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Thread: Bike Tour 4,000 KMS - Karachi - Naran - Astor (Gilgit Balistan) and Back to Karachi

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    Default Bike Tour 4,000 KMS - Karachi - Naran - Astor (Gilgit Balistan) and Back to Karachi

    My Travel Itinerary:

    Day 01: Wed - Aug 21st --> Karachi to Uch Sharif (Punjab)

    Day 02: Thur- Aug 22nd --> Uch Sharif to D.I. Khan (KPK)

    Day 03: Fri - Aug 23rd --> Stayed in D.I. Khan (KPK)

    Day 04: Sat - Aug 24th --> DI Khan to Islamabad

    Day 05: Sun - Aug 25th --> Stayed in Islamabad

    Day 06: Mon - Aug 26th --> Islamabad to Naran

    Day 07: Tue - Aug 27th --> Naran to Astor (Gilgit Balistan)

    Day 08: Wed - Aug 28th --> Astor to Rama Lake and Back to Naran

    Day 09: Thur - Aug 29th --> Naran to Islamabad

    Day 10: Fri - Aug 30th --> Islamabad to Karachi

    Day 11: Sat - Aug 31st --> Traveling to Karachi

    Day 12: Sun - Sep 01st --> Early Morning Arrived in Karachi



    I have lived abroad most of my life and only returned to Pakistan some three years back. I now live in Karachi and have driven to Islamabad many times by car and its been an exhilarating experience every time.

    My Bike Adventure plans began more than two years back when I was visiting Northern Areas (Naran) with Cousins from Islamabad. I drove my car alone from Karachi to Islamabad and got together with 9 others in two cars and explored the Northern areas for the very first time in my life and was struck by its shear beauty. Along the way I saw many people on motorcycles whom I thought were locals at first, or perhaps from Islamabad area. However, upon discovering Pakwheels I was amazed to see that so many people were driving their bikes in groups from various parts of Punjab as were as a few courageous souls who also traveled from other places and posted their step by step travel experiences, both on bikes and cars.

    So I began to think what it would be like to drive a bike across the country since I had already done that by car many times. I should point out that where I had lived my entire life one could not imagine driving a bike, at least not an entire year due to heavy snow during winters and many wet days of rain throughout summer. So to put it plainly, I had never driven a bike nor did I know how to drive one. Although I sad on a few bikes in Pakistan as a passenger but never really driven one.

    So now I was becoming more and more bold in researching bikes both on Pakwheels as well as on olx. I came to a realization that most long distance riders who posted on Pakwheels chose either a Honda 125 or a Suzuki GS 150. I took many months researching both the pros and cons of both bikes to see which was better for longer drives, fuel economy, accessible spare parts, durability and so on. And although I was leaning more towards purchasing a Honda, I was told that in Karachi it would not be wise to buy a new Honda and instead to go for a new Suzuki GS 150 due to the high demand of Hondas and the high likelihood of a new 125 being stolen.

    So a year back (Nov 2012) after doing plenty of research I finally purchased my first ever Bike, GS 150 and asked the seller to deliver it to my office since I didn't want anyone at home to know had I purchased a bike since I didn't know how to ride one just yet. At my office I used the help of my guard to teach me how to turn it on, how to put it in gear, how to break and all the basics which were totally a new experience for me. After some three weeks of learning to ride in our large office parking lot after hours when there was no traffic I finally gained the confidence of driving it home. I began to drive it from home to office daily after everyone came to know I had purchased a bike but due to the fact I could comfortably ride it not too many objected to me purchasing a bike as I had originally thought.


    A month later I took my first ever 'Long Distance Test Drive' experience to Hyderabad which took me close to 3 hours with a brief 5 min stop at two places to adjust my ever so aching bum. I had a relative in the Army who was posted in Hyd Cantt. After a two night stay and a professional Champi I returned back to Karachi and realized just how painful and exhausting a long drive can be. Nothing could be done I thought, to resolve the issue of an aching bum from such a long drive.

    Upon reading many of the threads on this site I finally realized I needed a cushion to sit on for a longer drive as well as some basic necessities I would need for a longer drive.

    So this year from Feb/March I began my plan to ride to Islamabad and then up to Naran if I can. I did post on here asking for people's advice as to whether it was safe to drive to Naran from Karachi in March-April and most responded that Naran will not be approachable till late May due to snow which has not yet melted. So the next possible time I had was holidays just after Eid in August.

    So on Aug 21st I began my road trip to Islamabad. But I had only 10 days since I had to be back to work on Monday Sept 2nd and that meant I would have to be back in Karachi by Sat Aug 30th or Sun Aug 31st and allow myself to rest for a day on Sunday.

