This is just outside of Lahore, after crossing the Ravi river’s bridge.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!)
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.
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…
And there is this legendary turn, that has seen many bikers fall…it also tried to catch me by surprise. Almost did.
Then some “proof”…
The typical orange and reddish hues of the Kashmiri mountains…
And my bike was also asking me for some attention. So…
After riding through some of the most peaceful and jaw-dropping scenery just on one mountain SubhaanAllah, made it to the top.
Pir Chinasi is actually the name of a Pir (a sufi mentor/teacher), and this is his tomb:
And the accompanying mini market of course:
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.
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:
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.
Just in case…
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.
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.
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