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Thread: Solo Ride to Moola Chotuk, A Hidden Oases in Baluchistan Desert, Khuzdar

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    Default Solo Ride to Moola Chotuk, A Hidden Oases in Baluchistan Desert, Khuzdar

    A Spur of the Moment Exploration Trip

    My Ride: 2012 Suzuki GS 150

    Destination: Moola Chotuk
    - A Natural Spring and Waterfall in the Desert of Baluchistan
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    What I Call Adventure .... Some May Call Insanity

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    As I was enjoying the ride on a long straight and paved road, the carpeted road eventually ended and put me on a dirt road once again through even more winding mountains.

    I soon came to the following views and took some of these pictures below, still hoping to reach Kharzan with enough time to make it to Moola Chotuk to avoid the oncoming heat, if it was going to get any hotter than it already had.

    As I have no way to be sure but I think the temperatures around 1 pm had reached well over 42 degrees if I am not wrong. I could feel the road under me steaming.
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    I rode along this cliff which was unique in that some of the climbs I did on my way up was a rocky path. But as I looked closer it was not a man made path, it was the mountain itself.

    The mountain happened to have an angle in which people had been using as a road, so it was a naturally hard surface type of a road which in fact was the mountain stone. It was great riding up on that flat slate of stone but wondered what a terrifying ordeal it would be for someone riding up during rain, or when it was simply wet. Devastating to say the least.

    When I came around a bend I noticed the view to one side of the canyon was quite beautiful and so I stopped for some photography. But as I looked closer below me was a tiny river type of stream running which was clear blue in color but was I found even more surprising was a person bathing in it in the middle of nowhere. It was quite a way down so not sure if the mobile picture shows the person but if you look closely you might just spot the person.

    I was hoping this meant there is some sort of town or civilization nearby. Perhaps its finally Kharzan.
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    What I Call Adventure .... Some May Call Insanity

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    There was a difficult track full of loose sharp rocks with the edges of the track on both sides also lined up with same rocks and gravel as if the road was under construction.

    As I came around the last bend I was treated with the following view of what was the beginning of Kharzan below.
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    As I descended the mountain to Kharzan I ran into an obstacle because again there were two tracks ahead. One to the right on one side of this town while the other ran to the left.

    I first rode to the left and as I came around a turn I saw in a distance three children playing under a tree way back where I left the track heading to the right. I figured this would be a good opportunity to ask them for the right direction.


    So I turned around and head back in that direction, as I came closer to where they were sitting two kids ran away. One remained sitting looking at me in an odd way. I said Salam to the kid and asked which direction Kharzan was. He just looked at me confused. After a few tries when I didn't get any response I decided to now carry on following this track and hopefully crossing an elder who could speak or understand Urdu.

    I rode on and for some reason the track didn't seem to be leading anywhere particular, just towards the town while again it began to split up backwards in the direction of the mountain. I stopped and was frustrated now due to lack of drinking water that was cold as I knew I had nearly boiling water in my back pack, and I was feeling a bit of dehydration now. It was nearly 2 pm and peak of the afternoon Heat.

    I stopped the Bike and took a hard long look at my surroundings hoping to see a live soul.

    And in a distance from the direction I had come from I could see three images which seemed to be people walking. They were so far that at first I could not tell if they were indeed people. I stared in that direction for a few seconds to make sure there was movement and when I noticed that images moving in one direction I knew that was perhaps the only chance I had of getting directions in a long time.

    I raced back again from where I had come in their direction and finally caught up to them. After greeting them with a Salam I asked which was was Kharzan since I was uncertain I had reached it as yet. They said this is Kharzan, where was I looking to go?

    I said I am actually heading to Moola Chotuk and I had to pass through Kharzan. They said I am in the wrong direction and that I had to carry on to the track on the left, the very same which I had initially taken before spotting the kids and turned back.

    I then asked if there was a tea shop or a hotel where I could eat. They said yes there are tea shops but not hotels which serve food. I settled for the tea shop and asked where I had to go. They said to just follow the track on the left and it will lead me to the market.

