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A personal adventure travel blog

Killar – where dogs rule the night

Christian Anderson

Just like Sach Kas, there was nowhere to camp in Killar, so we parked the jeeps and bikes on the roof of an unfinished building which hung off the side of the valley (as did the rest of the town) and the group was split between two guesthouses. The following day we would start the biggest challenge of the trip - the ride up to Sach Pass at 4450m, so the plan was to spend a lazy afternoon re-charging the batteries, starting with the untold decadence of a whole bucket of hot water each which put us all in a fine mood.

Killar doesn't get many visitors, so it was a little strange to have 20 to 30 people stand and watch you eat, or read, or hang up laundry. I heartily recommend the Welcome Dhaba on the main street - veg samosas with lentil dip, doughnuts and chai for about 30p. The dhaba was run by a fantastically friendly husband and wife team who, despite not sharing a common tongue with us, made it abundantly clear that us choosing their dhaba to eat in was a source of some pride to them - one of my favourite experiences of the whole trip.

Everywhere around town were groups of dogs, asleep in groups, huddled in the shade. There were enough of them to attract comment, but nothing more and by 8.30 we are all in our bug-ridden beds. I had probably been asleep for about an hour when the dogs woke me, and awake I stayed as what seemed like hundreds of them barked, snarled and howled as they fought each other through the streets. In Killar, humans own the day, but the dogs own the night. It was maybe only a walk of a hundred metres or so from my guesthouse to the bikes at 5.30am, but I was genuinely afraid as the hounds slunk around me in the darkness and I spent the whole walk trying to remember exactly why I'd refused a Rabies inoculation...