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Thread: IJC Summer Camp 2012 - Maodand Lake

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    Smile IJC Summer Camp 2012 - Mahodand Lake

    IJCians have always had a very special spot for northern areas of Pakistan. This year again, when the weather started getting warmer, plans were being discussed to head north for our annual summer camp. Several venues were discussed for IJC summer camp and we were almost decided, when we got a call from the army personnel stationed in Kalam inviting IJC to the Swat Summer Festival (12th - 16th July) and asked us to hold a small event at Lake Mahodand.

    IJC has been in touch with army since the floods of 2010. Initially in connection with flood relief, when IJC members went with relief goods to Kalam via Chinook Helicopters when no land transport was available. Earlier this year when we were in Kalam for Our snow cross, where we had discussions with the army area commander about how to promote tourism in the area, and we promised IJC participation in any promotional plan.

    Overall the festival was truly successful with a large number of attendees (over 2,000 vehicles entering Kalam city on Friday alone) to enjoy the various cultural and sporting activities including tent pegging, horse show, karate, paragliding, bungee jumping, RC planes, boating, jet skis, remote controlled small 4X4 vehicles, fireworks and our 4x4 event. The overwhelming response to the festival had the organizers stretched thin with scarce availability of hotel accommodation and severe logistical issues with limited infrastructure across the valley. Despite all the issues, the IJC team received cordial treatment from the Army and we were provided hotel accommodation and food in Kalam.

    For IJC and particularly members who had been active in the Kalam Flood relief and rehabilitation activities, it was very comforting to see the same valley which was devastated and deserted after the floods and reeling from issues with the Taliban to be swarming with tourists. It did mean however was that on all days, there were long lines at checkpoints and traffic jams in the towns making our drive to Kalam and Mahodand longer and more tiring.

    Due to various work / office commitments, the departure on Friday was divided in groups. First group of Suhaib’s team in Baltoro and Shahzad’s team in CJ left around 8 in the morning. Second group of Nomi’s Gang in his Safari, Zohaib and Hasan Rana in Safari Cruiser and Shabab n Jahangir in TLC FZ80 left around 11 in morning. Later around 5ish in evening Asad’s team left on Pajero V6 5dr and Akif n team in the BJ40. Yasir n Tufail joined from Peshawar on their Prado. And finally Juma khan joined up with Asad in Mingora. Due to tremendous traffic in the whole swat valley there were several delays for all parties on the way.

    In some way’s I was the lucky one, I could not travel on Friday, so I had planned leaving on early Saturday morning. Now I will tell you the usual story…………..the last minute packing and than the excitement factor meant, that once again I had absolutely zero sleep. But the good part is that leaving early meant that from my home I was in Kalam in less than 6 hours! Others had varying travelling times from over 8 hours to over nearly 13 hours!

    The IJC gang of 9 vehicles with 24 participants initially gathered in Kalam grounds from where we left in a convoy towards Lake Mahodand. The road to the lake was in pretty rough state, but it was amazing to see how thousands of people were heading there in their own cars / SUVs / rented jeeps and Hiluxes. The huge traffic meant progress was slow, at least with climbing altitudes the weather was rather pleasant and the surroundings made the prolonged drive rather enjoyable.

    On the way I picked up crates of chilled mangos and peaches for our camping. The best part of travelling in NPP is that you can dump almost all the stuff in the dala without any concern. Also on the way saw local people walking towards the Festival site at Mahodand Lake, all of them were happily provided free lift at the back. At one time I had 13 men sitting/ squeezed at the back of Dala! The powdery clay and gravel meant that steep inclines were a struggle for most 2 wheel drives. I had the tow strap ready thru out and pulled up well over a dozen vehicles in all. I was jokingly asked by many IJCians to charge for each tow, and that would have happily covered for the trip fuel bill. BTW, to my surprise some drivers took their wallets out and offered money without me asking!