    I did the following very basic modifications;
    - HID Headlight for high beam, low beam was regular headlight
    - Installed a Car Lighter Adapter in order to keep my mobile charged while I listened to music during my drive
    - Installed a new wider and larger Tire in rear
    - Purchased new tubes for the front and back
    - Wasn't sure of the tools so left that since I have never changed a tire but was certain I would find a puncture shop on the road
    - Purchased an extra Clutch Cable and a Break Cable
    - Installed saddle bags for each side for my Water Supply and other heavy items
    - Installed two Heavy Horns to sound like a Corolla which really really helped throughout the trip
    - After getting a Fresh Oil Change two days before leaving, Also purchased an extra liter of oil for the road

    What I forgot was to purchase a pump, someone might help me change a tube but how would we pump air into the tire? That was something I realized much later after returning back to Karachi.

    I guess these are all the items I got done to the Bike before leaving. Now I should point out once again that all these ideas I got on this website from reading many other postings except for the lighter adapter which was my idea since I could not go an entire day without being certain I had a mobile which was charged for security situations in case I needed to call someone.

    I had a Thermos with ice cubes and frozen cold water along with frozen water bottles for the road.

    I began my trip exactly at 3:30 AM on Wed Aug 21st in order to do most of my drive in cool temperatures and avoid the summer heat. My plan was to clear Sindh in Day time and enter Punjab before sun set and take a hotel in Rahim Yar Khan. Now I had no idea just how long it would take me to reach Rahim Yar Khan so I planned a stop at RY Khan for the first night. My relative who lived in Hyderabad the year before had been re-posted to Dera Ismail Khan so now the plan was to stop there on my way to Islamabad, which meant a new route I had never been on.

    So my second night stay would have to be DI Khan if I could reach it.

    I left Karachi with a half tank of Fuel (Rs 500) in order to keep the weight light so I could easily cope with the steep hills I had to climb on my way to Hyderabad knowing full well that I would find many petrol pumps along the way. The plan was to fill up just after crossing Hyderabad as it would be a more flatter and smoother ride. I cleared Hyd just after 6:30 AM and filled up to the top. I drove past many farming communities and realized that although I had driven this route many times over the past 3 years, I never saw this view from the car which I was enjoying now on my bike trip. I kept a steady speed of 80 and sometimes even touched 90 on clear roads but had to slow back down 70 near heavy traffic.

    I stopped somewhere at a Truck Stop (Charpai Hotel) for breakfast at around 9 AM, not sure if I can remember the place but it may be close to Moro. I am certain that the very first 3 pics should remind some of the readers as to the location if they have traveled this route.


    After a 45 Minute stop for nashta which I had on a Charpai I got back on my bike and head further into Sindh. Now I should also mention that I had my relatives believe I would go by Bus and book my Bike on top all the way to Islamabad and then do my road trip from Isb to Naran. No one would believe it was possible or even safe to travel by bike this long route. This is why you will notice I had most all of my pics with my bike in order to later convince people that I in fact drove my bike and did not just stop the bus to take pics along the way.

    Most of the readers will automatically recognize these areas of interior Sindh along Kherpur, Gotki and other areas where I stopped to take pics.
    As it got closer and closer to the afternoon, it got hotter and hotter. I would stop periodically to open the water bottle in my saddle bag on the side which was already warm, so I would take a cup which I carried and mix the ice cold water with the warm water so as to not to have a very cold drink and at the same time make the water cold enough to drink and keep myself hydrated in the heat of August.

    I was expecting to reach the border of Punjab and cross Sadiqqabad and catch a hotel in RY Khan sometime in the evening knowing full well that I would have to stop within Sindh to take rest under the shade of a tree during the afternoon, but to my surprise I kept riding without tiring and by 2:30 pm I was already at RY Khan. I wondered what I would do all day in RY Khan and rather than sleeping it off at the hotel all day I decided to keep on going and pushed further ahead and improvise on my night stay along the way.

    Although I would stop from time to time to drink plenty of water along the way I noticed now that I was not perspiring, I was not passing urine, and so I was wondering where all that water was going. I mean I had possible drank almost 3 liters of water, two full Nestle bottles which are at least a liter and a half each. But soon I came head on with my worst fears. I began to feel a light headache which got worst as I drove, I was feeling the heat radiating from the asphalt on the road below me and I felt hotter and hotter with my forehead beginning to sweat.

    I was come down with a heat stroke. I quickly started searching for any shade I could find but to my surprise, after passing RY Khan I really didn't see any tree but rather just fields and fields of vegetation. Soon I began to see trees in a distance and now I began to wish for a tree I could just drive my bike across the field and park under the tree to rest it off and cool down.

