Walking on the trails in foothills of the mighty Himalayan mountain range.
Who wouldn’t want to touch the foothills of the great Himalayan mountain range? Margalla Hills in Islamabad, are part of the foothills. So, almost everyone in Islamabad, has to go for a to trek in one of its trails, in the Margalla Hills. ‘Trail 3’ was the steep one which has been very popular for years. Some years ago, my husband and I had been on the Trail 7 which starts behind the Faisal Mosque. Lately, Trail 5 was introduced. This one is less steep, longer, and along the way joins with the trail 3 route also.
You get glimpses of small water falls, streams and pools along the way. The hike is tough if you want to go all the way to the top. Many chicken-hearted people, just stroll in the lower tracks and get back – just as we did!
As far as I know, the camp site has never been actually used – but that is just a conjecture. We Pakistanis are not the camping types usually. Plus it is uncomfortably close to the civilization. No proper bathroom there either, at the camp. However, a few good bathrooms are available near-by.
There is a ‘khokha’ or cabin offering tea and snacks at the car park. You will find the local staff around to watch over you, and even guards strolling around to see you have no problems.
We found army personnel there too, complete with rifles. So, Aania decided to offer them some of our surplus snacks, (and save us from carrying them all the way back) – reluctantly they accepted. There is too much security in the city of Islamabad these days, but finding them here in the wilderness also made one feel good. As they are making sure no miscreants are hiding in the mountains, either.
Going till the stream about a few hundred yards from the car park has been our regular trip. Specially, when it rains, then the streams are full of water and a lot of fun. At such times, it seems that many families come here just to enjoy the water gushing through.
When Aania suggested a trek, I was all game. After my knee problem I had not taken such a risk. Now, I felt I was ready for it.
We were six of us, on 20th February, 2017 Aania, Nayyar, Saima, Yasmin and her sister, and myself. All artists of Islamabad, and friends who meet almost weekly. We collected at the car park of Trail 5, having a plate of pakoras as we waited for everyone to collect.
Then we got together at the information board and took a snap so we can refer to it, on the way.
The camping site came way too quickly.
But happily we unloaded our goodies and attacked. Yes, it was lunch time. Singing and reminiscing, we had a great time.
The sight of a few exotic almost orange colored birds with long tails was a lovely one. We also heard shuffling in the bushes nearby, and remembered that sometimes the leopards come down from the mountains in winters….Each of us told stories which were scary or spooky. This is the right setting for it. Afterwards, we cleaned up, filled our ‘garbage’ into our backpacks as there were no garbage tins, though a man had come to collect it.
We decided to go a bit further up the route. It was lovely. The care taker there told us that there are streams about two kilometers ahead.
As it was already past 4.00 pm, we decided to come again. We decided next time we’ll come early in the morning. This was a good trip to get to know the place. Nayar who had been very apprehensive and reluctant, specially thanked me for convincing her to come. We all really had a lot of fun. I was specially exhilarated to find out how well I could walk on the rough terrain, giving me the confidence I needed. I had borrowed my dad’s walking stick for the occasion.
Stay bless and keep trekking and walking. Exercise is the best way to stay trim. 🙂