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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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    I finally saw the last bit of road leading to the market of Kharzan where I had intended on going.

    I stopped the Bike for just a moment to take some pics. My mobile was very low on battery now and although I had a car cigarette lighter installed on my bike which always kept my mobile charged, it had stopped working since I left Karachi the night before. I never needed a power bank before so this was now a serious problem for me as I needed to be in contact with people when I had a signal.
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    When I entered the market I noticed an entire row of shops open which I didn't notice the day before. I believe they were all closed.

    I stopped next to the same tea shop I stopped at the day before but was only able to drink a few glasses of water before heading off to chase the jeeps to Moola Chokut.

    As soon as I sat the boy immediately ran to fetch me a glass of water, just as the day before. I suppose due to the hot conditions there it must be a norm to offer cold water to whomever sits down outside their shop.

    They had a table and some chairs lined up around the single table. Being such a small town they rarely had visitors sit at their shop so that is perhaps the reason for only one table and three chairs around it.

    I quickly ordered a cup of tea and asked if there was any paratha available. The boy said there is no food available at any hotel here other than Tea and Cookies. So I asked for a pack of cookies with the Chai.

    In the mean time I asked if there was somewhere I could charge my mobile. One of the few people surrounding my table moved forward and said he can do it. His shop was right next to the tea shop. So I handed him my phone and wondered how he would charge the phone without electricity. Not sure if I mentioned, the entire region used solar panels for power and the shop here too used the same technology for power.

    I took my time sipping two cups of tea while explaining to the people why I had traveled alone, where I was coming from, why I was traveling, and why on bike. The intention was to allow the mobile sufficient time to charge at least to 30 % as it was less than 13 % at the moment.
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    After having Tea I strolled the small market and took a few pics at the pakora stand and next to an iron wroker. The shop charging my mobile walked with me as an escort and also so he could take my pics.

    He then told me that the market is shut from 1 pm till 4 pm to avoid the afternoon heat. Everyone is gone home for those few hours. That's when I understood why there was no one around other than the tea shop attendents the day before because it was around 2:30 pm when I passed this market the day before.

    As there was no gas in this region they used coal for cooking and had a small hand winding fan that would flame the coal to keep it hot.
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    Excellent trip Mr. Suleiman. I am very impressed and amazed by your tour. The location is very beautiful and its very similar to Oman actually. I am currently living in Oman and there is a large Balochi community here and these people migrated when Gawadar was given to Pakistan by Oman in the end of 60s I guess. Mostly people migrated from Gwadar, Makran, Pasni and surrounding areas. But wadis look very similar to what we have here in Oman and most of the terrain as well.

    If developed properly by our government Baluchistan can be a very attractive tourist destination. It has so much to offer.

    The thing that has impressed me the most is that you dared to go to a region which people cant even think of. I am sure the local experience with the people there specially in Khuzdar would be nice as well. They do have their concerns with specially the Punjabi people and our governments but I am sure at the personal level the people must be nice and helping as it shows from your narration.

    Again good work and keep it up.

    Cheers, Bilal
    Alhamdulillah

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    Excellent experience Sulaiman bhai.. le kar nahi gaye na sath
    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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    Thank you so much for your generous words of appreciation.

    Quite frankly, I was totally surprised with the response I received from just about everyone there.

    The people in that region were full of Hospitality and Respect. I could not resist stopping and talking to people who were so loving and interested in my journey.

    I believe that if we give them the respect they rightfully deserve, they are some very wonderful people.

    I have traveled Gwadar, and along the way I have seen Ormara, Pasni, as well as Jiwani. I can honestly say that the track of the Makran Coastal Hwy is like no other with the most beautiful landscape and coastal beaches. Surprisingly there are plenty of Mud Volcanoes that are very rare in the world. All these are accessible directly from the Coastal Hwy.

    Obviously, there was some unrest in the region of Khuzdar some time back but slowly it is being cleared by the Pakistan Army. Their presence is everywhere in that region and very rest assuring. The security situation has improved substantially though some elements may still remain. But it can never be 100% secure, just as Karachi till date is still not 100% secure although a lot has already been done.

    So I say, with the Name of Allah just take a leap of faith and explore the beauty of these regions now that the security situation is gradually improving in these regions.

    Once again, thank you for your words of encouragement.


    Quote Originally Posted by Emptyskull View Post
    Excellent trip Mr. Suleiman. I am very impressed and amazed by your tour. The location is very beautiful and its very similar to Oman actually. I am currently living in Oman and there is a large Balochi community here and these people migrated when Gawadar was given to Pakistan by Oman in the end of 60s I guess. Mostly people migrated from Gwadar, Makran, Pasni and surrounding areas. But wadis look very similar to what we have here in Oman and most of the terrain as well.