    There was a small dirt road cutting of the highway into some village in a distance but that road was enough for me to have access to the tree line and I just drove into the field of grass and parked my bike under the rich green trees. I pulled out a plastic sheet which I had carried with me for such occasions and laid it on the uneven dried mud field and then took out the plain which sheet to lay on top of the plastic sheet and then used the cushion I was carrying to sit on as a pillow and just laid down to sleep. I don?t know when I dosed off to sleep but could hear people walking in the distance on that dirt road hardly 50 feet from where I was sleeping. From time to time I would open my eyes and see the people walk by or on bikes who were locals and they would look at me but carried on without stopping.

    When I finally woke it was past 5:30 pm and I slowly got up, took out some much needed cold water and mixed it with the water from the bottle and drank a good three glasses down. I sat simply lay for another 10 mins or so and then folded the bed sheet and the plastic sheet and put them back in place.
    I got back on the road and although I could still feel the heat readiating from the road beneath me, it was nothing as before and I also knew it would cool down now that the sun was at an angle and would set in another two to three hours.

    From my map I knew I had to get off the main N5 highway and go towards Uch Sharif and then onward towards DI Khan and stop for night stay somewhere at a Hotel. When I reached Uch it was almost Maghrib time so I stopped at the most beautiful Charpai Hotel that I had ever seen. It was beautifully built with paved parking lot, a nice small mosque next to it which was glittering in marble and glass designs and kalima written all around it in colorful tiles. It was so well lit with dozens of bulbs. So I stopped for Maghrib and then decided to have dinner. As usual I asked the waiter for a nice meal and then they asked where I was coming from and where I was heading upon seeing the luggage on my bike. I told them and they were shocked, that I had driven all the far from Karachi. I asked how far Ali Pur was since that was on route, they said it would be another 2 hours so I asked if there were any hotels to stay at in Ali Pur. They one by one along with other customers who heard of my trip and where I planned on going came to me and requested I not drive further due to bad security conditions during the night as well as there are no services along the way until Ali Pur in case I got a tire puncture or other problems. They all recommended I stay the night at the charpai hotel.

    So after dinner and isha I asked where I could sleep since my bike had luggage which was difficult for me to undo and then again it took a while for me to tie it and didn't want to waste time in the morning putting it on once again. So they suggested they would set up a charpai for me in the veranda (baranda) where I could park my bike next to me and they too had armed guards who would also watch out for my luggage and bike so not to worry. And the best part was the stay overnight was absolutely FREE. So I did just that and was fast asleep by 9:30 pm and had set my mobile alarm for 4 am in order to be on the road early to beat the summer heat and not face another day of heat stroke on my way to DI Khan.

    When I woke up in the morning at 4 am I shut the alarm and went back to sleep since it was such a restful sleep with a cool breeze thinking I would just rest for another 10 mins before getting up. It was the morning azan which I woke up to at around 5: 00 AM. I quickly told the waiter to prepare nashta for me (Chai Paratha) while I go to offer namaz. After nashta at 5:30 I was about to leave but was requested to wait till the sun came out for safety and so I did just that. There are a few pics of my morning nashta in that charpai hotel at Uch.

    I filled up at their pump and by 6 AM I was on the road again passing through many rivers along the road which were so pretty seeing the reflection in the water early in the morning.

    I drove to DG Khan, and then to DI Khan where I reached at 1:30 PM and stayed with my relative Major Hasan for two days. Enjoyed his family?s hospitality and wonderful food. And on Sat Aug, 24th at 6 Am after breakfast Major Hasan arranged for his Driver and Guard to escort me for a safe passage to the city limits and they put me on the road leading to Chashma.



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    alaaa....enjyd a lot...thanx for 4 such nice post....kudos

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    Default The Cave of Naran

    We walked to the Cave which was behind the market of Naran.

    Its not anything spectacular and so that is why its not all that popular locally, not many know about it although its right behind the market.

    After visiting this cave I took the driver for breakfast. Took some pics of the street.

    Then had back to the hotel and took out my luggage and got my Bike ready for the trip.
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    What I Call Adventure .... Some May Call Insanity

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    Default Checked out of the Hotel and Got an Oil Change

    I checked out of the Hotel and took a few pics from above outside my room. There were other families also leaving at about the same time waiting for their ride below.

    I packed all my luggage on the Bike and it was about time I got a fresh Oil Change. So I went to the Petrol Pump to purchase oil (the only pump in Naran) and they told me that in the street behind there is a mechanic who will do the oil change for you.

