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Thread: Bike Trip to Gilgit, Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015

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    Cool Bike Trip to Gilgit, Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 (Completed)

    Salam Everyone,

    Here goes the travelogue of my little adventure.

    I had been planning a long trip since i got my GS150 (in 2013), but wasn't able to act on it till this year.
    This summer vacation, managed to get the plan together and got two friends agreed to join me.

    Our little group had two GS150 and one Pridor.

    Plan went as following...

    Day 1. Bahawalpur to Faisalabad

    Day 2. Faisalabad to Islamabad

    Day 3. Islamabad to Besham City

    Day 4. Besham City to Gilgit

    Day 5. Gilgit to Naltar Lake

    Day 6. Naltar Lake to Sost

    Day 7. Sost to Khunjerab and back to Sost

    Day 8. Sost to Gilgit

    Day 9. Gilgit to Skardu

    Day 10. Skardu to Manthoka Falls, Khaplu

    Day 11. Khaplu to Shigar Valley and back to Skardu

    Day 12. Skardu to Deosai Plains, Astore

    Day 13. Astore to Chilas to Babusar Top and back to Chilas

    Day 14. Chilas to Besham City to Islamabad

    Day 15. Loaded the bike by Cargo to Bahawalpur

    Day 16. On Daewoo to Bahawalpur, received the bike from Railway Station and off to Home
    Attached Images Attached Images    

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    Near the Lake

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596289


    These small stone walls built for the washroom purpose.

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596290


    Surroundings...

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596291

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    After a bit of sight seeing, Imtiaz wanted to do some hiking and i accompanied him.
    We chose an apparently small mountain and started climbing.

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596293

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596294

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    Backview after climbing for half an hour

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596295


    Side view

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596296


    Me checking Altitude on mobile to see how much we climbed.

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596297

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    After climbing for half an hour, top of mountain still felt at the same distance when we started.
    Anyway we took some rest and in the meantime Usman also catched up. Then we decided to climb a bit more and Usman decided to stay there while me and Imtiaz climbed a bit more only to realize the more we climb the higher mountain gets.

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596298

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596299

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596300

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    After we were done with hiking, decided to go back and spend some time at Naltar Lake.

    On the way back to Naltar Lake

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596302

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596303

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596304

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    Naltar Lake View from the other side....

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596345

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596346

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596347

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    While we were sitting enjoying the view a group of three boys arrived in a Hilux at Naltar Lake. They were from Lahore. They stopped for tea, had some snaps and left. While our plan was to stay there for the night. It was quite cold at day time and i was imagining the night to be quite cruel.
    As soon as it got dark, it started getting colder and colder. We ordered tea and decided to kill some time with bonefire.

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596348

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596349

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596350

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    That was it for the day. After that we got into the tent. Hotel owner provided us with blankets which were not enough for that much cold.
    It was dark and we had no source of light except our mobiles. We enjoyed some music on mobiles and went off to sleep.

    Tomorrow's plan was to get to "Sost". And the only thing concerning me a bit was the tough track from Naltar Lake to Valley.

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    Good Going.... Nice Sharing...
    :::: The World Is A Book and Those Who Do Not Travel Read Only One Page ::::

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    We spent the night quite restless due to cold weather. In ice cold morning, bikes also needed several minutes warm up.
    We didn't waste much time and at 7 am we departed from the lake. Just after a minute ride, there was a crossing over few large stones, Imtiaz was leading so he crossed first and i followed. After riding for another 2 minutes i noticed i couldn't see the Usman in my backview mirror. I stopped and waited for him. 5 minutes passed by and still no sign of him. I returned back, only to find that he slipped while crossing those stones and with all the luggage on bike, he was stuck under the bike and unable to lift it. I lifted the bike and Alhamdullilah he was alright but broke the clutch lever while trying to get out from underneath the bike.

    Now this was serious, even with all the preparation, it didn't hit my mind to keep extra brake and clutch levers. Nearest place where we could get it was Nomal which was like 4 hours away from Lake. It crossed my mind to use the brake lever at clutch side but then again it would have been very risky to come down on GS with single brake on that track. After a bit of discussion, we decided to book a jeep and load the bike upto Nomal as we couldn't afford to waste a day and we had to reach Sost by evening.

