Pictures at the end of the post.
On the 23rd of last month (July 2010), me and a couple of my friends (+new friend on the trip) decided that we’re going to hit the Northern areas of Pakistan (read: we wanted to go on vacations).
I’ve added the nicer pictures here but if you want to see all the pictures (minus the ones I didn’t upload), you can easily find them on my Facebook profile, here are the links: Nathiagali, Karachi to Rawalpindi, Abbotabad to Naran, Stuck in Naran, Naran nights & dew, Getting out of the flooded Naran, From Naran to Jheel Saif ul Mulook.
The trip was amazing, not only did we get to see one of the most beautiful sights in Pakistan, we got to experience alot of things first hand which were amazing. Like say we hiked and climbed to Jheel Saif ul Mulook from Naran which is approximately 8km up hill and gets steeper as you go. It took us about 4 hours, and alot of energy and 150 bucks for the horse I took for the last 2 kilometers. Yes I had to use one, I was dehydrated with a bad and empty stomach, not a good combination at all you see.
By the time we got back to Naran the weather had started to shift, it started raining and things took a very steep turn. Talk about landslides, roadblocks.. we were stuck in them. With no way out and low on cash we had to take survival measures, which got us to leave our cosy room and shift to a camp. Nice experience there too. We ended up evacuating those too.. the threat of the area being flooded pushed us to a higher location. So we ended up at Pakistan Tourism Development Centre (PTDC) area. Since one of friends (Fahd) had called up his dad for help, he got a small room arranged for us here at PTDC free of cost (amazing I tell you).
So we shift into our new room, and we have no toilet. Now thats messed up you say.. but wait, by evening one of their officers came by and shifted us to a nicer room, with a good toilet and other facilities, and another bunch of neighbors. This was a good thing incase an emergency broke out. So we’re like chilling and relaxing in the room after carrying our stuff uphill from the camps and we’re watching ‘The A team’ and suddenly we hear loud knocks on our door, turns out we need to report to the reception which is about 500 meters away from our room. Do we carry our stuff, and the guard wasn’t sure so he said no.. (WOW, jacko!) So we report at the camps and they tell us things might turn for the worse and they’re happy we’re safe and at the reception.. but oh! where’s our stuff…? Go get your stuff.. so we hitch hike back 500 meters to our room to get our stuff and come back to the reception, thats roughly 1500 meters in about 20 minutes (Amazing), oh did I mention the route to and from the reception & our room was all mud, dirt and all a very rough route, without any proper pathways.
So finally we’re at the reception all safe and settling in for the night, when we’re told we can go back to our rooms, things are safe. We’re relieved and we head back to our rooms, where we find water flowing into the area our rooms are. We panic a bit and go back to the reception and stay there till about 3 or 4 am. By roughly around 4 am I m like F**k this man, lets go back to the rooms, so we grab our stuff and march back to the rooms, water seems to have found another way and our rooms area is clean. 10 minutes later the guys next door knock and tell us water’s back and the level’s higher. We’re like F**k that we’re sleeping, and we do! 2 hours later the guard’s back to tell us to go back to the reception (OH WOW). Now we’re later given another couple of rooms till we end up in a safer one, during this we ate super less.. We were on a super survival diet and we lost quite some pounds.
When we finally started to get out of Naran, it was almost a 28 hours back to back travelling to Karachi, during which we had only one not so filling meal.
We’re planning K2 base camp next year Inshallah. Let me know if you want to join in.