Phander is a beautiful and magical place, views of Phander lake from the isolated PTDC motel capture one's attention. Feeling the cool breeze sitting up at the motel can get anyone in trance and one can sit for hours watching it. The view becomes even more attractive at sunrise when the rays spread upon the natural water of the lake.
The day of 14th August was a couple of days away, so dedicated rest of cycling days to our country Pakistan. We equipped our bicycles with the early breakfast & decorated our bicycles with Pakistani flag. The ride got a purpose, we were spreading unity & love among the people of Ghizer. If 10% of them sees us and think these are the men from our country who are spreading love, we could feel our visit was worth doing.
We left Gulapur at 9am after having breakfast at the Ziarat Hotel. We started paddling towards our destination, which was about 35KM away. The road condition was very good and scenic. We crossed beautiful small villages like Sherqilla, Dalnati, Bubur, Japukey and Goharabad.
From past two years we were in search of some high roads in Northern Pakistan, finally, in the year 2015 we hit the road from Gilgit to Shandoor
We had the original plan to travel from Gilgit to Chitral, but many people showed their concerns regarding the flood in the Chitral valley, So we restricted ourselves till Shandoor, but we needed the determination to push our limits to the extent we could.
A little bit disappointment since Shandoor polo festival won't be available this year due to floods.
The day#11 was here and we prepared to take a journey to the highest point which was Khunjrab Pass. We were told beforehand that it was impossible for bicycles to reach Khunjrab because of the high elevation of the road. We decided to visit pass on a motorbike.
Now in Attabad, we woke up early and started packing. We were served with a delightful breakfast by “Mr. Rasul Din” before leaving the camp. We reached at Attabad Lake in the span of one (1) hour. By this time, there was a huge landslide to cross before reaching Attabad Lake. We went up the huge boulders of the land slide to reach the lake. I dragged rather than push- ride up to reach the top of the boulder.
It was Day#7, we set off early to reach Hunza in time. We cooked breakfast for ourselves at Ali’s place and took some group photos before leaving. Soon we were back on Mighty KKH. We left Nagar and entered Hunza valley after crossing Hunza bridge. Amazing views of Rakaposhi welcomed us passing from Nasirabad & Murtazabad. In Nasirabad, KKH was blocked by the locals because they were protesting against water shortage. We stopped there until the road was unblocked, It roughly took an hour. Our next stop was “Murtazabad”, amazing & compelling views of Rakaposhi continued all along the way.
Living a routine with the anticipation of an adventure in upcoming time is the hope that keeps you motivated. We had been planning to cycle through Kashmir for a while now and in 2014 we finally executed it. Kashmir is known for the word “Paradise on Earth” which truly explains the beauty of the area. In the mid September, 2014 we got right weather and space from our routine to cycle through the beautiful neelum valley a.k.a the blue gem of Pakistan. True, that wasn’t an ideal time to visit Neelum valley, we could turn out to be only visitors in the valley but we the unusual way to visit by bicycles was on.