In last week's column, we began our journey from Islamabad to the beautiful hill station of Abbottabad. But since this columns space is like fuel and limits our wandering radius, we took a breather just beyond Hasan Abdal at the point where the Karakoram Highway to China begins its 1,300 kilometre course to Kashgar. We resume our journey this week along, what was once the historic 'Silk Route', imagination begins playing tricks on us. The wide ribbon of asphalt is transformed into a dusty and stony road with fierce looking, long-haired, bearded men in loose knee length robes, baggy trousers and posteens, leading lines of camels and horses that are loaded with exotic merchandise. We are rudely awakened from our reverie by the klaxon-like horn of a truck loaded with bales of goods destined perhaps for the border crossing with China, 806 kilometres away. Our next stop is Haripur, which is an old military cantonment town renamed in 1822 to honour the Sikh general, Hari Singh Nalwa, who was the second Nazim of Hazara under Sikh rule and also remained Governor of Kashmir in the early 1820s. The place was originally built as a fortress surrounded by a wall almost four meters thick and fifteen meters high, allowing passage through four openings, but this town has grown into a small city known for its fruit and vegetable produce. It is in a Haripur park that we spot a four-sided conical brick monument marking the last resting place of Colonel Canara, a French officer of Sikh Artillery. Till some years ago, a marble plaque adorned the structure with the words: "To the memory of Colonel Canara, who fell nobly in the performance of his duty. Being summoned by the rebel Sikh army to surrender and being deserted by his men, he fell singly combating a host on July 6, 1848. The monument, which is very much a part of our history, now stands neglected with its marble plaque removed leaving a gaping hole in its place. It is now almost lunch time when we spot the Punjab - Hazara Driver Hotel on the right of the road, a few kilometres short of the last curve before Havelian. To our delight, we find that besides other things on the menu, this establishment serves vegetables freshly picked from the fields in its rear. We watch as a basketful of 'ladies fingers' is harvested and then cooked for us to produce a finger-licking spicy dish served with piping hot tandoori roti. We resume our journey mindful of the fact that our eyes are now heavy with sleep induced by a heavy lunch, but we must go on for our next stop Havelian that is only 10 minutes away. Havelian was and remains an important staging point on the 'Silk Road' (now the Karakorum Highway) and was so named because of its Havelis, the name given to old traditional mansions peculiar to the subcontinent. The place once had a spacious caravanserai that catered for traffic on this ancient trade route. As we turn left into the defile leading down to the bridge on Dor River, we see a group of young people clustered in the middle of the stream. They appear to be fishing bottles out of the water and generally having a ball. As we stop to look, we are offered 'coke' chilled in the river's icy contents. We gratefully accept the hospitality, as by now the spices from the driver hotel have begun to generate a mighty thirst in us. Sated and cooled, we move on towards the lush green pine covered slopes that now look invitingly close. Just as we enter the first line of hills, we are arrested by the sight of a flag adorned shrine on the left of the road. This is Khote di Qabar or 'The Donkey's Grave' - the last resting place of a celebrated beast of burden that played an active role in Syed Ahmed Shaheed's heroic armed struggle against British colonialism. It is said that this beast was the pipeline through which supplies were dispatched to the embattled freedom fighters in the hills. Burdened with its heavy load, it would be set free and would unerringly reach its destination without failing even once. On its death, the animal was buried at the spot where a shrine now stands over its grave. A cool breeze tinged with the aroma of pine and wild flowers now greets us, as we climb the gently winding road to our destination that is now visible on the ridges ahead of us. But there is one last adventure yet to come, for suddenly our old jalopy lets off a cloud of steam and a jet of boiling water splashes our windscreen - our radiator has given up on us. So dear readers, while we attend to this rather annoying situation, we urge you to wait till next week, when we shall bring you our final episode of tales from 'Kaka Abbott's vale'. The writer belongs to a very old and established family of the Walled City. His forte is the study of History.