The office guys are very well aware about the importance of 1[SUP]st[/SUP] May ?The Labour Day?, yes as a holiday off course and it proves like a dream which comes true if it happens with weekend. I had already marked 1[SUP]st[/SUP] to 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] May on calendars to sleep long but received invitation from our Biking Guru ?Rizwan Mir?. He floated the below plan to visit Shogran on Bikes on these days.
1[SUP]st[/SUP] Day: Thursday 30th April--------- 5pm departure to Abbotabad: 394km ride
2[SUP]nd[/SUP] Day: Friday 1st of May -----------10am departure to Shugran, Siri & Paye: 118km
3[SUP]rd[/SUP] Day: Saturday 2nd of May--------Morning till 3pm stay at Paye & Makra Peak
3[SUP]rd[/SUP] Day: Saturday 2nd of May-------- 3:30pm departure back till Balakot: 35km ride
4[SUP]th[/SUP] Day: Sunday 3rd of May---------- early morning drive back to Lahore: 455km ride
Whuff, the plan sounded tough but much attractive and challenging. I took much time to decide but meanwhile office mates & Friends of Mir sb had already been agreed. My friend who was with me on earlier Trip to Jhelum was not available to go this time due to construction at his home but my younger brother Imtiaz was enthusiastic to experience biking so long. Keeping in view the long run Mir sb suggested doubling on bike so that we can share drive and let each other to have some rest & chit chat by sitting back.
A short intro of us with our rides;? Rizwan & Hafiz Honda CG-125 (Hafiz joined us at Abbottabad)
? Ejaz & Shahid Honda CG-125
? Adeel Suzuki Sprinter
? Abdullah & Yaseer Honda CD-70
? Imtiaz & Izhar Kawasaki GTO-125
Day 01, April 30, 2015 (Thursday)
Well, as per plan most of us took half day leave from office and gathered at Shell Petrol Pump Shahdra at 05.30pm. Since my brother & myself were new to this group so a formal meeting and intro with each other held and group photos were taken place. For most among us it was first biking tour so all were very excited and were ready to hit the G. T. Road. Filled tanks nearby petrol pump and started our journey around 06:00 pm. At sunset offered prayer and restarted journey till Gujranwala bypass. During a short rest of 05 minutes had briefing from our Captain ?Rizwan? for next stop and Do?s and Don?ts of driving in night. This spell was long till Chenab River where again decided to have dinner at Kharian but at Lalamusa offered Isha and had delicious Karahi as dinner. The next stop was Kharian where weather was bit cold and we enjoyed hot tea there during rest. All were again charged so stretched next stop till Rawalpindi.
As expected ?Imtiaz? (my brother) was enjoying driving of his GTO so didn?t allow me to drive. He somewhere near Tarkai exceeded the speed and hit the dig on road very hard which was a great lesson for us so we minimized the speed. We reached at Hasanabdal around 12pm where the weather was much cold. We took the jackets etc. out from our bags and started journey again and by passing 2-3 check posts we reached Abbottabad at 04.00am morning and checked-in at Hotel after parking our bikes in safe area within the hotel. As all of us were much tired so it took a little while only to sleep fast.
Day 02, May 01, 2015 (Friday)
We brothers woke up around 0730am and went out for oil changing of GTO, but meanwhile we noticed that hub of rear wheel had been cracked due to the massive hit in the dig at G.T. Road last night but Alhamdulillah we arrived safely till Abbottabad. All the markets were closed due to Friday & Labor-day. Moreover the availability of GTO's parts was also impossible. Well after breakfast, our Captain and all other guys, heavyhearted agreed to leave both of us at Abbottabad, but for possible solution of cracked hub and rejoin them at Shogran. They proceeded to Shogran at 10:00am with another friend ?Hafiz sb? who joined us from Abbottabad.
What they enjoyed till Shogran is evident in their photographs but above all they enjoyed the amazing weather at Shogran. They witnessed the bright sun shine, rain, hailing and double rainbows all at same place and in a short while. The snow falling on mountain was visible clearly even in the night. They checked-in at a hotel and enjoyed weather till late night in the outside area of hotel.
