Tuesday, July 3, 2018

June 2018: Swat - Gabral - 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