Tuesday, July 3, 2018

June 2018: Gabral Swat - Badhgoi Pass - Kumrat Valley

Badghoi Top Connecting Kalam Swat and Kumrat Dir Valleys


Above Video (June 30, 2018): crossed High altitude Badhgoi Pass connecting Upper Swat and Upper Dir Districts (Kalam to Kumrat) in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, Pakistan

Route Map:

Loop: Islamabad-Bahrain-Gabral-Badghoi-Kumrat-Dir-Peshawar
Close-up: Gabral Valley to Kumrat Valley

June 22, 2018:

Reached Swat, overnight stay at Bahrain, a scenic town and the end of metal top road.


Bahrain: Last Town in Swat with Metalled Road


Sunset Somewhere Between Kalam and Gabral

June 23 - June 30, 2018:

Stayed at Gabral Village, right at the heart of nature, for a week. Zeeshan Mansoor with wife and 3 kids (in their Toyota Corolla) left on June 26 for lower Swat, so did Zeeshan Hussain, wife and 3 years daughter on June 28. Asif Bhai joined us in Gabral from Faisalabad on June 28-29 with his and brother's family in Toyota Corolla and Honda City respectively.

We stayed till June 30, before descending from Kumrat side to complete the loop.



Gabral Valley Swat: June 23 - June 30, 2018


Gabral River


Kharkhari Lake Gabral


On the Way to Kharkhari Lake Gabral


From Left: Zeeshan Mansoor, Siraj our host, Zeeshan Hussain, Myself


Wilderness in Gabral Valley Swat


Natural Meadows around Gabral Valley


Freezing Cold Furious Stream Emanating from Kharkhari Lake Gabral Valley


Snacks Vendor on the Way to Kharkhari Lake


Water is not a Scarce Resource around Gabral Valley


Omnipresent Naturally Grown Yellow Flowers of Gabral Valley


Clouds Gathering at Gabral Valley Mountain Top


Typical Gujjar House in Gabral Valley


From Left: Nisar Eldest Brother, Zeeshan Mansoor, Aqal Zada, Myself, Zeeshan Hussain and Daughter, Siraj our Host


Colours of Sunset in Gabral Valley


A Natural Waterfall Feeding to a Small Local Hydro Power Generator in Gabral Valley


Tiger: Sirajs Dog!
Wilderness Around Gabral Valley Swat




Another Fast Stream Coming from Shahi Bagh Gabral


Shahi Bagh: a Stunning Meadow in Gabral, Tough Access


Divine Botanical Gardens: Shahi Bagh, Gabral Valley


Nature's Art: Shahi Bagh Gabral


Shahi Bagh Gabral


Absolute Wilderness: on the Way to Shahi Bagh Gabral


Paper Trees around Shahi Bagh Gabral


Natural Paper from the Jungle: Shahi Bagh Gabral


These Scented Pink Flowers are Hard to Ignore on the Tough Shahi Bagh 4x4 Track


Getting Overcast: Clouds Coming Down to Gabral Valley


Sunrise in Gabral Valley Swat


Waterfall Right Behind Our Gabral Residence


Nature's Art in Gabral Valley


Asif Bhai also Made it from Faisalabad with his Family


Backpacks Ready for the Return Journey Through a Different Route


Good Bye Gabral Valley

June 30 - July 1: 
Gabral - Badgho Top - Kumrat Waterfall - Peshawar


Hired 4x4 from Utror Village to Cross Over the Tough and Dangerous Badghoi Pass


After an Hour of Steep Ride Utror Village is Hardly Visible Alongside the River


Approaching Badhgoi Top: Contentious Desan Meadows can be Seen


A Motorbike on Tough Badhgoi Pass 


These Yellowish Stones are Actually a Sheep Herd: Badhgoi Top

Nature's Bouquet


Green Flag Flying High in Strong Chilling Wind


Descending from Badghoi Top Towards Kumrat Dir Side


Remote Village on Badghoi Slope


Reached Thal Village, Kumrat Valley, After a 4 Hours of Bone Breaking Ride


Local Hospitality in Thal, Kumrat: Tandoori Paratha, Maize Flour Bread and Pancake, Free Range Eggs, Cow Milk Cream, and Honey Served with Goat Milk Tea!


The Mighty Kumrat Waterfall


Dense Kumrat Jungle Surviving Human Onslaught


Some Trees in the Jungle Even Touch the Sky :-P


Wild Wild Kumrat: Toadstool


Saying Goodbye to Our Host in Thal Kumrat
July 2: 
Peshawar to Karachi PIA. 2 hours late, bad quality customer service, but still more reliable than lousy private local carriers.


Our Host Dr. Imran in Peshawar treated us with sumptuous Chappal Kabab!
Boarding for the Return Journey