH CENTURY AD. IN THE ANCIENT TIMES, THE KARGAH VALLEY USED TO BE THE TRAVELING ROUTE OF THE BUDDHIST MONKS, TO GO TO TAXILA. STROLL DOWN THE COLORFUL BAZAARS OF GILGIT. THE TOUR WILL CONTINUE TO THE BEAUTIFUL, BREATHTAKING HUNZA VALLEY THROUGH A SCENIC ROUTE. ON OUR WAY, WE SEE THE OLD SILK ROUTE USED BY THE BUDDHIST MONKS AND TRADERS. EN ROUTE SHORT STAY AT RAKAPOSHI (7,788M) VIEWPOINT. ENTER THE HUNZA VALLEY AND ARRIVE AT THE CAPITAL KARIMABAD. OVERNIGHT AT HOTEL/GH. (2/3 HOURS, 110 KM) DAY 05: HUNZA (KARIMABAD) DAY FREE IN KARIMABAD FOR SHORT WALKS TO ALTIT AND BALTIT FORTS, AND FOR OTHER EXPLORATIONS IN HUNZA VALLEY. THE PEOPLE OF HUNZA ARE FAMOUS FOR THEIR LONG LIVES. YOU CAN ALSO SEE SOME BEAUTIFUL PEAKS OF KARAKORAM RANGING FROM KARIMABAD; RAKAPOSHI 7788M, DIRAN 7266M, ULTAR 7400M, GOLDEN 7027M PEAK, AND THE NAGAR VALLEY ON THE LEFT BANK OF HUNZA RIVER. IN HUNZA, EACH FAMILY GROWS ENOUGH WHEAT, MAIZE, APRICOTS, AND WALNUTS FOR ITS OWN USE. THE PEOPLE ARE MOSTLY SELF-SUFFICIENT, MAKING THEIR OWN CLOTHES, SHOES, WOODEN AND STONE BOWLS AND GROWING ALL THEIR OWN FOOD. THE PEOPLE ARE VERY FRIENDLY AND CHEERFUL. IN THE AFTERNOON YOU COULD WALK TO ULTAR GLACIER, FOLLOW THE IRRIGATION CHANNEL THROUGH THE VILLAGE OR STROLL THROUGH THE SINGLE LANE BAZAAR FOR BETTER VIEWS OF SOARING PEAKS AROUND YOU. OVERNIGHT AT THE HOTEL. DAY 06: HUNZA MINAPIN - RAKAPUSHI BC MORNING AFTER BREAKFAST DRIVE TO MINAPIN. WITH THE SOARING RIDGES OF THE KARAKORAM ON BOTH SIDES OF THE GORGE, WE ARRIVE AT THE SMALL VILLAGE OF MINAPIN IN THE SHADOW OF RAKAPOSHI (7788M) AND DIRAN (7265 M) MOUNTAINS. CAMP/GH (120 KM, 5-6 HOURS) DAY 07: TREK DAY TO DIRAN BC TREK TO TAGAFURI IS A MODERATE TREK, FULL OF INTEREST, AS IT PASSES THROUGH HILLS COVERED WITH JUNIPER AND ROSES, WITH OCCASIONAL FIELDS OF BARLEY AND POTATOES. LUNCH AT A SUMMER SETTLEMENT. LATER FOLLOW A PATH THROUGH STEEP PASTURES TO ARRIVE AT OUR OVERNIGHT CAMPSITE IN A MEADOW BETWEEN THE LATERAL MORAINE OF THE DIRAN GLACIER AND THE FOOT OF RAKAPOSHI. THE VIEWS ARE SPECTACULAR. (TREK 5-6 HOURS) DAY 08: DIRAN BC - HUNZA KARIMABAD DIRAN BASE CAMP FULL DAY EXCURSION TO KACHELI (DIRAN PEAK BASE CAMP) CROSSING MINAPIN GLACIER FROM THE TOP END OF THE MEADOW AT TAGAFURI. WALK OVER SOFT SNOW AND MEDIAL MORAINE TO KACHELI, A MEADOW STUDDED WITH WILDFLOWERS, WHICH OFFERS SUPERB VIEWS OF DIRAN & RAKAPOSHI. RETURN