Friday, February 10, 2012

Karachi to Gwadar Survival Tips

Makran Coastal Highway Zero Point
Trip to Gwadar is an excellent 2/3 days escape from Karachi especially in the winters when the weather is suitable for long expeditions. Also, the drive through the Coastal Highway is a pleasure in itself

MHis also planning for the long drive however he has some valid concerns which he shared with me through an email. It would be appropriate to blog these concerns here along with the response:

Dear Muzzammil,
We are planning to travel to Gawadar this weekend from Karachi. Could you please give us some travel tips?
  1. What will be outlook of fuel in the way? Or we need to get extra fuel with us from the start?
  2. What about the lunch on the way? Are there any restaurant in Ormara or Pasni?
  3. How is the security?
  4. What is the condition of the road?
Thanking in advance.

Regard
MH

What will be outlook of fuel in the way? Or we need to get extra fuel with us from the start?
Yes, it will be a good idea to take a 15-20 liters can with you as a backup.

PSO at HUB will be your last choice for the authentic Pakistani fuel. Afterwards, it will be all smuggled Iranian one being sold in open drums and that too can only be found after driving half an hour from the previous drum!

Well, going to Gwadar means that you cannot avoid the Iranian petrol so the tested strategy would be to first top up the tank at HUB and then refill past Ormara junction when the tank is half full without utilizing the backup fuel. This way the fuel would be mixed up which will be better than the ‘pure’ Iranian one. I understand that Iranian refineries do not produce high quality octane and then the obsolete logistics methods add up to the worries.

There is a Caltex petrol pump in Gwadar which claims selling the local blend so that would be your best bet even if you have doubts over their claim. The can is still with you as a reserve which you can use on your way back however keep 4-5 liters for the emergency until you hit back the RCD Highway.

You will find the Last CNG Station at HUB
Refueling Facility
Utilizing the Reserve Fuel
Beware, the pressure gauge there is in kilograms!
What about the lunch on the way? Are there any restaurant in Ormara or Pasni?
What I tried successfully in the previous trips is to avoid the breakfast and instead have a brunch at Hingol River Bridge before continuing nonstop to Gwadar.

Al-Hasan Hotel located just after the bridge – ~120 km from the zero point – serves passersby especially truck walas and does that well. The chef there can make a scrumptious Chicken Karhai if requested with respect! You may also ask for the keys from the waiter for the ‘luxurious’ WC toilet, if needed.

Ormara and Pasni have got local eateries but for that you have to go off the highway which is better done for the backward stretch. There is indeed a restaurant on the main highway after crossing the Ormara junction where Javed Coach also takes a stop however I have to yet try that.

Finally Some Food!
How is the security?
During the last many trips I did not see any security issues. But this does not mean that one avoids the precautions.

Try to keep low profile, shalwar kameez are the ideal to achieve that. Give respect to the locals and avoid traveling after dark. Security concerns arise from the locals’ perception that Pakistani security agencies are usurping their rights and the word ‘Punjabi’ is like a ‘gaali’there, so keep that in mind too.

Usually I found Makrani people hardworking, friendly, harmless, and busy in their lives, but don’t close your eyes.

Uptil Ormara it’s pretty uninhabited and cutoff from the rest of the country therefore very safe. Pasni is connected with Turbat by road which kept disturbed sporadically while Gwadar is pretty much calm and peaceful in my experience.

What is the condition of the road?
This question is actually redundant! This is such an excellent road that I would only suggest to keep your speed checked - 100 km/h is approximately the most optimum especially from the fuel perspective - and watch out sfor roped barricades raised by customs and levies one of which I erroneously overrode!

The Freeway!

29 comments:

  1. yaar muzammil.. good to find some post related to travel to gwadar. I wanna travel there with my hubby and my 1 year old son in October. Do you think it is a good idea? The damned airticket is way too expensive, so road travel is our only option. Also.. what time do you feel is ideal for traveling?

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    1. Gwadar is an excellent escape. October is a good time to travel, imo, while November would be better because of the cool weather. Leave Karachi around sunrise so that you reach there before sunset. Keep a plenty of water and juices with you. It'd be great if you guys are familiar with long long drives, otherwise, it'd be challenging for the driver. Do have a look at my other posts tagged Makran Coastal Highway for useful information.

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  2. Is it safe to travel to Gawadar these days with family??

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    1. I will not hesitate taking my family along - with necessary precautions and managing my time well.

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  3. It was great to see your travelling details and tours on PakWheels, as well as on your blog. After reading them, I could not resist but to make up my mind, as well as of my friends, to visit gwadar and travel the makran coastal highway.
    We are a group of 10 friends(hostel), studing in IBA, Karachi. We were planning to go to gwadar thorough MCH this weekend. we have Saturday,Sunday and Monday available.

    I just wanted to ask
    1)if this is an appropriate time(weather condition and security on MCH) to go to Gwadar or not?
    2) Is accomodation or night stay any problem in gwadar? Will we be able to find an economical room/hotel?
    3) What should be the itinerary? where should we take stops on MCH?

    Regards
    Abdullah

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  4. I'm glad Abdullah that you found that motivating. Here are brief answers:
    1. Usually I consider weather and this is a good time to visit. I would avoid summers which are not impossible either. For security, keep low profile and time your travels extremely well. Start early in the morning, even before Dawn, and also end early, well before the sunset.
    2. Better to make a list beforehand. Pakwheels.com must be helpful for that. Otherwise accommodation shall not be a big problem.
    3. On the way up, Kund Malir, Princess of Hope, and Buza Pass. Hingol Bridge comes before that where there is a truck-hotel. I almost always stop there for brunch - recommended. Nani Mandir is also a good spot near Hingol Bridge, I'd suggest doing that during the return leg.