    It turned out they were was not much work at that time in the morning so although i just requested a simple oil change, they had three guys working on my bike.

    One doing Oil Change
    Another checking and cleaning my Spark Plug
    A third washing my Air Filter clean

    That is when the mechanic asked why I didn't take off the filter when I went to Babusar Top. He said that had I taken out the filter I would have more power, much more power to help me climb steep hills with ease.

    He said all the people on 125 always take off the filter here prior to getting on the mountain. I am not sure if that's the case but this was what he said.
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    What I Call Adventure .... Some May Call Insanity

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    Default Heading Back to Islamabad

    After the Oil Change it was a simple drive back to Islamabad with a few stops for pics.

    When I was coming this direction two days back I had missed all these views because it was pitch dark by the time I reached Naran. So it was a pleasant treat heading back in daylight.

    Along the way back I passed the first waterfall crossing the road like a mini river. I saw two to three men who had fresh vegetables and were selling them after washing them in the ice cold water.
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    What I Call Adventure .... Some May Call Insanity

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sulaiman75 View Post
    The Driver came to the side of the road and stopped next to a mud trail in the lush green grass that covered the mountainside. He then got out of the jeep and it seemed as he is checking something on the tire.

    I was hoping we didn't have a puncture already. He first went to his side of the front tire so I could not see what he was looking for and then he came on my side of the front tire and I took my head out the window to see what was going on.

    He had a clamp of some sort and he was twisting or tightening the center of the tire. I could not figure this out and when he stepped back in the jeep after a brief hardly 2 minute stop I asked what he was doing.

    He said he was putting the 4 X 4 on. I didn't get it, what did that have to do with him doing something to the tires, did he not have the 4 X 4 gear inside the jeep.

    He then told me that these old model jeeps you have to switch on the 4 X 4 from the outside and when we come back down he will have to take it off again from the outside. This was news to me, never heard that before.
    These are Free Wheeling Hubs. They are there to disconnect the front wheels from the drive train to avoid unnecessary wear and tear or load on the drive train when 4x4 is not engaged. These were not present on older model 4x4's. 4x4's in 80's had them and newer 4x4's have either full time 4wd or pneumatically operated locking mechanisms on front wheels.
    -

  7. #246
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    Thumbs up Auto Locking Hubs...

    Another excellent update! I enjoyed this too. Like you going downhill towards Islamabad it appears that your lovely thread is heading for a closure too. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

    ehalin is correct. Modern 4x4 have auto-locking hubs which are engaged automatically when 4WD is selected. The old ones had to be manually locked so that power could go to the front wheels too.
    :-)

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    Excellent. Thoroughly enjoyed reading your narration of the trip.
    Life is thrill. Live it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sulaiman75 View Post
    My speed up the mountain was frantic, at first there was no other traffic so I would rev the engine high to make the steep climbs and slow down to make the turn on the winding dirt road and even at times tilt the bike using gravity as a leverage to make the sharp turns without slowing down too much.

    I made some skids and slides in order to make quick turns knowing I would be safe as there was no edge in the direction I was making the turns. At times I would drive up long track of road with gravel and finely chopped rocks on the road where I had to choose the best place to go over in order to keep my tires from cutting though I had very little choice.

    As I kept climbing in high speeds I realized something .... I was warm but my face was cold. In fact I felt something that was a bit of a problem for me.

    My nose began running due to cold wind coming through my helmet onto my face. What was so difficult was I needed both hands on the handle bars with full attentiveness and had no chance of cleaning my nose so I kept sniffling for a while until it became uncontrollable so I pulled over on the side where I found a bit of balanced track of road. I got off the bike found the paper roll in my back pack and took out a whole lot of paper to use for the remaining part of my ride up the mountain.

    I mounted my bike and again started rushing up the mountain in high speed but it began to get darker and darker and colder and colder.

    It go real dark and my HID came one and was doing real well until I felt clouds all around me. I then realize my worst nightmare. How the heck will I see in the heavy clouds in the dark because as I drove further and further up the mountain the headlight although working extremely well, was beginning to bounce back from the clouds and I was hardly seeing anything but white cloud in front. The HID would reflect back and I would see nothing.

    Naturally, I had to slow down but that was not an option because in order to keep the momentum going I needed to keep moving or I may get to a point where the bike could roll back.

    I began to shiver and after so many years, and I do many may years, did I feel my teeth chatter from the cold.

    I WAS IN TROUBLE !!!


    I kept going on at a much slower speed now and gave full attention not to the road ahead, since I couldn't see any road. But I was looking maybe 3 to 5 feet in front of my front tire only. That was all I could see.