TO CAMP FOR OVERNIGHT. (CAMP, 7-8 HOURS ROUND TREK.) DAY 09: KARIMABAD - PASSU (GOJAL )KHUNJERAB PASS SHORT DRIVE THROUGH THE HEART OF KARAKORAM. WE STOP AT THE VILLAGE OF GULMIT, IN THE SHADOW OF THE VIRGIN GULMIT TOWER. WALK THROUGH THE VILLAGE FIELDS VISIT THE POLO GROUND AND OLD HOUSES. LATER TAKE A SHORT TREK TO GULKIN GLACIERS AND BORIT LAKE. AS YOU END YOUR TREK NEAR BORIT LAKE, THE TRANSPORT WILL PICK FOR 15 KM DRIVE TO PASSU. PASSU IS A SMALL CHARMING VILLAGE IN THE BACKDROP OF SOARING PASSU CONES, WITH PASSU AND BATURA GLACIER AT SHORT WALKING DISTANCE. WALK THROUGH THE VILLAGE TO SEE THE VILLAGE LIFE. SOME 70 YEARS AGO PASSU USED TO BE THE SECOND LARGEST SETTLEMENT IN HUNZA AFTER KARIMABAD. THE GLACIER UPSTREAM ON HUNZA RIVER MOVED DOWN TO CREATE A LARGE DAM, THAT LATER BROKE AND DESTROYED THE FERTILE FIELDS AND HOUSES. NOW THE RIVER OCCUPIES THE MAJOR SHARE OF THE VALLEY WITH THE VILLAGE ON ITS RIGHT BANK. WALK TO THE PASSU GLACIER AND PASSU LAKE (45 MINUTES ONE WAY). FROM THE SNOUT OF THE GLACIER, YOU HAVE FASCINATING VIEWS OF SHISPAR (7,611 M) AND PASSU PEAK (7,478 M). VISIT THE FAMOUS SUSPENSION BRIDGES OF PASSU; THESE 800 FEET LONG BRIDGES OVER HUNZA RIVER ARE STILL IN USE OF LOCAL PEOPLE. OVERNIGHT AT LODGE. DAY 10: HUNZA / PASSU SHMSHAL VALLEY WE START THE DAY WITH A SHORT RIDE ON SOFT TOP 4X4 JEEPS FROM PASSU VILLAGE TOWARDS SHIMSHAL VALLEY. THE JEEP TRACK PASSES THROUGH THE NARROW GORGE OF SHIMSHAL RIVER AFTER 2 HOURS RELATIVELY JEEP RIDE, WE ARRIVE AT THE ‘TRAVELERS HUT’ OF ZIARAT SHORT STOP SOME 600 YEARS AGO A SUFI SAINT (SHAH SHAMS) FROM CENTRAL ASIA ARRIVED HERE AND STAYED HERE FOR SEVERAL NIGHTS. HE ALSO PREACHED ISLAM IN THIS REGION. FROM ZIARAT WE CAN SEE KAROON 1 (7164M) PEAK WE HAVE BEAUTIFUL VIEW OF DASTAGIL SAR (7885M) FROM HERE. SHIMSHAL IS ONE OF THE REMOTEST AREAS OF KARAKORAM. 900 YEARS AGO, SHIMSHAL VALLEY WAS DISCOVERED BY A SUFI SAINT HE SETTLED HERE AND ALL SHIMSHALI PEOPLE ARE FROM HIS FAMILY. GH/ CAMP OVERNIGHT. (4/5 HOURS, 3300M) DAY 11: SHIMSHAL – PASTH FURZIN FOR THE NEXT TWO DAYS, OUR WALK WOULD MOSTLY BE TRAVERSE THROUGH THE REALLY NARROW GORGE OF SHIMSHAL RIVER. BUT OUR WALK FROM THE VILLAGE FOR THE FIRST TWO HOURS TODAY IS IN THE OPEN VALLEY ALONG THE RIVER. SOON WE LEAVE THE MAIN VALLEY AND TURN TO LEFT TO ENTER THE GORGE. MOSTLY THE TREK IS SAFE, ALTHOUGH AT FEW PLACES YOU