You’re reading the last & final part of Women in Boots series. If you haven’t read part one, go on now read it here and come back 🙂
When we got into our buses after refreshing and soaking our feets in river Kunhar, we came to know some of the group members have not reached down yet. Our team leaders tried contacting them and luckily got the signals and news that they’ve safely found the jeeps.
We reached Naran by and checked into hotel Demanchi at 7:09 pm. The hotel was quite well established and newly made. We got our rooms and dragged ourselves up through the stairs. My body was aching so bad. Every muscle and bone were screaming in pain! Never….never again will I come without preparing my body physically I said to me. Coming straight from stationary lives in cities to do hiking is not good at all. We must prepare our bodies and mind as they need twice the amount of energy than usual.
After yummy dinner, we girls decided to go check out the market. Only a few shops were open. Two girls bought trekking shoes for Lake Saiful Muluk tomorrow in such a cheap bargain. Others went into a shop to buy snacks to munch on later as they’d already finished their stock. 😛
Reaching back to the hotel, I ordered a glass of warm milk and boiled egg to give my body some boost for tomorrow’s trek. Other girls did too. Every single girl was complaining of body pain as nobody usually walks 16km in a day. News spread around someone has Vintogen cream. I borrowed and massaged on my knees as they were red and swelled. It helped a bit and I dozed off.
*View of half frozen Lake Saiful Muluk
After breakfast, We started our trek towards the lake. In the beginning, we were a total of 22-25 girls who had decided to take up this adventure. But after only about 20 minutes the group started to scatter as everybody’s speed & rhythm was different. The guard stayed behind to the last group to keep an eye on everybody. 6 of us girls stayed together and were ahead of everyone else from our group.
In a few minutes, all of us became part of the snow-covered landscape but there were too many people around to really feel the solitude. We climbed up; the snow wrapped everything, and steep mountains only went steeper. Resting, gasping to reclaim our breath, falling, and recovering, we trudged on.
I had not imagined the track to the Lake to be this steeper. The climb seemed unending. After every one of our stops, Samar was the one who maintained everyone’s spirit and kept on cracking silly jokes to have zinger burger on the lake 😛
In this snow land, I realized how insignificant and small a human is yet his claims are higher than Mount Everest! I think that’s what being human is.
After around a little more than three hours we reached top most part of the mountain, behind which lay the lake. It is in the north east of Mansehra District in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan and feeds water to Kunhar river. At an elevation of 3,224 m (10,578 feet) above sea level. One can reach Ansoo lake from Saiful Muluk and see the Malika Parbat.
Coming back to my story, we were roughly 10 minutes away when we reached to the highest part of our climb. It was from there, only a walk but with great danger. As it had a deep abyss on our right side and a very narrow yet slippery path to walk on. The melting snow was making it all the more difficult.
The weather was getting scary, gray clouds gathering up in the sky, wind becoming colder and colder. We mustered up courage and moved ahead only to find out there was a fresh landslide happened only a few hours ago.
*The landslide area
Many people started gathering, blocking the passage and it started raining. The wind was blowing fast and I told them it’ll soon stop raining. My fellow partners panicked and decided to go down. Also one of the girls was having breathing problem so we had to move down. My heart shattered, going back without accomplishing what we set out for was indeed very hard and emotional for me. But the group unity mattered most.
When we descended a bit down, we found some of our other group members who got separated earlier in the trek with a guide. So we sent down the sick girl with the guide and decided to try again. Reaching back and crossing the landslide area very carefully, we got stuck again. Both with people who were coming back from the lake and the people who were behind us.
*View of deep deadly abyss from where I was standing
*Stuck between the incoming crowd from the lake
I was still standing, exactly down below the landslide area when I saw stones coming rolling down. Luckily, I quickly moved back. Then all of us realized the severity of the situation and understood that Lake Saiful Muluk is not meant for us today. We came back. Took few shots and enjoyed the view. It started snow falling. Snowfall !? :O
I had never seen a snowfall so the grief of not being able to see the lake got compensated to some degree. It hurt nonetheless though! We reached down slipping, sliding, falling on snow……laughing our asses off. Upon reaching the hotel, I went straight to my friend’s room and looking her face I just melted down.
I had tried to see this lake last year in 2016 too but couldn’t as we were short of time. Yet again, this year God didn’t allow me to see it even when I was so close. So close! It was such an overwhelming experience, a roller coaster of emotions, hopes, fear, and dreams! I never thought I’d become so close to someone in just two days!
That was our last night in Naran and we had final ceremonial gathering along with a bonfire and camping. All of us were given a certificate of participation by Tripkar with a funny name. I got “Dora the explorer” and I like it! I am an explorer 🙂 Also we got a gift voucher from Stylo.
*Hotel Demanchi & our camps
The night had sad vibes to it as it was our last night together. We had shared so many amazing moments. Had the best time of our lives. We were all so tired yet no one was ready to sleep. All of us gathered in a room, put on music and danced our hearts away!
The people next to our rooms were tolerating us so patiently. 😀 heehee
We were told to pack our bags before breakfast next morning as we were to leave back for Lahore. But there was one thing left to be done and that was RAFTING!!!
It was indeed an amazingly unique experience! ❤ I’ll surely remember this trip and tell my future kids and grand kids all about it! 😛
Hit follow. Lots of adventure stories are coming! 😀
*Women in Boots (Who can find me ?)
Comment below if you can spot me in this video here!