    The Lake grounds had a quite an extensive entertainment setup for all visitors, and people really seemed to be enjoying the lovely atmosphere there. I saw many vehicles from all provinces + the usual plenty local NCPs. IJC was provided a separate playground, if that’s what we can call it. Where we marked a small track thru mud slush grassy fields with cones etc. And than all us drivers just simply had too much fun. Some more than the others! Controlling the vehicle is grassy slush was almost impossible with almost constant drifts by all, and a certain driver even managed to nudge back corner of NPP :p The crowd gathered were very appreciative and thoroughly enjoyed our show! A few even came up and asked if they could be taken along during the run!

    Finally in the evening we moved onwards towards smaller lakes beyond the main Mahodand Lake and we camped in most gorgeous luscious grounds next to a beautiful green flowing river / lake water! The camping atmosphere for me was just perfect! I say “for me” because I have learned very wisely to make best use of my age, so usually I just put-up my chair n table and relax, sorry supervise others putting up the tents and setting bonfire etc! Oh and I forget, the chilled mangoes were absolutely yummy! Hope the mango stains from my white IJC T-Shirt will wash off completely :p

    While we were waiting for Juma Khan to do his magic with the food in the evening, the bonfire was lit up. Suhaib n Jahangir songs n music had almost all mesmerized! It was a most thoroughly relaxing n enjoyable evening, ending for me around mid night, as I hadn’t slept a wink the night before.

    The next morning, almost all were up before 8. After a breakfast of hot omelette by Juma, the first group of 4 vehicles left for the return journey. Their return journey was again very slow due to traffic on the way, as well as several car troubles of various natures. That group finally managed to reach back home after well over 12 hours journey! I stayed back with second group. After pack-up, we initially moved forward to the furthest of Mahodand lakes.

    Than our return journey leg started. Our initial plan was to visit the Ghabral side once we reach Kalam, however the dark cloud cover and subsequent rather heavy rain made us change our plans. We had lunch n more mangoes next to mighty river passing thru Ushu. Afterwards Asad n I also went over to the Anakar Village, where IJC has been helping to run the small local school, to meet up with the teachers.

    Finally our return journey started from Kalam around 4pm. Progress as predicted was rather slow, but Alhamdolillah we all managed to reach home safely by 1 am. Our deepest thanks to the Almighty for taking n bringing us all back safely, and for repeatedly providing us with these great opportunities to enjoy its beautiful creations in our absolutely stunning country. Many thnx to Pak Army for their invitation, hospitality and for this opportunity to do our bit for our fellow countrymen.

    Finally, many thnx to all the fellow travellers (both IJCians n non-IJCians) for their simply wonderful company during the trip. It’s always a pleasure to be travelling with such good friends. So what’s the plan after Eid………………..???

    BTW, total distance covered home to home 780km.

    Enjoy the pics!



    IJC Summer Camp 2012 - Maodand Lake -442662

    IJC Summer Camp 2012 - Maodand Lake -442663

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    Quote Originally Posted by khanrocks View Post
    Awesome IJC ..... You guys Rock !!!!

    I m sure I m going to enjoy this thread .... Keep them coming ..
    Many thnx Yasir, it was a lovely trip / experience, and the satisfaction for being able to something for our fellow countrymen is beyond words.


    Quote Originally Posted by Niazi11 View Post
    Excellent trip guys. IJC has don it again.

    Thnx Yousaf Bhai, shame you could not make it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeDee View Post
    good writup NN as usuall and heard it was a great show too... hope u guys must have enjoyed... now please make this thread sticky and keep rolling
    Thnx Deedee, one of these days we must do a trip together!


    Quote Originally Posted by fouadhafeez View Post
    Wonderful thread. As always, the indomitable, inimitable Men of Steel from the IJC show us how it's done!

    Thnx Fouad!

