As I was wondering where should I start to share my experience of northern areas as MOTORBIKER as I have never written it before but I am regular reader of PW forums.
I was excited and happy about this upcoming trip of my senior friends but I was uncertain about the permission from my parents though I am a teacher and father of three schools going boys and travelled extensively throughout Europe on 4x4 and suburbs of Pakistan. However I was hopeful I will get permission to get on my new purchased Suzuki GS-150. This trip I was so excited about and relatively disparate to get along with the two very professional riders Baseer Bahi and Naeem Bahi and along with them Haji Sahib the army retired officer with enthusiasm and energy which any rider essentials.
After long discussions and arguments at last I have convinced my parents conditionally if I will get myself proper gear and for short trip not more than 5 days ( which later extended to 10 days).
So I went to Naeem Bahi and Baseer Bahi to inform updates and get some tip and techniques for riding which could be helpful during the trip that how to shift the gear skillfully, what is proper position for bike how to do maneuvers , accelerate and braking. Even I had few lessons from them that how to comport yourself on uphill and downhill on the bike while riding. So every possible help to become a better rider from new rider. In between we had 15 days for training and test of my newly learned skills. If I pass the test they ll happy to take me with them if not I have to wait for another year as I will become a attired rider.
We all had our planning and imported the new high altitude camp as we had to do lot of camping. We had prepared our bikes for a trip as change the tires with off road tires and some other amendments services and brake pads etc.
Trip Route: Abbottabad to Naran to BabuSarTop Chillas , Ghinni, Thilichi to Asotre to DeoSAi Plain to Sakardu ,Sadpara to Manthoga Waterfall, Gharmang valley and ghamang waterfall to Olding.Olding to Sakardu to Baghicha to Gilgit to Ghizer Vally to Slipi Bala and Back to Abbottabad.
We gathered at Baseer Bahi Hujra early in the morning as third day of Eid. We loaded our bike with all the necessary gadgets and equipment?s. I was the new rider and my bad luck that my bike have more place to fit more things on so I was the one who?s bike was loaded with lot of things as far I think it was too much as though I have personally seen lot of people loaded with individuals and gears. So we all were ready to go as we prayed to Allah for safe and sound trip. The moment I was all sudden become frightened about something unseen or might be something I have never done before. Same time I was happy and same time I was quite nervous to withdraw from the trip but I kept quite and LET IT GO.
We took off about 7 o clock in the morning to mighty North of Pakistan. So we proceeded to Shell fuel pump to refill our bikes which includes 3 GS-150 and 1 Honda Deluxe of Baseer Bahi.
Our first stop was at balakot while leaving from Abbottabad so we were expecting their around 8 o clock while crossing the Mansehra. I was personally quite frightened as I never rode on my bike this far which is quite funny for real riders but what I realized that all other riders were giving me protocol that I was in between the row all the time which boost my confident. So I felt quite normal later that I wont involve in accident as I was in between the riders on the road. We stopped at restaurant as we crossed the balakot city.
We requested for proper breakfast and cup of high caffeine tea which made us relax again. While they all were puffing the cigarettes and cigars I was looking on the road and different people were enjoying and chilling during their drive to Naran. When we cleared with bills we took off to Kaghan and Naran. I was feeling bit tired as soon I have reached near Parrus so luckily I had seen Baseer Bi indicating left to parked at corner so did I as I was tail gating him and so did Naeem Bahi, Haji Sahib and Junaid Khan as well.
Baseer Bahi and Naeem Bahi went for shopping in the Bazar and I was enjoying the scenery. After 20 minutes we were on the road cruising again to high altitude as I was not feeling odd as i lived in a village of Abbottabad which mean living in mountains and riding around from and to city form my village. It was about 10 o Clock in the when I have seen tremendous traffic block near Naran so I followed Baseer Bahi crossing through cars and even some off road.
