Assalam-o-Alikum to this exceptional community of riders here on Pakwheels.com
BARE WITH ME THROUGH THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPHS as I'm quite bad at writing and narration. Though I have formatted the whole post in apparent headings, so that everyone can jump to their part of interest directly. But, I humbly request GURUs atleast, to go through whole stuff as I being un-experienced and rookie in the field, do need their guidance.
A little introduction of myself would be helpful for me and the PW community (which i'm sure is going to guide me in light of their experiences throughout this soul refreshing trip, from planning upto execution and in-transit phases).
Natively from Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir. School life spent in Islamabad upto Matric. Collage life spent in Lahore. Then moved to Karachi in 2001 after joining Pakistan Navy (Aviation) and living here ever since, though I do visit Islamabad, Muzaffarabad and Lahore atleast once a year, but its just a routine exercise which hardly contain any adventures.
Exploration is something in my blood, which got buried deep down while living a typical military, tech savvy & married family life, bla bla bla, (hopefully UPTILL NOW) and biking is my passion since teenage. Whenever I got a chance to combine these two passions i.e exploration and biking I did so in form of short trips, sometimes with family and occasionally alone. (although nothing as compared to what the PROs of this community have accomplished so far).
STORY BEHIND THE IDEA
Last week somehow my passion resurrected from ashes as a result of a little conversation with my wife, "Honey (that's my nickname) AMMI (my mother) ki tabiyat ub kaafi behtr ha, kuch plan karain kahin ghoomnay phirnay ka". (My Mother, yet recovering from serious illness, the illness that pushed our whole family to saturation limits during last 02 years). I thought, "Yes, our body, minds and souls need a major overhaul and we should do something to accomplish this, so as to prepare ourselves for the forthcoming adversities. As soon as I felt the heat from ember, I decided to fuel rather than smother it. Therefore, started to explore the web, Google Maps + Earth and Panoramio etc. Subsequently, the ember grew to a blaze, and I STARRED all the POIs on google map, for the yet pretty vague expedition i was thinking about (Believe me it's quite difficult to escape from routine family & married life's thousands of "IF & THENS", Our major concern yet is how to cater for in between RAMAZAN month) and shared my insensible plan with my wife. It was quite shocking for me when she frowned for a second in bafflement and said, "Let's do it by God, Lets get mad".
Well, when I first thought of the trip (plz be patient, I will elaborate it in ensuing paragraphs), it was my misunderstanding that I am planning to do something like freakingly crazy (whatsoever) of my life, so I shared my thoughts regarding the tour with my Brother in Law [/B] @abdulkarim[/B] (one of my best friends) who is kinda adventurer himself, (contrary to my expectation) he encouraged me, even agreed to try to join me and suggested to visit the Pakwheels forums for guidelines.
PAKWHEELs Here I am with my Jaws-Dropped, Eyes Popped
I instantly jumped to the forums (30 April 2015 at about 9pm) and viola.....since the moment I have gone thru about 30 or so threads in biking section from very first post to last (nonstop with hardly 4 hour sleep in two days straight). As much as I am reading, and seeing pictorial experiences shared by PW adventurers, the stronger is my enthusiasm getting. By now the blaze has out-grown to HELL FIRE, means we are going to pull it off like "Now or Never", by any means and at any cost.
THE EXPEDITION PLAN - 40+ DAYS, 7000+ KMS - EXTREME HIKING. CAMPING, BIKING & SOUL REFRESHING SIGHTSEEING
THE EXPEDITION THAT's GOING TO PUSH OUR PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STRENGTH, OUR WILL POWERS OUR CONSISTENCY & DETERMINATION TO ACUTE LIMITS.
"An Adventure does not justify the definition of Adventure, until it shoves you beyond your limits" - Hammad Mustafa (just came into my mind while convincing a cousin to join me for this trip, as he was bringing up thousands of "IF and Buts")
Enough of boredom for u guys. It's time to share my tour plan with a request for all the guidance, suggestions, corrections, criticism, appreciation, buck ups and advices, from gurus of adventures and exploration here at PWs, which is the major reason to write everything in such pain-staking details:
Participants (so far)
a.Myself - Age 31 years (Smoking since last 15 years has badly affected my fitness, so consider me 50 years old.....lolllz)
Starting point of tour : Karachi on GS150
oKalaam Festival 2012 from Islamabad to Kalaam on Yamaha Vmax 1200 with my Brother in Law and CarCraft members from Islamabad, (me, my Brother in Law and couple of other guys, couldn't make it upto Kalaam and returned from Bahrain - quite long story, will tell u guys any other time).