After the departure of friends we wandered for mechanic and spare parts shops but found most of them closed. We had only two choices, either wait till next day to open markets or terminate this tour and return to Lahore by bus. But we decided ?Daagh Nahi tau Seekhna Nahi?, we enjoyed the roaming in Abbottabad and kept ourselves motivated and didn?t loss the hope. It did work and finally we found a mechanic shop in a close alley of ?Karim Pura?. He also said that GTO?s spare parts are not possible to find in Abbottabad and welding of crack was also not possible. Luckily the mechanic was technically sound and ?Jugaroo?, he re-examined the hub and proposed the replacement with Yamaha after necessary modification etc. A formal negotiation held and he started his work but faced lot of hinders. Rim wires replacement, Rim alignment, machinist work ?Kharadia?. The mechanic was really outstanding technical, he did all these job by himself even the ?Kharadia? work with the help of only one cutting plate. At last around 05.00pm hub replaced and we restarted our journey towards Shogran.
Due to bikes work we skipped the lunch and keeping in view the time constraint kept moving. The weather was getting cold and we stopped for a while at Mansehra bypass where the scenic view was awesome. The Sunset, massive clouds, thunderstorm and mountain altogether made it unavoidable. It was almost dark when we reached Bessian near Balakot after covering high steeps and lots of turns. The lights of houses on high mountains were shining like stars spread all around and the gushing Kunhar River was breaching the silence. The sight was so worthy to spend even night there, and my brother asked me to stop a while at least for a cup of tea at any hotel. As we encountered three foxes on this route so far so I suggested him to keep moving till nearest populated area. We reached Balakot around 0830pm and enjoyed ?Chappli kabab? in dinner.
Our Captain ?Rizwan Mir? remained in touch with us through calls as well as SMS. He suggested not to travel beyond Balakot due to bad weather and night. He arranged our stay at his friend (Hassan)?s house in Balakot.
Day 03, May 02, 2015 (Saturday)
We woke up at 05.30am and after having foppish breakfast with Hasan left for Shogran at 06.15am. The route was good with no traffic so we reached Kewai in a short while. The way to Shogran is full of steep from Kewai so I decided to go on jeep and my brother reached on bike. Our team welcomed us in hotel room, all of them were happy upon our rejoining. It was a bright morning and the view outside was amazing. We took selfies, group photos and video etc. for some time. The next plan was to visit Sri, Pae and return to Shogran by evening and to reach Balakot before Sunset. As all of us were very excited so started hiking to Sri top. The track was full of steep and muddy due to last night rain. We exhausted soon and started to take rest after covering short distances. We were almost fainted when an old man said that you have just covered half of the way so far. !@#@#!@#. The water in our bottles had already been consumed and all were very thirsty due to having long breaths. We somehow managed to reach at Sri top around 0100 pm. The view at top was awesome, Snowy Mountains, long green trees, clear blue sky and cold breeze all were breathtaking. We spent more than an hour there and due to tiredness, e and bad track decided to return to Shogran. We hired jeep and returned to hotel room for collecting of our bags etc. After Zohar prayer started journey back to Balakot. The track till Kewai was covered in low gear and speed. Beyond Kewai we stopped at one or two spots for photographs and finally reached at Balakot. We took lunch there and moved to Hasan?s house again for night stay. In the evening visited Balakot Bazar and Kunhar River where took photographs and enjoyed cold water by dipping feet. Had heavy dinner and Kehwa with Hassan and went to sleep.
Day 04, May 03, 2015 (Sunday)
It was the toughest phase of our plan and real challenge for us to cover approx. 450 km as per plan to reach Lahore from Balakot. Offered Fajar Prayer and departed from Balakot. It was cold in the morning but still the weather was pleasant. The dawning sights of Balakot and surroundings were calling to glare but we had to go, so kept moving till Abbottabad where we had breakfast. After refilling of tanks moved again to stop next at Hasanabdal. The day was getting hot so at Hasanabad we packed our Jackets back and moved on. We were moving as per our target very well but approaching Rawat faced massive traffic blockage at G. T. Road. Miles long bumper to bumper traffic was covering feet in hours. Some of us managed to escape from blockage by putting bikes on service lane and off-road. But still it dragged us approximately 02 hours back to our plan and we gathered again at Mandira toll plaza. We had cover distance as the day was getting hotter so boosted speed for long but it resulted as puncture. After fixing we joined our team at a hotel near Sara-e-Alamgir where we had lunch and tea. The next run was till Gujranwala where we offered Asar prayer and again assembled at starting point Shell Petrol pump Shahdra at 07.00 pm. Thanked God for our safely return and after greeting each other moved home.
This tour was bit challenging for all of us and full of adventures for we GTO riders . Any how we all enjoyed a lot and very thankful to our Captain, Rizwan Mir for planning, leading such a nice tour and his valuable guidance all the way.
ابھی تو تھوڑاسا دم ہے باقی
مزے اُڑا لے قتیّل ساقی
کبھی تو نیت بھرے گی تیری
کبھی تو تُو پارسا بنے گا