    If developed properly by our government Baluchistan can be a very attractive tourist destination. It has so much to offer.

    The thing that has impressed me the most is that you dared to go to a region which people cant even think of. I am sure the local experience with the people there specially in Khuzdar would be nice as well. They do have their concerns with specially the Punjabi people and our governments but I am sure at the personal level the people must be nice and helping as it shows from your narration.

    Again good work and keep it up.

    Cheers, Bilal
    What I Call Adventure .... Some May Call Insanity

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    Sufian

    InshAllah Oct me Group le kar jaenge with full planning
    What I Call Adventure .... Some May Call Insanity

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    @ Sufian

    Yar Sach bataun?

    Qasam se jab mere plan bana Fri ko k aj rat nikalna ha to mere zehen me teen name ae. Zahir ha akele janey me thori to tension hoti ha.

    1) Asad Bhai - Lekin on ki Bike ka kanta 60 ko cross ni karta. Or vo b rat ki driving.

    2) Hafeez Bhai - Lekin Night Driving k vo sakht khilaf han. Or on ki bike ka kanta bhi kabhi kabhar atakta ha.

    3) You - Lekin phir khyal aya k double par itna lamba tour or vo b kachay me or paharon me shayad mushqil ho jae

    Or ye sahi decision tha. Bike double par in paharon me tang karti with a bit of luggage. Baqi jo 25 km loose rocks par chala hu it was like riding inside Cave City. Very Very Difficult

    InshAllah me Oct me full preparation k sath Group Tour karwaunga. It will be Awesome !!!
    What I Call Adventure .... Some May Call Insanity

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    It was here in Kharzan that I remembered that during my ride the day before through the rough unpaved roads of the mountains during one of my stops I noticed that the handle on my Bike Pump had fallen off. So although I had an air pump it was next to impossible to use without a handle in the event I did need to use it.

    So I asked where there was a Bike shop and lo and behold the guy that was charging my mobile in his shop was the owner of the Bike parts shop. I asked if he had a pump and he said he did. So we walked to his shop and I picked up a new pump which I carefully packed so it was inside the bag and not hanging outside like the last one. Actually, the one that I had with me was the full length pump which is easier to pump while standing but then again did not fit inside my bag so I tied it inside the blue foam sheets I was carrying.

    The one I bought was the half size one and surprisingly the price was not too high, only 150 rupees. The same pump in Karachi can be purchased for Rs 110 to 130 range.

    I also was having trouble with my Lighter Adapter which was to charge my mobile so I asked if there was an electrician to look at the wiring. He smiled and said we have only bike parts but no bike mechanic or electrician in this market. Surely they had mechanics along the way somewhere or other, but anyone who might understand the wiring was not a possibility in these regions I suppose.

    He said there are plenty in Khuzdar. So that now was the plan, to reach Khuzdar and then get the lighter adapter looked at so I can enjoy my music on the long 400 km ride back as well as have enough power to keep in touch with family when I had a signal.
    What I Call Adventure .... Some May Call Insanity

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    Soon I picked up my Mobile, drank another two glasses of water and purchased one small bottle to carry with me. And I was on my way.

    But before I got going I Soaked my Scarfs and put one over my head under the helmet and the second I wrapped around my neck and shoulders.

    I started climbing a mountain once again with rough unpaved paths. Its interesting how we miss some views heading in one direction and only notice them on our return journey. So I stopped for a moment to capture what I could of a valley that was beyond description and I simply could not get a better view of it on my limited lens of my mobile.

    I was still ascending this mountain.
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    As I reached the top of the mountain I came across a long flat plateau of dry rocks and an unending path made by passing jeeps and local 4x4's leading through the winding Mountains ahead.

    What I found intriguing was the pure isolation and serenity of this place. It was silent and peaceful with not a soul in sight for miles.

    You could see nothing for a long distance but this rocky unpaved track as far as the eye could see.
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    I continued riding on this path while enjoying the beauty of this place looking all around me. Yet the thought of the sharp rocks beneath made me somewhat uneasy with the risk of a puncture lingering in my mind, but I tried not to think about that part and just to focus on enjoying the view.

    Soon the track made a slight turn and into another track running in the same direction but looked as if there were plans on the way to make a road there. The way rocks had been piled on both sides of that track indicated a road being constructed although I saw no machinery or signs of any workers or tents as seen in many isolated regions where roads are being built.

    Another thought was that perhaps these were rocks cleared only to make the track more easier to travel on.