oRawalpindi to Muzzaffarabad via Muree road & Motorway, Bhurban & Aliot both sides, plenty of time on CD70, GS150, CG125, China made 70s.
oMuzzafarabad to Neelum Valley upto Lawat and back in one day round trip on CG125
oMuzzafarabad to Thandiani (Via Raara, Pattan Kalan) to Abbotabad to Mansehra to Muzzafarabad round trip in one day on CG125.
oPlenty of biking to surrounding villages of Muzaffarabad District, which include some 4x4 only tracks.
b.Shoaib Sadiq - Age 25 years (First Cousin)
Starting point : Karachi or Islamabad on GS150 or CG100 respectively.
oA few short biking trips to surrounding villages of Muzaffarabad District, which include some 4x4 only tracks and ZalZal lake in Chakar on CG125.
oAlready visited the Naran Valley and most of Kashmir except (Neelum Valley) in quite detail, though not on Bike.
c.Aamir Lodhi - 29 years (Friend)
Starting point: Karachi or Rawalpindi on GS150 or CG100
oKarachi to Lahore trip on CD70
oNo mountain terrain biking experience at all.
d. @abdulkarim - 32 years (Friend & Bro in Law)
Starting point : Islamabad, GS150
oKalaam festival tour 2012 on Kawasaki Z10R.
oPlenty of tours to Muree, Kallar Kahar, Jehlum, Bahawalpur, Faisalabad on GXR1000 and Z10R ( there must be a lot more, but these are the few ones I know about).
And at last, with extremely high spirits, courage and practical support by being desperate to ride throughout with me, to make this trip, the lifetime memorable event, not only for me but for our coming generations too.
e.My Wife - Age 29 years (Mother of our two heavenly kids).
Starting point: Karachi or Lahore
Bike Riding Experience:
oShe rode with me to certain villages of Muzzafarabad District plenty of times, which include some rough mountain terrains and to Muree surrounding areas.
First Leg / Tentatively starting from 1st June 15.
Karachi to Sukkhar (666 Kms) Via
Haleji Lake to
Keenjhar Lake to
Manchar Lake to
Talti Lake to
Sehwan Shrif to
Dadu to Moenjodaro to Sukkhar(Night stay here).
2nd Leg / 2nd - 3rd June 15
Sukkhar to Lahore (780 kms)
Night stay somewhere in between or 02 Nights at Lahore (if we could make it to Lahore from Sukkhar in one long-hauled ride).
From Lahore an old friend TAYYAB BASHIR is joining us (on his Vitz) with Family for our 3rd and 4th Legs only. My kids would also be with me from here onwards.
3rd Leg / 04 or 05 June 15.
Lahore to Muzzaffarabad (410 Kms) Via
GT Road to
Muree Motorway to
Bhurban to Muzaffarabad.
with 6hrs or night stay at Rawalpindi.
(From here @abdulkarim will join us on his GS150).
4th Leg - Muzaffarabad - Taobat - Muzaffarabad (07 June to 12 June). (410 Kms)
07 June - Muzaffarabad - Jagarn Resorts - Kutton Resorts (82.5 Kms) (Night stay here).
08 June - Kutton to Kel - Arrang Kel - (80.4 Km) (Night stay here).
09 June - Kel to Taobat - (Noon) (41.2 Kms) (02 Nights stay here).
11 June - Taobat to Muzaffarabad - (205 Kms) (Night stay here).
After 4th Leg one night rest at Muzaffarabad. Will be Saying goodbye to Lahori Jigrot Tayyab Bashir for his journey back to Lahore. I can't insist him to go on further Legs with me as he don't drive Bikes and from Naran onwards his full family loaded automatic vitz cannot keep up with the tough terrain. Moreover, he has already visited Naran couple of times with his friends.
[B]5th Leg - From 13 June (137Km) (3 to 5 days at Naraan-Kaghan Valley depending upon how soon we cover all the lakes)
[/B]This leg is going to be the toughest one as we have to hike for almost every lake visit, so will try our best to clear from Naran prior to starting of RAMAZAN. Please Guide me with such perfect plan so that i may complete this leg and visit all the lakes in shortest possible time.