    My fear was missing a turn and going off the edge of the mountain.

    I was going zig zag now because the bike could not climb at such slow speeds up such a steep mountain so in order to keep the momentum going I would go from right to left to right to left and make sure bike kept moving.

    It was getting more and more colder, and less and less visible and I then realized I should have taken up the offer of the man in the last village or even stayed the night at Shinvari Restaurant.

    But at this stage I had no other choice but to carry one. I kept driving in the dark and then felt a smooth road beneath me. This was a shear signal that I was coming close to the Army Check Post at Babusar Top... And the first thought that crossed my mind was ......
    YES .... CHAI


    Well in that shivering condition I thought I approached the check post since but wasn't sure because I could not see anything but knew there was nothing other than a check post on the paved road.

    But the check post never came. Well it did come only I was driving so slow due to no visibility that it was taking me forever to get to it and I needed a hot cup of Tea when I got there.

    Soon I came to a spot where I could see a rope crossing the road five feet ahead of me so I stopped but could not see around me as to where all the officers were. I heard a voice from the right and suddenly a dim light appeared a few feet away from me. It was an army officer with a flashlight walking towards me and asking me to come with him to register.

    I kept the bike running and turned off the HID but kept the low lamp on to make sure I can find the bike in this pitch darkness. The first thing I said to him was, "Kal ap ne Chai ki offer di thi lekin me jaldi me tha to nahi pee. Aj pehle Chai pila do phir bat karte hen". He said, "Chai vala to ja chuka ha or abi ma akela hu sari rat". I was so disappointed.

    But what I wondered is why he would be alone an entire night? I asked and he said that at night no one really goes through here so no need for too many jawans. I asked is there no traffic at all during the night? He said there is the odd truck but due to the heavy cloud there will be no one coming or going until the morning.

    That troubled me even more. I asked if there was any place for me to stay the night here and he said no, its best you keep going and make it to the bottom since the cloud will lighten up as you go further down. He also said that due to security reasons we are not permitted to allow anyone staying here with us overnight.

    I accepted and after checking in I turned back to the bike and all I saw was a glow of dim light in the clouds and total darkness ..... as in BLACK ... REAL BLACK DARKNESS all around.

    I gathered my strength and walked to the bike and when I looked back I could not see the officer and as I mounted the bike I noticed the rope in front of my front tire move down and drop on the road which meant he was near the post and let down the rope for me to pass, but I still could not see him in this dense cloud.

    I began to drive again and had trouble determining the direction of the road but kept following the direction of the angle of the paved road and could tell by the contour of the road that it was about to turn so followed the turn all the wile shivery and teeth chattering.

    I was now extremely cold as the wind was going through two layers of gloves, my jacket was warm but I could feel a breeze go through the jacket somehow, my body core was getting cold and my cheeks felt as if they were stiff due to extreme cold. I am not sure if it was below zero but maybe it was, certainly with the windchill.

    I then came to a point where the clouds were so dense I just could not see anything, even an inch in front of me. In fact I could not see even the front tire and only the glow of light. This was a big problem now since I was back on the gravel road and knew very well I was very high up on the mountain since it was still a long drive down because I had driven past here the day before and knew how high I still was. The only positive thing was that since I was heading down the mountain I had no worry of the bike turning off and could easily drive in neutral using my breaks in first gear.

    Due to the fact I could not see the road any longer, let alone in which direction it was turning I decided to stop and kept the bike running. I was freezing, I was frustrated and didn't know what to do.

    At that moment I realized I had no other alternative but to stop. It was too cold, and nothing to see so I needed to first preserve my body heat and decided I needed to get the sleeping bag out and bundle up for the night and just sleep right here since there was nothing I could see and no one else would come this way as they also could not see a thing.

    But to be on the safe side I wanted to find the side of the mountain where I could sit against and park my bike next to in order to clear the middle of the road. Now how would I do that, I thought.

    I was still sitting on my bike and for a moment reached down to the right side and touched the hot silencer of the bike with my right hand (inside glove) but could not feel much other than a wee bit of warmth. I thought the glove might burn before I feel any heat on the inside. I just sat there thinking of my options. How much would I sleep I sleep?

    I looked at my watch and realized what the heck will I see in the dark, I leaned forward and reached my hand out in front of the headlight and saw it was only 8 pm. This was not good. If its this cold at 8 pm what will it be like at 1 am or 2 am?

    I then realized it was futile to stay here the night no matter how much I bundle up in the sleeping back as it may not protect me from the cold that is still yet to come at late night.