    So I rode on after thanking them. Incidentally, only one of them spoke broken Urdu while the other two tried to answer me but all they could say was in Balochi, and incomprehensible to me.
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    I crossed a few small streams along the way and noticed the odd person walking so again, I would ask if the Market was in the direction I was heading and the response was yes.

    I noticed ahead of me a long deep water stream which was concerning because I also saw a row of jeeps, 4x4 stopped before the stream. If they were having trouble then God help me, I thought.

    As I got closer to them I realized that perhaps they cannot cross this stream but I can find another shorter and narrower or shallow part to cross. I soon realized it was all the same. It dawned on me that there was another group from Karachi that was to visit Moola Chotuk the very same weekend by the name of Khanabadosh. I knew at least one person from that group but did not see anyone I recognized and thought this cant be them.

    Nevertheless there were a few people standing outside the jeeps so I asked one if there is a problem crossing this deep stream and he responded not at all, they were just taking pictures I think. They guided me to the edge and said I should try crossing there as it was easier. I did just that and found the water almost knee deep and I carried on quickly while getting my legs all soaked.

    The following Picture was taken by there group which I am sharing here.

    Picture Credits: Abuzar Naqvi
    From Khanabadosh
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    What I Call Adventure .... Some May Call Insanity

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    Upon crossing the series of rivers the 4x4 caravan lead me to Kharzan market where I took a few glasses of cold water as did some of the occupants of the jeeps. They then quickly got into their vehicles and pressed forward while one of the drivers or rather the jeep manager I think it was, he requested that I follow them since we were all going to the very same location, to Moola Chotuk
    What I Call Adventure .... Some May Call Insanity

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    We drove through some treacherous river streams that I found very difficult riding through while the jeeps, well they were jeeps.

    I did my best to stay together but at times they would get far ahead and I would eventually catch up to them. I found it a bit risky trying to keep up with them since the loose stones in the partially dried stream we mostly rode through was both slippery and uneven. A fall there at that speed would have been devastating for me, so I slowed down hoping to catch them when I could and tried to keep an eye on any dust trail they left behind which was rare because it was mostly stones and rocks without any dirt which could be tossed in the air from their tires.

    Approximately 20 minutes into my ride I was left far behind but was certain they traveled this rout because from time to time a tiny puddle of water would appear leaving behind a tiny wet spot where their tires must have crossed. It was so hot that the water trail dried up quickly so I knew they had passed by just a minute or two ago.

    As I got closer to a mountain the trail lead me to the beginning of what was a road ascending on the steep unpaved and rugged mountain. As I climbed around a bend I finally saw the caravan of 4x4's going around the mountain. I soon caught up because this is where they could not keep up the speed as they went up sharp turns and over uneven large rocks. I simply maneuvered around these rocks and kept the momentum to keep climbing.

    Soon I caught up to the jeeps and realized I needed to give them space to keep my bike moving. Stopping in the mountain was not safe as I would be forced to slide down as soon as I let the clutch go.

    It was nearly 4:15 pm by the time we reached what they called a Guest House. Now that was a bit unnerving because it looked like an old beat up building with broken windows and a stone wall as the main entry point. I had no plans of renting a room to begin with because I was prepared to sleep out in the open. It was Hot, real HOT.

    The Picture below was taken by the Khanabadosh group and in the midst of the crowd as they arrived at this guest house you can see me with a Green Vest and part of the bike against the stone wall. I was trying to unload some of my belongings but I was so fully exhausted after the long 14 Hours plus bike ride that I simply could not unload anything and just took off my jacket, all pads and just them sit on the bike to dry

    Picture Credits: Abuzar Naqvi
    From Khanabadosh
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    What I Call Adventure .... Some May Call Insanity

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    It was already nearing 4:30 pm. The jeeps kept on coming and the Guest House staff were preoccupied with getting their guests settled with their luggage into their rooms. I was thinking once that was taken care of I could ask the Guest house management the directions on how to reach the water stream before it got dark. Although I had my swimming shorts and slippers in my back pack which was tied securely on the back seat under the foam insulation I brought to sleep on, I just didn't have the will or energy to untie my luggage. I decided to wear what I had on and swim if I had to in the same clothes.