WOULD NEED GOOD BALANCE ON THE NARROW FOOT TRACK. ENROUTE ENJOY VIEWS OF KUNIANCHISH AND YAZGILDOOM PEAKS BOTH ARE ABOVE 7000M. FURZIN, A NARROW CAMP ALONG THE SIDE STREAM IS KNOWN FOR ITS BIRCH TREES. OVERNIGHT IN FURZIN. (5/6 HOURS) DAY 12: PASTH FURZIN - ARBAB PARIAN THIS MIGHT BE THE HARD PART OF THE TREK. WE START FROM THE CAMP WITH A STEEP ASCEND OF 200 METERS ON THE CLIFF FACING THE CAMP, TRAVERSE GRADUALLY FOR HALF AN HOUR AND THEN DESCEND STEEPLY TO SHIMSHAL RIVER. WE CROSS THE RIVER ON FOOT BRIDGE AND THEN WALK FOR ANOTHER HOUR TO PARIYAN CAMP FOR COOL BREEZE OFF THE MAIDUR NALLAH AND FRESH LUNCH. AFTER LUNCH WE TAKE UP THE LAST PART OF GORGE WALK, INVOLVING ONE AND HALF HOURS ASCEND ON A WELL MAINTAINED YET STEEP FOOT TREK (PARIYAN) TO THE TOP, CALLED PARIYAN SAR, WITH FASCINATING VIEWS OF OUR PEAK MANGLIK AND MANY OTHER SUMMITS. HERE YOU ENJOY THE VISTA AND TAKE RELAXING AN HOUR’S WALK TO THE CAMP. OUR CAMP ARBABPARIAN IS A SHEPHERD’S SETTLEMENT FOR WINTER, WITH PLENTY OF FRESH WATER. (4/5 HOURS) DAY-13: ARBAB PARIAN – SHUNJERAB COMPARED TO LAST TWO DAYS, IT IS A RELAXING WALK ALONG THE RIVER WITH VIEWS OF PEAKS SOARING ABOVE 6,000 METERS. IN OUR WAY WE WILL PASS GANJ DOUR VALLEY, LEADING NORTH TO CHINA BORDER WITH MANY PASTURES FOR THE YAKS AND GOATS. THIS VALLEY IS KNOWN FOR ITS SUBSTANTIAL POPULATION OF BLUE SHEEP, MARCOPOLO SHEEP, IBEX AND ALSO FEW SNOW LEOPARDS AND BEARS. SHUNJERAB IS THE SUMMER HOME OF SHIMSHALIS, WITH 60 HOUSES AND HUGE YARDS TO HOUSE THE ANIMAL & HUMAN POPULATION. PEOPLE STAY HERE IN MAY & JUNE AND THEN PROCEED OVER SHIMSHAL PASS TO SHUWART TO SPEND THE WINTER. CAMP OVERNIGHT (4/5 HOURS) DAY 14: SHUNJERAB – MANGLIK BASE CAMP EAST FROM SHUNJERAB IS GULCHI WASHK (CARPET OF FLOWERS), A 200 METERS GRADUAL ASCENT TO BRING US JUST UNDER MANGLIK SAR. WE WALK-IN WIDE-OPEN VALLEY RUNNING EAST TO WEST, WITH TWO LAKES LOCATED JUST BEFORE THE SHIMSHAL PASS. IN SUMMER WE FIND YAKS, GOATS AND SHEEP WHO ROAM THE GREEN PASTURES. WE SHALL BUILD OUR CAMP AFTER 2/3 HOURS WALK, JUST UNDER THE MAIN RIDGE OF MANGLIK SAR. IN AFTERNOON ONE COULD WALK OVER TO SHUWART SUMMER SETTLEMENT, CONSISTING OF 60 HOUSES. INEVITABLE WE MIGHT GET INVITED FOR DINNER, A GREAT CHANCE TO VISIT LOCAL HOUSES AND ALSO TO TASTE THE ENERGETIC NOMAD FOOD MADE FROM YAK’S CHEESE, BUTTER AND WHEAT FLOUR. CAMP OVERNIGHT. (4/5 HOURS, 4735M) DAY 