Trek Beyond Skardu – Embraced by Nature
Three months back my friend called me up and asked: “Would you want to go on an expedition up north, Skardu in particular?” I retorted with total ease: “Sure I’d go on an expedition”. Afterall, how could someone say no one to one of the best places to visit in Pakistan. Fast forward to three months, I was lying in the beautiful Saicho Forrest surrounded by orange flowers & yellow butterflies.
Only issues were; my legs giving up on me, my head feeling a little heavy, my overweight travelling bag killing my back, the donkeys trekking faster than me, and we had only covered half of the way. However, all of those setbacks paled in comparison to the grandeur of Skardu. It surely is one of the places to visit in Pakistan.
So, here are a few tips for you adventure seekers out there on how to plan an ideal expedition beyond Skardu:
No to Natco
Straight up advice: If you have cash on you, it would be ideal to go by air and land directly in Skardu. Because of the construction, the route to Skardu has become rather unbearable. You would be stopping after every few minutes because the construction guys are dynamiting one mountain or the other.
On top of that, if you are travelling by Natco where the air conditioning is non-existent and the drivers want to take a break after every 20 minutes, trust me it’s like a bus trip to hell. And if you don’t have cash, just rent a car. A road trip with your buddies would provide you with a lot more memories that you can discuss and laugh about years down the line.
Sky is Your Limit
If you are into photography and actually own a DSLR, I am pretty sure you would love to capture those enchanting star trails. My suggestion would be to carry your camera’s remote with you. Without getting into all the nitty gritty of photography terms like the shutter speed and the exposure, I just want you to go ahead and Google what bulb mode is. It will come in handy.
You Cannot Spell Legendary without Leg Day
If you are a gym enthusiast, make sure you give a little more attention to your leg routine before the expedition. If you are not, a simple solution would be to make your staircase your work out zone. Climb as many steps as you can daily because things will get interesting down north!
Baby Wipes will Literally Wipe Your Ass
At many a time during your expedition, a giant rock would be the only kind of toilet space available to you. You get what I mean right?
Do Not Give Up
I can assure that your body will take time to adapt to the surroundings but hey listen, all good things come in life after some for m of struggle, no? So do not lose the plot if you body and mind start reacting awkwardly when you are 15000 meters high.
There might be headaches, joint pain, flu, uneasiness. Thank god there’s a pill for everything now!
You are not up against a clock. Everybody can finish the trek in their own sweet time. So once in a while, take a break! Lie down and enjoy nature’s dreamlike spell take you on a ride. You can always reach your destination an hour later. Also, pack wisely, let me just share a quote from Everest here: “8 KGs of weight here would feel like 15 KGs up there.”
There would be a lot of instances where your mind would tell you to return back because it’s missing all the spicy and oily food, social media, and frantic pace of the city life. There would be times when it would feel like your body might break into pieces. But let me assure you, finishing that expedition would be worth all the pain and the struggles. After all, it is a timeless journey into the heart of nature!