Who, then, is the man that fears the Lord? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him. A divine being controls nature, and Mother Nature is perhaps just a synonym for a force so strong, so devine, so blessed, that only the will and power of a mother could harness. Ultimately, we are all men of mercy, mercy shed upon us, by the Devine who controls a brute force.. Nature. It is perhaps those of us who fear and respect the Almighty, that one light at the end of the tunnel, that one kindle of fire at the edge of the hemisphere, that one particular moment, that one moment, just that moment....WHERE YOU WAKE UP IN THE MORNING AND THINK WHAT THE HECK WAS WRONG WITH YOU AND WHY YOU PLANNED TO CROSS RECORD BREAKING FREAKING SNOW IN KALAM!
Inner peace is what "Po" from Kung Fu Panda finally attains to save the day and all the training given by Master Shifu culminated in him. We're a crazy bunch of people, as we try to find the same in the most remote and rugged terrain of our beautiful country, and this time around, after a bit of deliberation, Kalam was finalized as the next destination.
Lazy as we are, and frankly very proud of it, we surely believe in a self coined proverb; Planning is nothing, but a plan is everything. So with just a 4 day plan to Kalam, we literally packed up and left. Yes, yes, we made sure the hotels were booked and all turns out we are not that lazy afterall
We would hate to bore you with the details of our itinerary, so long story short, members of Team Unimog Pakistan and 4X4Engaged? reached Kalam at 3 pm after having a lovely breakfast at Charbagh. A point worth mentioning is that Beemog reached Kalam from Lahore - non-stop in 21 hours - which in itself is a milestone. We unpacked, settled in, and after having tea, some of us went out to check the surroundings and the snow conditions. On our way to Kalam, we were quite disappointed to see very little snow; we'd driven for almost a day and a half for only one reason to find a bulk of it. Anyhow, looking at the conditions in the surrounding areas, we had finalized that if it did not snow during our stay we will definitely do a trail run in the jungle, since the track looked extremely promising. Gup Shup sessions in warm rooms of the hotel, while munching delicious dry fruit, continued till late night after having deliciously cooked chicken and vegetables.
Next morning, after getting freshened up and having breakfast, vehicles were checked, and we were on our way to the Maidaan (the open area in Kalam as referred to by the locals) and as expected, a great line up was already there. Team IJC in all its might was proceeding with their Snow Cross so we simply joined in. A beautiful track prepped by IJC awaited us all. After having lots of snow fun in the Maidaan, we proceeded to explore a jungle track right opposite to the Maidaan. Rao's TBx led the way and Beemog followed. It was a beautiful track, snow clad terrain amidst pine trees. And by the way, it was snowing since 12:30 pm, and it was almost dark. Hence, we decided to head back to our retreat. A day well spent with a fair amount of snow. Everyone was cheerful that the trip had gone absolutely as per plan. Little did we know what nature had in store for us the following day.
Pitch white. Everything turned white the following morning as it had been snowing for the whole night. Fearing the worst, we packed up, had breakfast as soon as possible, and started our journey back to civilization. Ahmz (Alpha MaleJ) pitched in at critical moment to make our journey comfortable from Kalam to Bahrain (details to be shared later). By the time we reached Bahrain, it was already dark and the gang decided to spend the night in Bahrain.
Allah is kind, and when we woke up the next day, the snow had stopped falling. We immediately packed up and headed towards Mingora. Had a great lunch in Mingora, and Deedee very skillfully drove the Beemog without vipers in heavy rainfall through out the rest of the way. After having the famous Malakand oranges from the road side shops, we entered a more comfortable zone of motorway.
It was one of the most nerve wracking and testing trips ever, which enabled us to see and experience the most beautiful landscapes in snow, and also brought us very close to the Creator on several occasions.
Hmm...so what next? Deosai in winters!(H)
write up by KWB25 and raohamid