    I then decided I need to keep moving. While still sitting on the bike I reached behind me and felt for the emergency light I had on me which I knew was fully charged. I got off my bike, could not see a thing but was able to feel my bag and the opening zipper and had to take off my gloves to open the zipper and pull out the emergency light without dropping anything else out of the bad in the dark. I first went to the silencer and rubbed my hands in the moist air of the exhaust coming out, I didn't have a choice but to warm them up. Then I came to the back pack and with the rear red light I was able to see the edge of the bag and pull out the light and as soon as my hand touched the inside of the bag to feel the light I first felt for the on switch so the light was on even before it came out of the bag and I made sure nothing else dropped out.

    I put my gloves back on and with the light pointing to the ground in front of me I began to walk around my bike in small circles while the bike engine was still running and the head light on full beam. I gradually began to make larger circles as I walked farther around the bike looking for darkness in the road. When I saw the dark nothing in front of me I knew that was the edge of the mountain and then I walked back a bit and looked at the ground again to my right and left and by doing so I was able to figure out where NOT to Go.

    I came back to the bike, sat on it, turned off the light and put it back in my pocket, zipped up my pocket and began to drive in the direction I assumed the road to be. I drove ever so slowly in first gear trying to balance the bike and touching my feet on the ground due to very slow speed. As I began to drive I realized I was going up. I thought how can that be, but then I thought this may be a temporary climb in the road ahead so drove for another few feet until I saw the road turn to the left and a steep climb. I stopped. I realized I was heading back up the mountain and in the wrong direction.

    I turned the bike around very carefully and rolled down hill again and remembered where I had come up from a few feet ago.

    I kept praying and rolling down an inch at a time all the while looking down to the right and left for any dark patches which meant edge of the mountain. I had my head leaned forward as close as possible to the headlight to get a view of the tire and road below. I knew that if I even see an inch of darkness I will jam both breaks in order to prevent myself from rolling down the mountain.

    I kept this going for quite some time and soon noticed I was able to see a few inches ahead of my tire without leaning forward and realized I was coming down the mountain enough now that the clouds were gradually dissipating. Only then did I realize I wasn't as cold any more, well it was still very cold but my teeth were not chattering and I was not shivering as much.

    This gave me a bit of energy and hope and I carried on. I then came to a dirt road, no rocks or gravel, only dirt. I drove as much as I could then realized I was facing a dark patch in front of me and to my left as well as the right. I was very confused as the road suddenly vanished and I was at the edge of the cliff on three sides.

    I again got off my bike, made circles around my bike with the emergency light and and as I came close to the left side and the front, they were indeed very dark and certainly the edge of the mountain. So I checked the right side and saw that there was a road but it had a sudden dip in it which I could not see past the edge from my bike. I walked down that dip for a few yards to confirm that indeed it was the road and then came back up to the bike where the light was brightly lit. I mounted the bike and began towards the steep descent.

    This went on for quite some time and eventually it got a bit more clearer and I had more visibility although not perfectly clear. I then came to what looked like a bridge and uneven ground all around as if work was going on in that area. This meant i must be near a village though I could not see any light anywhere. When I came to getting on to the little wooden bridge, for some reason I could not recognize it from the day before but I knew there was only one road to Naran and I was on it. I parked my bike just before getting onto this small wooden bridge and then realized it was a broken bridge from the middle, there was no bridge. Now I knew I had not gone over this yesterday so there must be another bridge close by.

    As I walked around this uneven dry mud/dirt area to my left I saw a metal frame and as I came closer to it with my emergency light I could see a bridge but it was almost 4 feet higher than I was. So i traced the route and saw that there was a mud road at higher elevation that was leading to this bridge. I walked on the side of this road leading back to my bike in a distance.

    When I got on my bike I followed that uphill direction and reached the bridge. This was the third and last time I had to get off my bike to check out the surroundings for safety but I was glad I had that emergency light on me.

    Soon the clouds lightened up but still it was pitch dark and the road became paved in some areas and straight, I was off the mountain.

    As I sped up now on the clear road I felt cold again with the speed and wind but had no other choice but to drive on. I soon smelt a fragrance which meant there was someone burning wood but could not see anything.

    The road turned I think and in a distance I saw a small dim red light which meant FIRE !!! I kept driving and as I got closer I saw that it was a hut of some kind with Fire burning inside and the road got wider and I slowed down and saw trucks parked on the side and a few mini vans as well.
    for sure God help you to come out from this situation
    this year i faced same situation twice first in Neelum where we stuck in Dowarian due to rain and darkness & secondly while going to naran on bike
    and the lesson i learn avoid avoid riding bike in mountains after sunset...
    I Love my GS 150

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    Quote Originally Posted by adeelhanif86 View Post
    for sure God help you to come out from this situation
    this year i faced same situation twice first in Neelum where we stuck in Dowarian due to rain and darkness & secondly while going to naran on bike
    and the lesson i learn avoid avoid riding bike in mountains after sunset...