    We talked to hotel owner and he had a jeep and asked for 4.5K for ride upto Nomal. We tried to bargain but to no avail. So we agreed at the price and loaded the bike on Jeep. Usman was kind of relieved to know that he wouldn't have to ride down on that track now.

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596518


    After loading the bike, we left and the jeep followed at slow pace. It was too cold at lake and hence no one thought of filling up our empty water bottles.
    Coming down proved equally tough. Bike was gaining momentum instantly and with all the stones underneath it wasn't possible to brake much. We reached Naltar Valley without any more incident and i took a sigh of relief as the route from Valley ahead wasn't too hard. But after covering some distance, we had to stop as the road was blocked due to some blasting going on to make new road.

    Now this wasn't good as we had already wasted time and now this.

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596519


    It was hot there and everybody was asking if we had some water with us.
    Had to wait for like 2 hours there. Once left from there, Nomal wasn't far. We stopped at a mechanic shop and discussed the case with him. He looked at the lever and told that "Honda old model lever" should be compatible. I got that from spare parts shop and mechanic fitted it after making some adjustments.

    Unloading the bike at Nomal

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596520

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    After getting the bike fixed, we were relaxed.
    Ordered brunch and charged our mobiles in the meantime becuase they were running low on battery. After eating, we took the bridge out of Nomal and in five minutes we were back to the silky KKH. Soon we saw a Caltex Pump and stopped there for refill. While refueling, i asked about the petrol availability in areas ahead and worker told me that last main point before Attabad Lake is "Ali Abad", and i must get enough fuel from there to last me till Khunjerab and then back to Ali Abad as petrol availability in areas after Attabad Lake is never sure.
    I thanked him and we continued towards Hunza.

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596533

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596534

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596535

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    I calculated that one tank full was more than enough to last me from Ali Abad to Khunjerab and then back to Ali Abad, so no need to carry excess fuel with me. We topped up again in Ali Abad just to be safe and continued to the much heard about "Attabad Lake".

    Route was smooth and plain when suddenly came lots of u-turns and road going upward at steep angle. Once we reached at top, we could see Attabad Lake ahead.

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596541

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596542

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596545

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    From there road went down to the loading point at lake. Boat ride was 100 rupee for bike and 100 for rider which was reasonable, we were expecting more.
    We loaded the bikes and got on the boat to cross the lake.

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596724

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596725

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596726

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    Cars, Trucks everything gets loaded across the Lake.

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596727


    On the way across the lake...

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596728


    Boat ride took about an hour. Add another hour for loading and unloading bikes, and you need 2 hours in total to deal with the Lake.
    Though bypass tunnel is almost ready and will be functional from 14th August. After that this lake will become only a fun point for tourists.

    Unloading bike at the other end....

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596729

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    and i am getting jealous as usual .. :/
    hats off guys quite hectic , tiring but in the end enjoyable trip you made waiting for more pics
    [Proud Owner of Yamaha YBR 125 - MashaAllah] -- [Smartphones/Computers "Keera" ] -- [Fan of Traveling/Adventure]

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    After unloading, we fired up our bikes and moved towards Sost which was still 50Km away. On the shiny KKH, it took us an hour to reach Sost.

    You can see Sost town ahead in picture. While the road on the right leads to Sost Dry Port which we visited on the way back from Khunjerab.

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596770


    Usman feeling much energetic now that the Khunjerab was near..

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596771


    It was 7 pm so we quickly searched for a hotel and found a double bed room in 800 rupee and managed with an extra mattress.

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596772


    That was it for the day. Even with all the hurdles, we managed to make it to Sost.
    Next day was relaxing. We had to make it to Khunjerab and then back to Sost. We enjoyed beef barbecue with rice and went off to sleep.

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    Since our plan was to come back to Sost and stay for the night, we kept our hotel reservation and left our luggage in the hotel.
    Checked our fuel tanks to see if the petrol was still there. And left for Khunjerab.

    A checkpost soon after leaving Sost

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596930

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596931

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596932

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596933

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    And another soon after that....

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596934

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596935

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596936

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    A tunnel on the way...

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596941


    And another stop for purchasing ticket to Khunjerab National Park

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596939

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596940

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    After dealing with checkposts, we were free to make a final run to Khunjerab.

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596942

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596943

    Bike Trip to Gilgit Khunjerab and Skardu June 2015 -1596944

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