    As the commotion died down a bit I asked who was the Guest House manager. The men kind of looked at one another and then asked what I needed to know. I said all I wanted to know is how to reach the water falls.

    They said that I can just ride the bike upstream and its hardly a 5 to 10 minutes ride. I was totally exhausted from the long ride and didn't want to burden my behind any further so I said I would walk. They insisted I should ride as its a long walk of nearly 30 minutes but I kept responding I will walk to give my legs and back some circulation.

    So they pointed the way and said they will all be following in a few minutes.

    I began walking and another boy from their group grabbed his back pack and walked along with me. We did a fair bit of talking but due to excessive exhaustion on my part I never got to asking his name or giving mine to him.

    We walked perhaps 10 minutes in and out of the water and then we heard a 4x4 come from behind stop close by and they asked us to climb on at the back where there were already 4 people standing. We both climbed on and set on the corner holding on tight because this jeep was bouncing here and there moving ever so slowly through the large rocks below.

    If I am not wrong we must have gone maybe 30 feet when the jeep got stuck. We all came off the jeep and after a few attempts the jeep came out of the small ditch where one of the rear tires had gotten stuck. By then a few more jeeps had caught up and it was decided they could not go any further and now it was simply a walk through the canyon to the Spring.

    So again we were back on our feet. I perhaps was one the very first people to arrive there since my objective was to take a few snaps, get wet and then back to the Bike where I had left all my belongings including the LED night lights which I should have brought along. It would be dark soon. The remaining group took their time since they were busy talking and taking pics along the way.

    I requested the person behind me to quickly take a few pics of mine before the remaining group arrived.
    He took a few of my pics an then I took the remaining pics of the area around.
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    What I Call Adventure .... Some May Call Insanity

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    Soon the Cavalry arrived and there was a rush in the pond. People were having fun and we all tried to swim into the deep. I was helped by one person to get to the upper level because the flowing water from that level was too powerful to allow me to push forward alone.

    The following three pictures were taken by the Khanabadosh group, in the last picture I can be seen coming down the cliff on my way back from the upper level.

    PC: Abuzar Naqvi
    Khanabadosh
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    What I Call Adventure .... Some May Call Insanity

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    The following pics were taken by me as I went to the next level in hopes of reaching the higher levels to get a good idea of where the waterfalls were that I had seen on the net.

    I took a few snaps and noticed no one else was coming up behind me although there were a few people in the pond when I was climbing up. I could hear them yelling and talking but not following me.

    So I figured it was unwise to go further in running water unless there was at least another two people with me. So after taking a few snaps I began heading back only to find they were all having fun in that pool below and jumping off the cliff.
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    Upon looking back this is what I saw. They were all having fun in this pool, some diving off the cliff to the right.

    I stood there looking at the marvelous sight for a bit and took a few pics.
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    By now I was feeling the stress and fatigue from the Ride and decided I needed to head back to get some sleep.

    To my surprise the water was not at all cold. It was slightly warm and the surroundings were even warmer.

    So I gradually climbed down the cliff to the right where guys were jumping off of and upon reaching the bottom pool I stood there a while longer as more people from their group arrived and it seemed it was becoming more fun now. They tossed in a yellow rope, perhaps they did plan on going further up and pulling along people to the top.

    I took a few more pics before heading back slowly towards the Guest house.
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    As soon as I reached back at the Guest House, it was still daylight so I asked one of the jeep drivers there if there was any food arrangements by the guest house and to my surprise there was nothing. I had only had breakfast at Wadh before reaching Khuzdar and now I was hungry to find that there is no such thing as a hotel here. Now I was worried.

    I decided to just take it easy, unload my luggage and get some sleep which I was already in bad need of.

    As soon as I unloaded the bag I looked around for a flat spot and found a suitable location close by where I lay down my foam along with my cushion and my back pack next to it.

    One driver who I had been speaking with came to me and asked me to join them for dinner. I was so pleasantly surprised. I said I would be there in a minute. They had tin canned food with naan which was very tasty and fulfilling.

    I thanked them for the dinner, had a few glasses of water from their cooler and then head back to my make shift camp.

