All right guys, so here it is. Me, Musadiq bhai and chuck planned a trip to dudipatsar lake on 29[SUP]th[/SUP] of august. Musadiq bhai is a friend I have known for more than a year. Someone I met through a thread I posted about my trip to skardu in june last year. Chuck is my partner at work, I have had like hundrads of tours with him. After meeting musadiq bhai aka sadiq bhai last year we have had quite a many trips together. So its like a trio. Most of our plans are spontaneous and unplanned. But this dudipatsar lake camping and fishing trip was planned to every single detail you can think of. I might as well share a list we had made.
Me n chuck had blackberry q10 and sadiq bhai had some samsung phone. So all the pics r from smart phones. We r not rich enough to own dslrs so quality of the pics wouldnt be so high. We rode two bikes, 125 and one gs 150 cc suzuki. Me n chuck rode suzuki n sadiq bhai on 125. We have altered the seat of our suzuki gs. so we dont feel tired on long trips and the luggage we tie at the back carrier helps the passenger sit with back leaning on the luggage, so gets pretty relaxing. Chuck is extremly slow rider, he would take his sweet time to over take a truck. Hes just slow as a tortoise whereas me and sadiq bhai are pretty fast! ON our way to naran we stopped at every beautiful view, bend we saw.
So the plan was to hike up till lake in one day and camp there for couple of days.
We started our trip on bikes from Islamabad at 11:45 pm on friday and arrived Beasal at 9 in morning. We took gari habibullah route to get to balakot and then towards naran / beasel.
We had breakfast and started shopping for porter. We wanted a mule to take our luggage till the lake and planned on bringing it back ourselves. We hired a guy name Shafiq ( owned a white mule ) to carry our luggage, for rs 2000 and the deal was to drop our stuff at dudipatsar lake and we would carry it back ourselves.. The deal was pretty clear apparently. You dont need to hire a guide if you are hiring a porter. And if you dont wish to hire either of them, you can just trek at your own because track is pretty evident, you have to follow the rived and the track is always visible. Luckily on this trip we got perfect weather.
In beasel every local guy we met warned us about kohistani. Like literally, the cop who did our entry, or the hotel guy, or the porters we spoke with or just random guy walking on the street. Everybody we spoke to recommended us not to camp at the lake cause of kohistani. Our deal with the porter was to drop our luggage at the lake regardless of what locals think and he agreed.
We started the trek at around 12 in the noon. Trek is not difficult at all.. Its like crossing one medow in to the other, after crossing a couple of small mountains So after you go up n down on a couple of mountains then you start walking in medows, which is really beautiful. A medow that is gigantic, surrounded by mountains on both sides and then theres just the medow, stream, nature, animals and you. On our way there were a couple of other groups trekking and we met so many locals throughout the way.It was not complete wilderness.
Any way. by 6pm we arrived at mulla ki basti. It took us complete 6 hours to arrive at mulla ki basti. We rode bikes all night and trekked the next day, you feel like a zombie when you dont sleep.
After resting a while when we were ready to head towards lake, the porter denied carrying our luggage because of 2 reasons, one of which was its not safe to go to lake and then he wanted more money. Keeping the security factor aside, we tried to sort out the money issue first because we knew these locals try to rip you off in any way they can. The porter guy completely denied the fact we had a lake drop off deal in 2k and he was off the mindset we will come back with him with using his mule. So the guy wanted more money to carry our stuff to lake and then he wanted us to hire him for the days we spend at lake. Porter probably thought we are armatures and won?t be able to carry our luggage back and we will be at his mercy to carry us down to beasel. We paid off the porter with 2500 rs. 500 extra was because they charge 4800 to go to mula ki basti and back. So we would have to pay half the amount. So we had to pay him 500 more and he was off our backs.
So after all this crap it was already 7, so there was no chance of us getting to lake with weight on each guys back. We made Tea the only camping food item we made. During the trek from beasel to mulla, every guy we met sang the same Kohistani song. Saw many locals carrying firearms.