    I Second your Comment about "lesson i learn avoid avoid riding bike in mountains after sunset..." . If nothing else, this would be the most important advice I would give to anyone regardless of how well prepared you are. I believe I was extremely well prepared yet I would never have imagined I could get of that situation. It was only the grace of Allah (SWT) that I survived that night and came out of the situation and I take no credit for doing this trip, but praise Allah (SWT) to grant me this gift of thoroughly enjoying my trip from bottom to Top of Pakistan which I am sad to say that very few have ever attempted such an adventure from Karachi.

    Its sad the many people from Karachi don't know the true beauty that Pakistan has, and what's more astonishing is that forefingers come to Pakistan to explore the North while people from Karachi don't even consider going to Hyderabad due to fear.

    Before I get carried away, I once again thank you for reading and appreciating my experience of Pakistan. And hope all readers here can share their advice and tips that I may benefit from as well as other readers may gain knowledge from.

    Regards,

    Sulaiman
    What I Call Adventure .... Some May Call Insanity

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    Quote Originally Posted by ehalin View Post
    These are Free Wheeling Hubs. They are there to disconnect the front wheels from the drive train to avoid unnecessary wear and tear or load on the drive train when 4x4 is not engaged. These were not present on older model 4x4's. 4x4's in 80's had them and newer 4x4's have either full time 4wd or pneumatically operated locking mechanisms on front wheels.

    Well, you really know your stuff about 4 wheel drives. Very interesting to know they come with both options. But I still think the option of having the "pneumatically operated locking mechanism", although good for the longevity of the drive train, its still very inconvenient to get out in nasty whether situations to switch from 4 wheels to 2 wheels and back.

    Great information, thanks.

    Sulaiman
    What I Call Adventure .... Some May Call Insanity

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    Quote Originally Posted by mehran View Post
    Another excellent update! I enjoyed this too. Like you going downhill towards Islamabad it appears that your lovely thread is heading for a closure too. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

    ehalin is correct. Modern 4x4 have auto-locking hubs which are engaged automatically when 4WD is selected. The old ones had to be manually locked so that power could go to the front wheels too.
    Yes, soon I will reach Islamabad and then my train adventure begins to Karachi. Short but nevertheless part of the complete adventure.

    Soon after I plan to write a thread about my second Solo Pakistan Bike Tour from Karachi towards Kashmir during Eid Ul Azha. That too is quite a unique Experience for me.
    What I Call Adventure .... Some May Call Insanity

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    Eagerly looking forward to your next trip. (Y)
    "Imagination is more important than knowledge"

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    So is that finished or the train journey will also be included?
    Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity... ~ John Muir

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sulaiman75 View Post
    Well, you really know your stuff about 4 wheel drives. Very interesting to know they come with both options. But I still think the option of having the "pneumatically operated locking mechanism", although good for the longevity of the drive train, its still very inconvenient to get out in nasty whether situations to switch from 4 wheels to 2 wheels and back.

    Great information, thanks.

    Sulaiman

    Sulaiman bhai, though this is a great thresd and we don't want to spoil it by disscussing 4 wheel drive tech on it but I wanted to explain it just a liltle bit more...

    Free wheeling hubs are required to disengage the front wheels, diff, and propeller shaft from running idle i.e without the 4WD being engaged.
    The advantages are that you save on fuel as the vehicle runs light on free wheels and the wear and tear on the system can be avoided.

    Free wheeling hubs are primarily used on highways and in driving conditions where you know that you will not have to use 4WD.

    In my case; when I find myself driving in area where I presume that I will need the 4WD I run the the vehicle with hubs locked and select the 4WD as and when required from the selector switch in the cabin.

    Just by locking the hubs your car does not get into a 4WD, you still need to select 4WD either from the lever or the selector switch inside the cabin.

    TC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xoofi View Post
    So is that finished or the train journey will also be included?

    Train Journey will also be included, just need to find the time to write and attach pics.
    What I Call Adventure .... Some May Call Insanity

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    Quote Originally Posted by hsumbal1 View Post
    Sulaiman bhai, though this is a great thresd and we don't want to spoil it by disscussing 4 wheel drive tech on it but I wanted to explain it just a liltle bit more...

    Free wheeling hubs are required to disengage the front wheels, diff, and propeller shaft from running idle i.e without the 4WD being engaged.
    The advantages are that you save on fuel as the vehicle runs light on free wheels and the wear and tear on the system can be avoided.