    But before I did, I simply could not resist the temptation of capturing this so called Guest House on camera. So I pulled out my mobile and noticed I had very little battery power left. With no power bank and my lighter adapter on bike which I use for charging my mobile not working I had to conserve the little power I had left on my phone.

    I took a quick few pics before heading off to sleep.
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    Clearly it was HOT inside the Guest House so even the Khanabadosh team also slept out in the open. I made my sleeping arrangement outside the premises while the group arranged their bedding inside the yard of the guest house.

    The following pic was taken by Abuzar Naqvi of their group. Naturally, they had not entirely set up as yet. There are a lot more people and a lot more arrangements were made later for their accommodations in the yard.
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    Yet again an epic trip.....I recently bought a Yamaha YBR125G and currently in process of learning to ride it as I had never owned a bike before....

    Baluchistan is a true motorcycle country, I wish I will get a chance to ride across on my bike...

    Your travels always inspire us...keep them coming..
    -

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    I thank you for your kind words and words of encouragement.

    Congratulations on the purchase of your new YBR

    Insh Allah you will get the opportunity to ride across Pakistan. But I must warn you, once you do you its so addicting. You will want to do nothing but ride any chance you get.

    Quote Originally Posted by hsumbal1 View Post
    Yet again an epic trip.....I recently bought a Yamaha YBR125G and currently in process of learning to ride it as I had never owned a bike before....

    Baluchistan is a true motorcycle country, I wish I will get a chance to ride across on my bike...

    Your travels always inspire us...keep them coming..
    What I Call Adventure .... Some May Call Insanity

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    It was nearly dark now and I was still trying to get comfortable enough to sleep. The ground below my insulation foam was so hot I could feel it through the foam which was astonishing. I was between sleep and being awake and from time to time would hear the odd person returning from the water spring.

    I think I slept for a while until I heard a bit of music playing somewhere in a distance. I knew from the daytime when I got a lift from one of the 4x4's heading to the water spring, there was a large Speaker inside the jeep indicating there was plan for playing music at night. I don't know know how long they played the music because I was out cold and my most immediate concern was the heat beneath me.

    I woke up in the dark under a cluster of clear stars above. That was quite a view. I looked at my watch and it was just after 2 am. I turned my focus for a moment to the heat below and it now felt comfortable. Even the air was somewhat comfortable now, not hot and not too cold but just right.

    I stared at the stars for a while without getting up and searched for Mars which is easily visible in the night sky because its kind of reddish in color and rather bright. I believe I saw two shooting stars in a matter of some 15 minutes I was up. I also saw two planes zipping by at very high altitude, one heading one way and another in the other direction though they were some three minutes apart from each other. That was the flight route for long distance flights. But again, it was very very high such that I saw a very tiny spec followed by a short trail of fuel burn.

    I again must have dozed off because the next time eyes opened I could clearly see the Milky Way Galaxy above. This was in plain sight of me and when I checked the time it was now 3:30 am. I stared at the milky way for a few mins and then remember falling asleep and waking up at 5 am exactly.

    I knew there was no food service here by the Guest House and the other group would have planned to prepare their own when they eventually woke up. I had to get down the mountain as quickly as possible allowing myself time to have at least a cup of tea in Kharzan as well as trying reach Khuzdar before the peak of afternoon heat. There at least I would have access to cold water and shade if needed.

    I took a few minutes while still laying down to gather my thoughts and finalize my exit plan after packing. As I was packing my back pack and arranging the First Aid Kit and the Tools Bag on the top end of my back pack for easy access in the event there was a need for it, one person from the group who had been sleeping on the inside of the Guest House yard came out and spotted me being awake and asked if I had any water while holding an empty Coke bottle in his hand. Clearly I had none and told him that. He looked concerned and said there is no bathroom here and no water.

    Our discussion was heard by one of the Jeep drivers who had been sleeping on the back seat of the 4x4 with the door wide open and his legs hanging out. He got up and told the person seeking water to just walk behind the guest house and down to the running stream and fetch his water. I had seen the depth of that stream behind the night before and it was quite a hike for a person who needs to go to the bathroom. He didn't wait and just head down that direction while I continued with my packing and rearranging my luggage.