15: BASE CAMP REST DAY FOR ACCLIMATIZATION AND TO EXPLORE THE AREA. WE WILL ALSO VISIT SOME LOCAL HOUSES THIS DAY. SHUWART GLACIER IS ONE OF THE PLACES HERE TO VISIT. CAMP OVERNIGHT. DAY 16: MANGLIK SAR 605M BASE CAMP FULL DAYS TO ATTEMPT THE TREKKING PEAK MANGLIK SAR (6050M), JUST NORTH OF OUR CAMP. AS WE START IN SOFT MORNING LIGHT, FOR THE FIRST FEW HOURS WE WILL ASCEND GRADUALLY ON THE MAIN RIDGE LEADING TO THE SUMMIT. AT 5,800 METERS WE WILL LEAVE THE RIDGE AND HEAD TOWARD THE ETERNAL SNOW OF THE PEAK. THE GOING COULD BE SLOW HERE DUE TO ALTITUDE AND INCREASED ASCENT OF THE PEAK. YET NEAR THE TOP IT IS WIDE AS A FOOTBALL FIELD AND ALSO NOT SO STEEP. ENJOY FASCINATING VIEW OF THE VALLEY FROM THE TOP, ON A CLEAR DAY ONE CAN SEE K-2 AND BROAD PEAK DISTANT EAST. SAFETY ROPE AND OTHER REQUIRED CLIMBING EQUIPMENT WILL BE CARRIED BY THE MOUNTAIN GUIDE. DESCEND DOWN TO BASE CAMP. (9/10 HOURS EXCURSION). DAY 17: ATTEMPT DAY BASE CAMP ANOTHER FULL DAY TO ATTEMPT THE PEAK. ON THIS TREK TO SHIMSHAL PAMIR, THERE IS OPTION TO CLIMB THE MANGLIK SAR 6050M OR OTHER TWO PEAKS AROUND OR WHO DO NOT WANT TO MAKE THE SUMMIT CAN TREK AROUND OR TO SHUWERTH. HERE WE TAKE YOU FOR THE ASCENT OF A 6,050 M TREKKING PEAK. IT IS AN EASY TREKKING PEAK DOES NOT REQUIRE TECHNICAL THINGS JUST TO NEEDS TO TRAVEL THE TEAM IN ROPED. IT IS ONE DAY CLIMB NORMALLY WITH 1500M ASCENT AND 1500 DESCENT. IT IS SAFE AND EASY CLIMBING, CAN TAKE A GOOD AND PHYSICAL FIT TREKKER TO THE TOP OF THIS PEAK. THIS IS A POPULAR AND EASY TO ACCESS 6000M PEAK. TO CLIMB THIS PEAK, YOU NEED SNOW SHOES, GAITERS, HARNESS AND ROPE. THERE ARE TWO OTHER PEAKS JUST NEAR BELOW 5500M, KUZ SAR AND LUP ZHUI SAR ALSO IN ONE DAY CAN CLIMB USING SAME BASE CAMP OF MANGALIK SAR. A SPECIAL CAMP FIRE WILL BE ARRANGED THAT NIGHT WITH LOCAL MUSIC AND DANCES TO CELEBRATE THE SUCCESSFUL ATTEMPT ON THE PEAK. CAMP OVERNIGHT. DAY 18: SHIMSHAL PASS SHUWART - ARBAB PARIAN SAME TREK WE HAVE PASSED THROUGH ON OUR WAY TO SHUWART. BUT IT WILL TAKE US VERY SHORT TIME BECAUSE OF THE CONTINUES GRADUAL DESCEND OF THE TREK. CAMP OVERNIGHT. (5/6 HOURS) DAY 19: ARBAB PARIAN – MAIDUR IT IS AN EASY WALK. WE FOLLOW A STREAM FLOWING FROM SHUWART TO MAIDUR. THERE ARE MANY SUMMER SETTLEMENTS IN MAIDUR VALLEY. WE WILL PITCH OUR TENTS AT A SMALL SETTLEMENT HAVING ONLY TWO OR THREE HOUSES. IT IS A BEAUTIFUL VALLEY AND WATER IS