So here is Naran toooooooooooooooooooo many people and tooooooooo busy for me. We did cross the city and parked right far end of the Naran and waited for Haji Sahib , Junaid and Naeem Bahi who came after 20 minutes and complained about the traffic. So we all settled their and had a good laugh and again they took their cigarettes out and puffed again.
?I am feeling hungry? this was Baseer Bahi so we decided that as soon as we found some decent place to eat we will stop their and going to have a lunch. We stopped at Bissiyah where we met old friends of Two elders ( Baseer Bahi and Naeem Bahi ) and had lunch there with a cup of hot coffee. Al sudden elders realized that we need to cross the police check post if we become late then they will not allow us to move ahead to BabusarTop so we pushed our bikes ahead and we stopped at BabusarTop. It is3,691 ft. is a mountain pass at the north of the 150 km. (93 miles) long Kaghan Valley connecting it via the Thak Nala with Chilas on the Karakoram Highway (KKH). It is the highest point in the Kaghan Valley that can be easily accessed by cars. I reached their and I was shivering like a leaf so I took my top on and put rain coat over to protect against this slaughtering cold wind on top. It was my first time to this Babusartop and I had seen lot of people there. Naeem Bahi called me in a tent restaurant to have a cup of tea where I met a couple with their 3 year and 2 year baby boys on top who travelled from Karachi on their Suzuki Baleno. I am still quite impressed with their courage to take their kids up here on the car with FAMILY from Karachi.
That was it for me for today as I was far more tired as I thought I will be. So Junaid Khan took over from me and I have moved with Naeem Bahi. So we descended toward Chillas but I was wondering why the hell people around their throwing stones and bottles to us as we had done no harm to them. However as soon they see the force vehicles around they ran away so I was relax that there was lot of patrolling around to keep the visitors, guests and commuters safe from local chillasis. I was sitting with Naeem Bahi and I was shouting while eliminate my frustration out and stating pleasure.
We had not stopped anywhere but until we saw the check post right before we were about merge with the mighty KKH. Elders become mad as soon their bikes touch the KKH. All the way they were riding so sober and delegate rider but all sudden they push their bikes on extreme same as Haji Sahib . I was happy I wasn?t riding a bike I am pretty sure that I could not make with them. After fast ride for an hour we stopped at petrol station to refill our bikes at Ghinni.
So we took a rest and I didn?t know why I was laughing might be I was happy about excited about the ride I have experienced moment before. So we stop their and prayed for asar and then we met local person who was just staring the elders as he knew them so we went to him for a talk so he invited us to his hujra which was right before the garage where we refilled our bikes.
So you can see in these pictures what we had seen in his hujra. He was unexpectedly very nice Chillasi as he provide us grapes from his garden when we were leaving his hujra. We all impressed very much from his hospitality.
So here we go again. So we took off from their and push our bikes to the limit and as per we decided that we have to do a stay at Thalichi. As soon we crossed the Raicoat Bridge I was amazed to see the highly perfect paved road. So we were cruising and enjoying the ride when all sudden I saw upward to sky. I never saw such clear sky ever. Even can see the milkyways with our naked eyes. Too many stars bright and shining over our heads and what an astonishing piece of nature. So as I was sitting with Naeem Bahi so he parked his bike on the corner of the road to take rest. Now its about 9 o clock in the evening and we were so tired. So I slept in between the road as it was safe for a moment and in the first time in 5 years I have experienced the freedom from all the worries. When your body and soul come together and become synchronize as you are in state of ecstasy. It was dark and we all were sitting on the road pavement and were enjoying the grapes gifted by the Chillasi host. There were few riders came to us and ask us about the directions towards the Gilgit so we had bit chit chat with them and pass them some fruit to share. They took off from us so we decided to find a place with Qari Sahib at Thailichi in his hotel with no food or dinner. So we had our dinner with fruit biscuits and bottle of coke which was bit out of the way dinner at home or with family. And after offered our prayers we were on the bed to booze off.