    Free wheeling hubs are primarily used on highways and in driving conditions where you know that you will not have to use 4WD.

    In my case; when I find myself driving in area where I presume that I will need the 4WD I run the the vehicle with hubs locked and select the 4WD as and when required from the selector switch in the cabin.

    Just by locking the hubs your car does not get into a 4WD, you still need to select 4WD either from the lever or the selector switch inside the cabin.

    TC

    Hahaha .... Oh my .... I love the detail and its wonderful information for those such as myself that have no idea what and how the 4 wheel drive is engaged, specially the intricacies of the mechanical operations involved such as what you have described.

    You have made it so simple for even a layman like myself to understand how the system operates in general and the benefits of the two wheel instead of four wheel in fuel consumption. But I will be honest, this would make a whole lot sense when a person sees the function operate first hand in real life. But wonderful information nevertheless.

    Thanks again.

    Regards

    Sulaiman Zaffar
    What I Call Adventure .... Some May Call Insanity

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    Default Passing Balakot

    How do I know? Well just read above the yellow taxi .... LOL

    The views all around before as well as after passing Balakot were breathtaking and so I stopped to take pics of the river running on the side of the road on side and the mountain on the other side.

    I drove past Shugran and although i was very tempted to this time go up and take a jeep from the Pine Valley Hotel to go up and see Siri Paya, but knew well that such a diversion will most certainly add at least 3 hours or more to my already tight schedule ahead. So I decided against it and instead decided to spend 15 minutes at the Waterfall Cafe to take some pics as now there were a few people and families that had stopped for lunch and snacks and it was much more lively now as compared to when I passed this spot two days back on my way to Naran.

    I obviously took a heck of a lot of pics as you can see of the Waterfall Cafe, but I just wanted to get as many different angles as possible. This time around everyone was so busy with their friends or family I didn't think it was appropriate for me to cut into their conversation and ask them to take my pic so I did what I could on my own.
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    What I Call Adventure .... Some May Call Insanity

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sulaiman75 View Post
    Hahaha .... Oh my .... I love the detail and its wonderful information for those such as myself that have no idea what and how the 4 wheel drive is engaged, specially the intricacies of the mechanical operations involved such as what you have described.

    You have made it so simple for even a layman like myself to understand how the system operates in general and the benefits of the two wheel instead of four wheel in fuel consumption. But I will be honest, this would make a whole lot sense when a person sees the function operate first hand in real life. But wonderful information nevertheless.

    Thanks again.

    Regards

    Sulaiman Zaffar
    Pleasure is all mine...

    Hameed Sumbal
    -

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    Default Loving the Drive on Contoured Mountain Highey

    It was such a pleasure driving through the beautiful smooth and engineered contoured Highway as I drove at quite high speeds around each turn due to the elevated turns allowing for higher speeds and better control.

    I had to stop a few times just to capture the view of the specular roads below. It was just mind blowing.

    This by far was one of my most memorable drives in the mountains since it was mostly all downhill and the view ahead and oncoming traffic could be easily predicted allowing for a more confident drive. When I had come the other way two days back, it was mostly uphill and did not have the same views that I had now so it was quite a treat.
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    Default Passing by Mansehra .... I think

    I believe the following pics are of me reaching Mansehra.

    The drive from Mansehra to Abbottabad was brutal. It was a beautiful scenic route but the traffic rush and the level of aggressiveness of drivers really surprised me. I thought Karachi Saddar was bad, but the track from Mansehra (inside Mansehra as well) all the way to Abbottabad and within Abbottabad was very rough with no one giving an inch.

    This was truly surprising and very difficult. Later I realized that it was somewhere in the late afternoon so perhaps people were heading home from work.

    I was unable to take an pics from here since the drive all the way to Islamabad was hectic.

    I reached Islamabad around 6:30 pm after which I showered and planned to have dinner and then sleep till 11 pm or Midnight. After that it was planned I would be driven to Pindi Rail Station for my 1:30 am train to Karachi.

    After freshening up I did lay down for a bit but then the mobile kept ringing, cousins wanting to visit me before I left. I had a few relatives drop by around 9:30 pm and we sat and talked till 10:30 pm. There was very little time to nap and so I decided to just stay awake.

    We left for the train station in Pindi around 12 pm or shortly there after and it took us quite some time due to heavy police checking all the way out of Islamabad. We reached the station around 1 am and figured there was no need for anyone to wait for me and told them to just head on home while I wait for the train in the next few minutes to arrive since the departure was at 1:30 am.
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