EASILY ACCESSIBLE HERE. CAMP OVERNIGHT. (4/5 HOURS) DAY 20: MAIDUR – SHAPODIN PASS 5150M TODAY WE TAKE EARLY MORNING START TO CROSS SHAPODIN PASS (5150M). THE CLIMB UP TO PASS IS NOT TECHNICAL AND ONE CAN CLIMB IT WITH THE HELP OF WALKING POLES ONLY. PASSU PEAK (7478M) SHISPAR PEAK (7611M) AND DASTAGIL GIANT ARE VISIBLE FROM THE PASS. WATER IS EASILY AVAILABLE ON THE WAY. AFTER CROSSING THE PASS, WE WILL ARRIVE AT THE CAMPING PLACE OF SHAPODIN WHICH IS ALSO A SUMMER SETTLEMENT. CAMP OVERNIGHT. (7/8 HOURS) DAY 21: SHAPODIN – SHIMSHAL VALLAGE WE WILL BACK TOWARD SHIMSHAL IT IS AN EASY TREK DOWN TO THE VILLAGE. KANJUT SAR (7760M) IS VISIBLE FROM THE PASS. AFTER THE PASS THERE IS A BEAUTIFUL LAKE OF BLUE WATER. ENROUTE SHORT STAY FOR REST AND LUNCH AT PACHODEWASHK. PROCEED TOWARDS MANDIKSHLAKH. THERE ARE SEVEN HOUSES IN MANDIKSHLAKH AND WATER IS EASILY AVAILABLE FOR WASHING. CAMP OVERNIGHT. (5/6 HOURS) DAY 22: SHIMSHAL TO HUNZA KARIMABAD AFTER BREAKFAST DRIVE TO HUNZA. SHORT STOP AT PASSU, ARRIVE HUNZA CHECK INN OVERNIGHT STAY AT HOTEL/GH DAY 23: DRIVE KARIMABAD – BESHAM/ NARRAN EARLY MORNING DRIVE AIR-CONDITIONED TRANSPORT ON THE KARAKORAM HIGH WAY TOWARDS BESHAM. LUNCH IN DASSU./ NARRAN PROCEED TOWARDS BESHAM/ NARRAN. OVERNIGHT AT MOTEL. (11/12 HOURS) DAY 24: DRIVE NARRAN/ BESHAM – ISLAMABAD AFTER BREAKFAST WE WILL DRIVE TOWARDS THE FEDERAL CAPITAL. HALF DAY SS IN ISLAMABAD AFTER LUNCH. EVENING FREE. OVERNIGHT AT HOTEL. (5/6 HOURS)

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ACCOMMODATION: ON A TWIN SHARING BASIS AT STANDARD CATEGORY HOTELS/GH IN TOWNS, 2-PERSON DOME TENT DURING TREK. MEALS: HALF BOARD AT HOTELS/GH, FULL BOARD DURING TREK. TRANSPORT: AIR-CONDITIONED TRANSPORT ON KARAKORAM HIGHWAY, SOFT TOP 4X4 JEEPS TO TREK HEAD & TREK END. CAMPING FACILITIES: 02 PAX DOME TENTS WITH MATRICES, DINING TENT WITH FOLDING TABLE & CHAIRS, KITCHEN TENT WITH COMPLETE KITCHENETTE AND STAFF, TOILET TENT. PORTAGE: OF 12.5 KG DURING TREK ENTRANCE FEE: ENTRANCE FEE AT SITES & MUSEUMS GUIDE ENGLISH-SPEAKING MOUNTAIN.
DOMESTIC/INTERNATIONAL AIRFARE AND AIRPORT TAXES. ANY EXPENSE DUE TO FORCED MEASURES, CANCELLATION OF FLIGHT, LANDSLIDES, NATURAL CALAMITIES, ACTS OF GOD, FORCED MAJEURS: BEYOND THE CONTROL OF ROCK VALLEY TOUR THEIR STAFF AND SUPPLIERS. ANY EXPENSE OF PERSONAL NATURE NOT MENTIONED ABOVE. TIPS & PORTAGE AT AIRPORT & HOTELS.