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    Quote Originally Posted by aamir567 View Post
    Thanx Dr Nadeem Naeem for an excellent write up
    Pictures on main post are excellent. Hope to see more beautiful picture of our beloved country PAKISTAN
    Sorry missed this event due to some important commitment
    Thnx Aamir bhai! You missed it again!


    Quote Originally Posted by TLCFJ40 View Post
    Doc as always enjoyed ur deatiled report on the main event. Sorry guys could not make it this time, was really looking forward to test my FZ cruiser this summer but i guess there is always a next time. Reason most of you would know, my grand mother passed aways last week so u guys could imagine. Looking forward to the next event and kindly upload pics and video at the earliest thora sa tou ghum kum ho gah en sey....Great going IJC...
    Thnx Salman.

    Sorry to hear abour your loss. May Allahs blessing be upon us all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nomi700 View Post
    Well done ijc
    Thnx!


    Quote Originally Posted by hasan12rana View Post
    Wonder trip must say. Did become hectic but enjoyed every bit of it.
    NN and SK wonderful pictures..
    Thnx Hasan!

    Its can't be called a IJC trip if part of it is not hectic!


    Quote Originally Posted by Bilal_Z View Post
    Salams to all,

    Masha Allah; beautiful shots all around with a very interesting write-up from Doc sb.

    So good to see Swat having some very healthy activities to entertain the locals and visitors. May this peace be everlasting.

    Pictures in general are little soft; are these from a point and shoot or cloud cover is a possible reason?

    More pictures please
    Thnx Bilal!

    Zabardast trip, shame you could not make it.

    Its usual camera n lens, it was a bit overcast and also rather dusty with some haze and finally as Suhaib said could be PW image compression software is taking image quality down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fobak View Post
    Well done IJC, a nice trip with adventure, seems u ppl have enjoyed a lot and put ur hands to promote tourism in sawat, nice write up by nn and excellent shots taken, keep the pics rolling
    Many thnx Fahad!



    Quote Originally Posted by 060276 View Post
    As expected , very nice event / thread / pictures & of-course starting narration by doc NN ... Loved the narration ,read it twice ....

    Plus what are the engine specs on white CJ-5 ? ?
    Many thnx!

    Am not sure of full Specs, maybe Suhaib will fill in, otherwise the man himself PinkPanther will have to tell you about it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ehsankiani View Post
    Lovely pictures.. Looks like some good fun. This should IA go a long way in promoting tourism in Swat.
    Congratulations to IJC for a successful and meaningful trip. honored to be part of the group.
    Ehsan

    Thnx Ehsan, it was a lovely experience, shame you could not make it!


    Quote Originally Posted by hayzin View Post
    Great shots there! Keep em rollin'. Sorry could not join in this time due to some family commitments.
    Thnx Hasan!


    Quote Originally Posted by Basharatu View Post
    Nice pictures and writeup @ Team IJC, seems like the colors of Kalam are back, good to see tourist back in action. IJC has a great contribution in reviving this valley, keep it up!
    Thnx Basharat!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuhaibKiani View Post
    IJC Summer Camp 2012 - Maodand Lake - filephp?id11009
    Doc nn, hamarah hairstyle kafi popular hota ja raha hai
    I may get Lost But I don't get stuck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by nomi1234 View Post
    Doc nn, hamarah hairstyle kafi popular hota ja raha hai
    Bilkul...............bohat practical hai na, zero maintainance!

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    Some pictures from my end. IJC Summer Camp 2012 - Maodand Lake -444225IJC Summer Camp 2012 - Maodand Lake -444224IJC Summer Camp 2012 - Maodand Lake -444226IJC Summer Camp 2012 - Maodand Lake -444226IJC Summer Camp 2012 - Maodand Lake -444227IJC Summer Camp 2012 - Maodand Lake -444228IJC Summer Camp 2012 - Maodand Lake -444229
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    (www.jeepsafaripakistan.com / facebook.com/jeepsafaripakistan)

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    IJC Summer Camp 2012 - Maodand Lake -444230
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