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  5. Muzzamil,
    I have gone through a lot of your posts about Makran Coastal Highway.
    I belongs to Lahore and planning a road trip from Lahore till Gwadar using Multan Road to Super Highway to Coastal highway with reasonable night stays for about a week (from Lahore to Lahore).
    My trip will include two cars and 7-8 people all guys (no girls) but all punjabi.
    Frankly speaking all of us including myself are pretty much scared for being in Balochistan.
    Do you think it's safe to travel this much and what will be best time to travel on coastal highway from Karachi till Gwadar. Any good places to stay in between?

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    1. Thank you for visiting. Gwadar is a great place to visit. It is also a great and a very different drive. Unfortunate that people are hesitant because of the ethnic issues. I know many Punjabi friends who have visited Gwadar and Makran Coast, some accompanies me also, and they never reported any issues. But this is not to deny the ground reality. Take precautions - dress like locals, be polite, travel during day time, etc - and you shall be fine. Overall, the security situation has also improved. Winters are the good time to visit Gwadar, so you can feel lucky! Leave Karachi very early in the morning, even before Fajar so that you can reach Gwadar before the sunset without any unwanted rush. Unfortunately, I don't have any suggestions for accommodation right now.

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  7. I visit gwadar in december along with my family ... its just so lovely to visit such a beautiful place and througout the trip there were so many beautiful sceneries like beaches and deserts with camels on the road�� ..most of all i like princess of hope path ... inshAllah gwadar will soon develope.. as the changes i saw there..

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    1. Thank you for the feedback. The drive is a pleasure indeed. Great that you enjoyed it with family and without any trouble. Hope it would encourage other families also.

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  8. Hey muzammil, great to stumble upon your post on gwadar. Was hoping to go to gwadar by air in mid September. Any suggestions what to do there with a 9yo kid, in terms of water sports and where to stay. How to take the local transport etc.

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  9. Hey muzammil, great to stumble upon your post on gwadar. Was hoping to go to gwadar by air in mid September. Any suggestions what to do there with a 9yo kid, in terms of water sports and where to stay. How to take the local transport etc.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Zenub. For stay, there is a PC located on a great location and recommended, if budget is not the greatest concern. I believe they also provide water sports. For transport, I guess you will have to hire a car as local transport might not be reliable, if exists at all. I drove my own car so did not have to worry about that.

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  10. شکریہ مزمل بھائی جان ۔۔ آپ کی بتائی ہوئی باتیں یاد رکھوں گا ۔۔ انشا اللہ میں اور بیگم بمعہ دو بچے اس ویک انڈ پر گوادر جارہے ہیں

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  11. Am planning to go there on 25dec morning, Muzamil any tips? We are about 15 people so should we take individual cars or a mini bus Wl do?

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    1. A coaster will do, especially if it is not more than a 2 days trip. Otherwise, Makran Coastal Highway is a pleasure drive; scenic and leisurely. If you are planning for a longer trip, then I would suggest taking your cars. It will be a lot of fun. Among other things, take water and other edibles with you as there are little facilities on the way. Do not overspeed at any cost, the road is excellent and tempting however it could be fatal as there is no emergency arrangement. Try avoiding night driving. For meals, busy truck hotels are a good option.

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  12. Dear Mr. MOZAMMAL
    I wish to travel to Gawadar and beyond to Jiwani.
    - like ALHASAN Hotel which as I read in your blog a make shift openair overnight stay facility, are there other such facility or proper hotel available in Ormara or Pasni.
    Your blogs as I read are from 2012-15, is the security still or in coming 2017 as good as before.

    Is it advisable to visit off route places like hingol temple, chandergupt mud volcanoes or any other sight seeing
    Regards
    JavedHasan
    Islamabad
    28-12-16

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    1. - Hotel: In Ormara, there is no proper accommodation facility available but there are a few truck hotels. No security issues in my opinion in Ormara. There is a hotel in Pasni; quality wise it is just bearable. Since Pasni is not very far from Gwadar, therefore usually people instead make it to Gwadar, so did us. Pasni is not considered very safe.
      - Security: Security is not a big concern in my opinion. Take precautions and you will be safe inshallah; keep low profile, be respectable with locals, no night driving, dont keep a tight schedule, etc.
      Off-route trips: Keeping extra time to explore Hingol temple, mud volcano, etc. is a must!
      Have a safe and fun journey.
      Muzzammil

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  13. Dear Muzammal, I am from lahore and want to have a visit of Gawadar for a week. would you like to provide guideline tips which would helpful for me. just like public transport from lahore to gawadar, stay in gawadar, worth seeing locations etc.

    Regards,

    Rashad Mahmood Janjua

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  14. Going to gwadar tomorrow (14 feb 2017) with family will share experience on return InshaAllah

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    1. Have a safe trip. Will wait for your feedback.

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  15. I wanna go by road kindly suggest son bus services,your response will be encouraging

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    1. Never used bus to visit Gwadar, but there are certainly buses plying on this route.

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  16. Dear Muzzammil

    i want to travel to gawadar with my friends may be next week. could you guide me for bus and which service are good what are the fare, where can I get these service the timing of buses when depart and when reach to Gawadar. which best time to travel in bus morning or evening total journey time from KHI to GWDR from bus

    Syed Tahir

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    1. I've been to Gwadar but not by bus. On the way noticed Javed Coach plying frequently. Guess they operate from Yousuf Both, Baldia Town, Bus Station.

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