This is just outside of Lahore, after crossing the Ravi river’s bridge.

The bike armor - aka the Power Ranger suit - can be seen on the bike

The bike armor – aka the Power Ranger suit – can be seen on the bike

This is where I saw the kid who almost hit the light pole because he couldn’t take his eyes off a man with a beard wearing a blue armor jacket!

Next stop is Gujranwala

This is the first "pit stop" at Gujranwala, about 70 kms away from river Ravi.

This is the first “pit stop” at Gujranwala, about 70 kms away from river Ravi.

The above picture is right next to this famous junction/chowk on GT road in Gujranwala – I can’t recall its name now of course.

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Third tea stop. Most people just stopped talking to stare at my bike armor, till I ordered tea in the thickest Punjabi accent

Can you spot the GS150 in the above picture? Of course you can.

Then near Dina, I stopped for the third tea stop. That’s when I was greeted with thundering clouds, which immediately started pouring down rain.

To Kashmir on a motorcycle

Rain delay. Waiting out the downpour, near Dina.

I didn’t wait it out that long. Typical Punjab rainfall – angry, loud, scary but only for the first 15 minutes or so. Thankfully enough.

The beds that you see lined up are called “chaarpaii” or “manjee” – you can simply come here and lie down, and they wont bother you. And no, you don’t even have to order anything to avail this incredible facility.

Then finally, I reach Islamabad.

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At my friend’s house in Islamabad. This is my first destination. Lahore to Islamabad leg of the journey done…

I stayed in Islamabad for a day too long — thanks to a slight political situation caused by Tahir ul Qadri in Islamabad (a politician/cleric).

Then finally, towards Murree.

This is the climb towards Murree. The old Murree road...

This is the climb towards Murree. The old Murree road…and a tea stop of course. This is like 10 in the morning.

The climb towards Murree is serene. Reminds me why I am doing this… just feels so peaceful, even on a motorbike with the wind rushing your ears.

The road to Muzaffarabad from Murree is world class...

The road to Muzaffarabad from Murree is world class…

On the way to Muzaffarabad, this restaurant by under the waterfall is on the other side of the river. How do you get there? By zip line of course. That’s the only way. Talk about an adventurous cup of tea! 🙂

Whereas I drink this tea, at a somewhat less adventurous hotel (it was on the same side of the river boohoo!)

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After serving me tea, this kid went back to helping his dad fix the tea-stall…

And then I finally reach Muzaffarabad, Kashmir, and reach the guest house. I try to watch the UEFA Champions League game and work…and end up doing neither.

Reception in Muzaffarabad is not this bad... this is just MY television...

Reception in Muzaffarabad is not this bad… this is just MY television… and notice the attempt at work (the laptop screen at the bottom of the pic)

Then the next day, I head towards Pir Chinasi… a steep climb even for a motorbike. And I manage to get lost on a single track road and find myself in a weird little village on the side of the road (I didn’t know there was a road next to the trail I was on)…

But finally I found the carpeted road to Pir Chinasi…

Heading to the highest peak in Muzaffarabad... Pir Chinasi top...

Heading to the highest peak in Muzaffarabad… Pir Chinasi top…

And there is this legendary turn, that has seen many bikers fall…it also tried to catch me by surprise. Almost did.

Hilly, beautiful, patched up and waiting... the beautiful road to Pir Chinasi top.

Hilly, beautiful, patched up and waiting… the beautiful road to Pir Chinasi top.

Then some “proof”…

Trying to gather proof that it's really me doing these travels... Like I said, a "settled" father of three just up and biking it is hard to believe even for the father of three himself! :)

Trying to gather proof that it’s really me doing these travels… Like I said, a “settled” father of three just up and biking it is hard to believe even for the father of three himself! 🙂

The typical orange and reddish hues of the Kashmiri mountains…

It just keeps getting more and more interesting and beautiful and quieter and more peaceful...

It just keeps getting more and more interesting and beautiful and quieter and more peaceful…

And my bike was also asking me for some attention. So…

A stripped down version of the bike, for the day trip to Pir Chinasi from Muzaffarabad (a 2-3 hr trip one way)

A stripped down version of the bike, for the day trip to Pir Chinasi from Muzaffarabad (a 2-3 hr trip one way)

After riding through some of the most peaceful and jaw-dropping scenery just on one mountain SubhaanAllah, made it to the top.

Finally Pir Chinasi babyyy...

Finally Pir Chinasi babyyy…

Pir Chinasi is actually the name of a Pir (a sufi mentor/teacher), and this is his tomb:

Pir Chinasi

Pir Chinasi

And the accompanying mini market of course:

My bike parked in front of the shop as I down tea after tea and just take in the beautiful sun and the scenes...

My bike parked in front of the shop as I down tea after tea and just take in the beautiful sun and the scenes…

I saw a quarantined area… fences and a house up top. But one part of the fence was broken. So I went there. Of course.

Quick selfie with the clouds...

Quick selfie with the clouds…

I rode back after I heard a few cracks of thunder. So I decided to make it down before rain takes this one day tour from being adventurous to downright dangerous. When I reached back to my room, I saw this:

Rookie mistake # 32432: wearing a t-shirt on a bike and then riding on a sunny hilltop.

Rookie mistake # 32432: wearing a t-shirt on a bike and then riding on a sunny hilltop.

These burns stayed with me for months actually. Yes. Months.

The next day, I ate my breakfast, drank my self-made coffee and was back from Kashmir, all the way to Islamabad/Rawalpindi.

Coming back from Muzaffarabad. And stopping for tea just before exiting Murree...

Coming back from Muzaffarabad. And stopping for tea just before exiting Murree…

Just in case…

Some more proof obviously :)

Some more proof obviously 🙂

I stayed the night in Rawalpindi/Islamabad. Shared stories of adventure and some serious riding with family and friends, and the next day headed back home. Towards Lahore.

On the GT Road, just outside of Islamabad… I ran out of fuel. I found it funny that of all the planning, the simplest of all things – checking fuel – was missed. But as I was on GT Road, I found a petrol station hardly in the next 5 kms. And some shade.

A random petrol station on GT road for the trip back to Lahore

A random petrol station on GT road for the trip back to Lahore

I finally made it back to Lahore in the evening.

There is an idiom we Lahoris use, to describe extreme hot weather: we say “it was as hot as 2 PM in June”.

Well, I was on the GT road, wearing body armor, on a bike, exposed directly to the sun, at 2PM in June. Alhumdulillah.

2PM in June

2PM in June

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