Muzaffarabad to Naran to Jalkhad (197 Kms) Via
Garhi Habibullah to
Payee Lake to
Saif ul Malook to
13 or 14 June - Saiful Malook and Ansoo Lakes.
14-15 or 15-16 June - Dudipatsar Lake, Sat Siri Mala Lakes, Yasmin Lake, Lalazar Lake.
16 or 17 June - Nooritop Lake, Lalusar lake (and leave for Gilgit - Baltistan the same day - if possible)
6th Leg - Lalusar Lake to Gilgit via Deosai, Skardu & Gilgit - (601 Kms approx) (16-22 June 15)
I am dividing this leg in small sections, each separated with night stays and with minimum distance travels per day i.e at much slower rate so that we don't get fatigued in an effort to be able to "Fast" while travelling, when Ramazan starts. (This is going to be a true challenge that we travel and fast simultaneously. It cannot be ruled out that we might have to skip certain 'Rozay' (May Allah forgive us, though we will exercise Qaza Rozay for skipped ones after Eid, Insha'Allah")
Section - 1(178 Kms) Lalusar Lake to Raikot - (on 16 or 17 June) -
(Night stay here).
Section - 2(Fairy Meadows to Raikot to Rama Lake).
(Night stay here).
Section - 3(82 Kms) Rama Lake to Sehosar Lake and Deosai Planes - (on 17 or 18 June)
01 Nights stay here.
Section - 4(67.4 Km) Deosai Planes to Satpara Lake to Skardu. (on 19 or 20 June)
(Night Stay Skardu)
Section - 5(87 kms) Skardu to Shigar Fort to Shangrilla Resorts. on (20 or 21 June)
(Night stay here)
Section - 6(186 Kms) Shangrilla to Gilgit, on (21 or 22 June) - (Night stay here)
7th Leg - Gilgit to Kunjraab Pass to Gilgit - (22 or 23 June to 27 or 28 June)
Now this is the leg for which i need real guidance from PakWheelers, as this route contains about 20 or so places to visit. I want to cover each and every place in 4-6 days. Please provide me with detailed itinerary i.e where to visit and when, date wise (with suggestions for night stays, preferably camping).
8th Leg - Gilgit to Shandur via Phundar Lake (203 Kms) / 28 or 29 June (Night Stay at Shandur)
9th Leg - Shandur to Kalaash Valley (197 Kms) / 29 or 30 June (Night Stay at Kalaash)
10th Leg - Kalaash to Kalaam - Mahodand Lake (274 Kms) - 30 June or 1st July DEDICATED TO @spasha sir.
Well for this leg we might skip ROZA. coz its going to be the toughest one as explained by @spasha sir.[/I]. We will try to reach Mahodand Lake straight and night stay there, if couldn't, will stay for night at on the way rest house or Kalaam.
11th Leg - Mahodand Lake to Muzaffarabad via Khawarzkhela - Besham City - Mansehra (357 Kms) 1st or 2nd July
AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHhhhhh..........Finally I'm gonna see my Kids after 20 or so days and stretch my legs for 02 days, While our Bikes will be going through a major servicing and tuning procedure.
A short trip to ZALZAL LAKE before leaving on Back to Karachi journey.
Return Journey to Karachi
12th Leg - Muzzafarabad to Rawalpindi - (253 Kms) 5th or 6th July Via
Muzaffarabad to Thandiani
Thandiani to Abbotabad
Abbotabad to Terbela dam
Terbela dam to Khanpur Dam
Khanpur Dam to Rawalpindi (via Margala Hills Road, Sadhu ka Bagh) - Night stay at Rawalpindi
13th Leg - Rawalpindi to Banjosa Lake to Toli Pir (Rawalakot) to Mangla Dam (Mirpur) - (297 Kms) - 6th or 7th July
(Night stay at Mirpur)
14th Leg - Mirpur to Kallar Kahar Lake to Khabikki Lake to Uchli Lake to Namal Lake to Chashma - (357 Kms) - 7th or 8th July
(Night Stay at Chashma)
15th Leg - Chashma to Karachi (1167Kms) 8th or 9th July (with stopovers in between as and when required)
I have to reach Karachi on 10th July by all means as i have to Join my duty on 11th July.
I am enlisting the Change Log for the plan in post #16, in light of the inputs from the PW community and my ongoing further research for the tour.