I knew nothing about what was out there, I had only read about Murree, Kashmir and other northern areas of Pakistan in my course books. I was always curious to see what those places looked like and what was it like to live there. I visited Murree for the first time in 2013 and was left stunned by the beautiful scenery. In 2015 I was of age and wanted to travel beyond Murree. Murree became common and I wanted more. Traveling for me is an addiction now and I love to interact with more and more new people every now and then. Be it Murree or Hunza, i am always up for it. I cannot stay at one place for more than a month, i get annoyed and whatnot. I have plans to visit all the northern areas of Pakistan in the next few years.
I had been planning to visit kashmir for a long time and wanted to travel alone but my parents would not let me. Finally my cousins agreed on going and we had a plan. Muhammad came all the way from lahore, adil and ahmad were already in Islamabad and ready for the tour. Muhammad reached in the evening and we went to the market to buy some necessary items for our trip. The next day we started our journey at 8 in the morning. We took the route that we thought was the easy one but believe me it was a bumpy ride. We took a break after an hour drive from Islamabad at a DHABA to have breakfast and tea. The place was near kahuta villaga and food was really great. After a half hour break we started the journey again.
The next stop was Rawlakot. Rawlakot is a very populated city and the natural beauty of that place has almosed vanished. There are car mechanics everywhere and the city is polluted. We reached Rawlakot in the evening and wanted to stay there and start the journey the next morning. We planned to visit tolipeer and come back to Rawlakot to stay the night. We were tired but due to shortage of time we wanted to go to tolipeer the same day. The moment we reached the top of the mountain known as tolipeer,
I thought of myself as the luckiest person alive to see such beauty. It took me away from the world for sometime and I was in my dreams.
We went to look for a room to rent for the night and we found one for only 800/rs. I was shocked when the owner said 800 and i asked him twice. We took the gas cylinder that we brought for cooking to the room and cooked french fries because we could only bring potatoes with us. Btw adil is a certified chef and a good one. We were at the top of kashmir and it was more than just beautiful. Tolipeer is the only place where you can experience pin drop silence because there are not so many people around.
I went outside at night and looked up at the sky to see stars. Stars like i had never seen before, more than my eyes could see. I stared at the stars and they stared back at me for about an hour. The night was the coldest but I stayed out of the room. Room that we rented was made of steel sheets and the bed was made out of woods by the owner himself. The door had no lock on it so we put the gas cylinder against it. The owner told us that it snows a lot in December so we do not invest much in these hotels and said that the hotels are completely covered in snow and the locals have to move towards the village.
The next morning we woke up early to go to the highest point to see the sun rise. It was magnificent how the sun came and it looked like we were about to touch the sun. I could literally feel the radiations in my veins. We came back from the peak at about 8, payed the rent and carried on with our journey. Our next stop was Muzaffrabad and then Pir Chanasi. We reached Muzaffrabad in the evening and as we entered I thought we were in some kind of a castle that you see in war movies. We got a room as soon as we saw a guesthouse because we were tired and finally got our hands on internet. I have never ending love for local restaurants and desi food. We went out at a dhaba to eat something and had a little chit-chat with kashmiri people. I was shocked when he asked me “Are you guys from Pakistan, i have always wanted to visit Pakistan.”. I had always thought that kashmir was a part of Pakistan. I wanted to talk more about kashmir but did not get the chance to do so. We went back to the our room, had our time with the internet and slept snoring all night.
The next morning we left for pir chanasi, we had heard a lot about that place. We did not know the way and internet was also not working. So we asked a local who happened to be going someplace near pir chanasi and we took him with us. He told us about the President’s house and about Pir chanasi. We reached there after a 3 hour drive and the view from the top was a all that I needed after such a long ride. Mountains always take away all my tiredness and make me feel fresh. There was an army base at the top and locals told us that even foreigners visit this place for paragliding. The roads of pir chanasi were under construction and there were no more then five people i saw at the leak. When the roads are complete. This brought us to the end of our journey, I had a regret that i couldn’t capture the romance i had with the stars, I am definitely going back again, so I can complete my story.
This Article is written by Asad Hameed, Student of BS Media Studies at Bahria University.