    I stopped at that junction because there was a unique stone formation someone had made. Actually, similar stone structures from small to large were all over this region but this was right on the side of the track and intriguing which demanded that I stop and take a picture of this site.
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    I was so much enjoying this place that I kept walking from one side to the other to capture as many shots of this area as possible.

    In a distance I began hearing a very light roar as if a motorcycle was coming and when I turned to look in that direction, the very same direction I had just come from but a bit to the other side and not the same track I had traveled, I saw in a distance a slight bit of dust flying and soon enough a motorcycle was visible heading in my direction.

    I waited as it slowly reached me. It was a 70 cc bike with a single occupant in shalwar kameez and a graying beard with a scarf wrapped over his head. He seemed to be carrying on without saying a word.

    But then I realized I wanted to be in pictures too so I quickly waved my hand and said Salam as he approached closer to me.

    He Stopped and with a smile said Walaikum Assalam.

    I asked if he could take a picture of me showing him my mobile. He parked his bike and walked over to me and said he doesn't know what to do. So I just showed him the screen and said all he had to do was to press this button.

    I walked over to the rock formation and pointed at the view he should be getting behind me.

    He took a few snaps and then asked me to check if they were ok. They are the ones below.

    With a Salam he then carried on his way while I walked to my bike and after putting away my mobile and wearing my riding gloves I also followed in the same direction.
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    During my Ride I passed the 70 cc biker.

    I finally reached a paved road gradually heading down the mountain and soon enough I could see a Pyramid in a distance below. Around it was a bit of vegetation that was visible indicating a small village or town.

    I expected that this had to be Karkh which I passed the day before. I stopped to take a few snaps and the biker again caught up with me and slowed down to stop next to me.

    He invited me to tea and insisted that I just follow him.

    I personally had been planning on having tea upon reaching Karkh where I had tea with the double cabin jeep driver the day before.

    So I acknowledged and said I would catch up while I continued to take pics.
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    Coming down this mountain I saw a jeep with some men trying to change a tire. I slowed down to see if they needed any help but knew well that most people in this region are very well equipped for situations such as these.

    I said Salam and they responded. It looked as if they had completed the tire change and were putting away their car jack and loading the tire onto the jeep now. I still asked if everything was fine and they said yes its fine, they just changed a tire.

    And then they too insisted I have Tea with them in Karkh. I said I am already booked with another person ahead on a Bike, they said its ok you can also have tea with us. I said ok lets get to Karkh and see.

    Along the way they passed me as they seemed to be locals with their accent but were wearing t shirst and track pants and drove very fast in this region indicating they knew their way.

    I eventually caught up to the biker who had slowed down to wait for me.

    As we entered the town of Karkh green vegetation and palm trees were welcoming us along with beautiful mud homes all around as we entered a mud road with speed breakers from time to time. The biker had slowed down as he would pass by a pedestrian and they would say salam, he would wave his hand and at times slow down to exchange a few words.

    I kept on riding while the jeep was just ahead of me making sure I was close behind.

    I knew this road was now heading directly into the market of Karkh so I had no way of losing my way and so I stopped for a couple of pics.

    As I began taking the snaps the biker slowly passed on by saying chalo market chalo. I wasn't sure at that moment whether he wanted me to hurry up because he was pressed for time or whether it was not commonly acceptable for people taking pics of these areas or of the locals.

    So I put away my mobile and decided not to take any more pics of this area and I just rode to the market where I saw the jeep and the biker parked close to one another in the shade of a tree on the side of the road.

    As I slowed down they both waved me to a shaded spot where I was to park my bike. The biker now had another friend he had met in town also on bike and the two both led me towards the tea hotel. We all headed to a restaurant where again only tea was available. This was a different restaurant only a few shops down from the one I had tea in the day before. It was well built with tiles and nicely decorated. But still the seating was always the same, with shoes off and on the floor leaning back at the Gow Takkia.

    They wore slippers so they went ahead and occupied a spot in the rear while I undid my boots and then soon joined them as I took off my jacket and pads. By then they had ordered Tea and as the tea arrived they asked if I wanted to have tea or bottle (cold drink). I said just a glass of water and then Tea.

    The jeep occupants came close to us and sat nearby and also ordered tea. As I was getting seated I asked if there was a chance I could get my mobile charged. One of them pointed at the wall where there was an electrical outlet and three mobiles were being charged. I walked over to see if I could plug my usb into one of the plugs. A person sitting nearby said that I could unplug his mobile and use his charger as its the same one that I need to use. So I did just that and came back to were we sat sipping tea while keeping an eye on my mobile.