We were pretty much sick off listening to same old kohistani story from every guy we met, all the tourists out there at mulla ki basti seemed to be living in fear. After the porter rip off, we planned to skip our dinner and head to bed. ( well I ate some cookies and had coke )
So the night was super freezing, since our tent is the cheapest and single layer tent. We had a plastic sheet over it but it dint help much cause our tents main entrance doors zip is broken. LOL. I know idiots right! Shortness of breath don?t let you sleep easy. The night was beautiful because of full moon. Even at the most beautiful places, if people surrounding you are pricks, you don?t really enjoy it there then. Oh and the repeated fires were shot at night to scare away kohistanis were a completely wired feeling. We go to trekking in hunza and skardu or anywhere you go in north of Pakistan you don?t get to hear fireshots or anything, so this was very strange for us. Gun shots echoing in middle of the night. Strange!
After a sleepless, cold and hungry night, we woke up to a beautiful sunny day. Next day, on 30[SUP]th[/SUP] aug, when we woke up, we found out nobody can go to lake since some vip is coming. Cops were there to stop people from going. Later on we found out it was our PM Nawaz S. The trip couldn?t get any worse than this. We wanted to camp at the lake in first place and now we were gona see it for a while. But har chez main Allah ki behtari hoti hai, may be HE saved us from something big. So not complaining but, we were like :@
Breakfast was jam with toast. Since we were so pissed on everything, we dint cook. There were around 50 people on mulla ki basti that morning gathered together asking for permission from cops. Anyway when they let us go, we walked towards the lake for about 2 hours. It?s a beautiful scenic walk. It?s pretty easy walk, no such mountains to climb. Arriving at the lake makes you forget everything that has happened with you lol. The lake was so beautiful and thank God we dint see the lake with 50 tourists around us. All of the group had gone back and we were late comers as always. So in serenity we enjoyed at lake for just a while like half an hour. It sounds pretty stupid walking for a day and sleeping for a night in cold to see lake for just half hour. Saw a couple of bullet shells on the beach.
After chilling at lake for a while, we had to leave because all the security personnel?s were pouring in. Anyway when we arrived back at mulla ki basti in 1.5 hours, we saw all the tourists are walking back with a few cops with them. At first the idea of walking alone scared us but then we were like, whats the worst that can happen now. So we 3 started walking alone with 30 kg luggage on every guys back. We left m ki basti at 1:20 pm and we were in beasel at 7 pm. So it took us around, 5 hours and 40 minutes, give or take.
When we arrived at beasel it started raining and we had to ride to naran to get a decent meal. Next morning we visited saiful muluk just to chill out and then on our way back to Islamabad. At Kewai me and chuck planned to visit shogran and siri paye and sadiq bhai left for rwp. We stayed a night in shogran, then left for siri paye. Had fun there, the place is beautiful.
Before I left for dudipatsar I use to think why is there so much hype about security of this lake. Now I know that local people have made this kohistani myth to scare tourists so they won?t stay at lake. This way it makes at least a 3 day trip for porters, which is better than 2. And I don?t think kohistani would walk all the way up to a lake where he knows no one camps. Plus Kohistanis are also human, though they walk faster than rest of the local northern area people. But they wouldn?t be this stupid to walk up to lake and find no one there and that too in night. Come on give me a break. All the robberies story you will listen on your way to dudipatsar lake, will be like. ?couple of days ago, a few guys from Lahore were walking back and kohistanis robbed them?. Whoever you meet or talk too will tell you this story or the other story is ?Once mula ki basti got robbed too by kohistanis.?
So I am not sure if kohistanis come and rob these guys this frequently, because there are quite a many of local people chilling in area, they are loaded too just like kohistanis!
On our way back we managed to catch up with the other crew who left early. The guys we spoke to told us the same story happened with them. There were couple of groups who got ripped off one way or the other by the porters.
So this is what happened with us at dudipatsar lake, but the place was amazing, the medows, the lake, the walk, everything was beautiful. This place looks like a fairy land. If you are planning on camping, I would suggest go ahead and do it and you will make history and you will break the jinx! I wanted to do it but couldn?t due to completely unexpected crap! Nothing on this trip went according to plan but we had fun.
Other than naran area, every other northern part of Pakistan has beautiful people, like gilgit, chitral, skardu, humza. But these Naran and surroundings till chilas is full of crap!
I am not that good in English, I tried my best writing a clear understandable tale. Lastly I forgot, when we came down the track, while waiting for rain to stop in beasel, we met the cops i guess he was dsp or something. We spoke with him about camping at lake. he laughed at me and said, who would rob you at the lake? I was like, thank you sir!