    By the time I was done with my packing more and more drivers were waking up. I started the engine to let it idle a few minutes before I departed. In the mean time I realized I would be alone and no one to guide me at this time of morning and in the event I was faced with a divide in the path below, how would I deal with that. So I walked over to the few drivers that sat together now after having woken up. I asked if there will be any issues with me going down as far as following the correct route is concerned.

    They assured me its a single track down and where it eventually does split up there will most likely be someone there I can ask.

    With that I bare my farewell and checked my time of departure, it was exactly 6 am then.
    What I Call Adventure .... Some May Call Insanity

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    As I began to descend the mountain I kept thinking in my mind how much time I took from Khuzdar to Moola Chotuk. I believe I left Khuzdar the day before at around 10 am and reached Moola at 4 pm. This meant it took me 6 hours and perhaps will take me at least 5 hours today to get back. It meant it would be at least 11 am or closer to 12 Noon by the time I reached Khuzdar.

    This was crunch time for me since I wanted to reach Khuzdar before the afternoon heat.

    At one turn I saw the most beautiful views of Kharzan below me with green vegetation. I tried to capture a few pictures as best I can while stopped on the rocky slope heading down the mountain.

    As I reached the bottom of the hill I kept following the only track and at one point the track split up. I tried my best to recollect the route I took the day before but since I was chasing the Jeeps I could not remember the exact route we took but it looked somewhat familiar with the village to my left as I rode through the track in the partially dried river full of loose rocks.

    After a little while I knew I was not on the right track because this track was taking me away in the direction of yet another mountain ahead while the town of Kharzan was behind me to the left. I stopped to look for someone and found some ladies in a distance working around their property. I obviously could not approach them.

    So I turned around and head back the way I came and soon enough I saw two men and I raced the bike towards them. They spoke broken Urdu and from them I came to know I had to keep going back to where I had come from and cross a tiny river in order to enter Kharzan Market where I had intended on having Tea.
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    While riding to the town of Kharzan I had to pass through a small row of trees and in between there was a deep puddle of water nearly 30 feet in length. Now this was a mud road so naturally the water was filled with wet mud. I remembered crossing it the day before from the edge of the road where it was shallow because on each side of that road were deep bushes and there was no alternative but to cross through it.

    So as I recalled the day before how used the edge to cross, and I carefully tried the same route on the edge and while doing so I felt the bike slip a bit to the side in the mud leading me to a deeper area. I kept the momentum going in first gear with no other option and the bike slipped deeper and deeper into the water till I could feel almost my knees in the water.

    I finally cleared the water all wet from the knees below but noticed a bit of missing of the engine so I gave it some gas to rev the engine and keep it from stalling. But that didn't work out too well and it stalled.

    I moved the bike to a sunny spot to allow it to dry while I looked to see if there was water in the plug, and surely the spark wire was wet. So I took it off and let it dry for a while.

    Nearly ten minutes of unsuccessful attempts at restarting the engine by using both the self and trying to Kick Start the bike it finally paid off and started. I allowed it to idle for a few more minutes and then revved the engine to see if it would shut off. It was fine.

    I so mounted the bike once again and carried on riding.

    This is where I was waiting for it to dry after I dragged it away from the pool of water just behind the turn.
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    Some distance ahead I came across a few kids walking to school. But it was Sunday, why would they being going to school on Sunday. How I knew they were heading to school is they had Takhtees in their hand.

    Now that was a pleasant sight. To see a Takhtee which I hadn't seen in a generation. So I stopped and tried speaking to them but they could not understand and only smiled.

    I asked if they were heading to school. They said Madrasa.

    I asked their names and one by one they all gave me their names. To be honest, I only remember Saleem now. Saleem is the boy to the left standing just next to the girl on the far left. She too had a beautiful name and I simply can't remember her name now. One was Ahmed, and the others I just don't recall.

    They were the cutest of kids and I just had to take a pic of them. So I pulled out my mobile and asked if I could take a picture. They understood and just noded their heads indicating a yes.
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