    I believe they were running on generator because all the ceiling fans were running in full speed and a large 40" LCD was on with full sound and a crowd sitting all around watching a Cricket match. I was least interested in the match and had no idea who could have been playing during this Sunday afternoon.

    So we just kept sipping on our tea talking about where I had come from and where I was headed. They too advised me to come when the weather is more pleasant as in October or in March. The Jeep occupants then said that now I have to have tea with them since my first cup was finished.

    I humbly rejected and asked them to just bring their tea to us and join us all as they were sitting a few feet away from us in a separate gathering.

    The jeep riders were heading to Khuzdar as that was where they were from and had come to visit some friends in Kharzan the day before. The Biker was from Karkh and asked that I be his guest and rest here in Karkh for one night and leave tomorrow.

    I thanked him for his generosity and explained that as Monday is a working day and as much as I love this region and would love to see more and spend time here, I really needed to get back to Karachi by night fall and I had a long ride ahead of me.

    He understood and agreed.

    Once we were done with out tea I collected my mobile and again wet my scarves to put on my head and shoulders. Now the crowd in this tea shop all looked at me like I was an alien. I suppose they were used to the heat and I must have looked very odd to them by doing all this.

    We then went back to our vehicles and I said Salam and thanked the biker and his friend along with the jeep occupants wishing each other well. And the Jeep driver asked if I need to follow him. I told him I would follow him but if its a straight road I will be fine. He said its a straight road but he will be just ahead in case I need anything. I thanked him and got on my way while the jeep occupants stood for a while chatting before getting into their jeep and on the road.
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    From here is mostly a straight road winding around mountains but did not have to climb any high mountains, just a few small hills here and there.

    I was now feeling the effects of the heat although it was not even noontime as yet. I was thinking it will be around 1 pm by the time I reach Khuzdar and that will be pretty much he peak of the Heat so I needed to pick up some speed and reduce the photography. Besides, the battery was still showing low on the mobile although I tried charging it in Karkh at the Tea Hotel for nearly a half hour.

    As soon as I reached a paved road, the view was so unbelievable that I simply had to stop and take a few snaps and then quickly mounted the bike and carried on.
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    I promised myself from here on I will not take any further pictures and try to preserve what little battery power I still had left on my mobile because I had been turning off the mobile after each time I took pics.

    But you know too well, that didn't last all that long.

    And yet again, I cam across a bend and simply could not resist the temptation of photographing the unique landscape that was in front and all around me.
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    A while later during my ride I came across this little shop type of Tea Hotel where a local transport van had stopped coming from the other direction and most of the passengers were local females covered with dark dopattas. A few stood under a shade next to the van on my left while some crossed the road towards the tea shop but passing it by towards the back, perhaps to the washrooms.

    It was getting bitterly Hot and I simply could not stand there for long and yet wanted to take a picture of this place as well but had to avoid looking like I was taking pictures of the ladies. So I waited until the ladies crossing had cleared my view and then took out my mobile, turned it on and took just one picture. But then I saw someone going to the corner where it looked like a small tuck shop where I could purchase water because they had just opened a deep freezer sitting outside this tiny tuck shop.

    I rode my bike in that direction and stopped under the shop's shade and asked if they had cold water. He handed me a small bottle which wasn't exactly what you would call COLD but it was a blessing in this hot weather. I paid him Rs 30 and gulped it down entirely.

    During this time another 4x4 pulled over and they too came for drinking water but there were clay drums standing in the shade under some trees next to the road where there was free water and they all began to fill their cans, bottles and a steal glass sitting on top of the clay drum and began drinking. I decided that would be perfect for me to use to again wet my scarves because they had dried by now and it was getting quite hot.

    While I was wetting my scarves, naturally we began our conversation and the questions were always the same; where I was coming from, where I was headed, how long was the ride and so on.

    Then they requested to take some pics with me. They pulled out their mobiles and I pulled out mine. They all took turns and I handed my mobile to one of them to take our pic while others kept snapping with theirs.

    Yet again someone requested I have tea with them and I had to respectfully decline because it was getting hotter by the minute and I really needed to get on the Hwy to Khi as soon as possible.

    So we said our Salams and I got going.
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    What I Call Adventure .... Some May Call Insanity

  20. #59
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    makpak's Avatar
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    Amazing travel sir.

    Seems like a heaven for off-road traveling
    Just an ordinary guy ... @Mak_pk

  21. #60
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    Indeed it was.

    Quote Originally Posted by makpak View Post
    Amazing travel sir.

    Seems like a heaven for off-road traveling
    What I Call Adventure .... Some May Call Insanity

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