Not all the wishes come true, not all the dreams are realized. But we were lucky that finally the day arrived when we made our way to Islamabad.
I took a 30 hour flight to Islamabad (Via Beijing) to join my other friends who were already there.
Next morning we reached Gilgit via PIA’s PK-605 flight. Manoj and I got a chance to visit the cockpit and witness the Majestic Nanga Parbat from there.
In an hour’s time we reached Gilgit where our driver Inayat was waiting for us outside the airport.
After having breakfast in the city, we made our way to Raikot bridge.
Nanga Parbat View Point – Thalichi
On the way to Raikot bridge, there is a small town where you can see the first glimpse of Nanga Parbat and due to this it is also called as Nanga Parbat View Point. We stopped there for some pictures.
It took us an hour to reach the Raikot Bridge. We hired the jeep from the bridge, round trip jeep rates to Jhel/Tatu for this year are Rs. 8,100. This couple of hours jeep ride is one of the most adventurous roads in the world. It was my 3rd trip to Fairy Meadows in last 12 years, a lot of things have changed since then but this road is still the same.
We took a short break at Fairy Point Hotel and left for Fairy Meadows leaving our bags at the hotel. As we trekked up hill we reached Fairy Meadows by the evening, it took us 2.5 to 3 hours.
Fairy Meadows Broad View Hotel
We decided to stay at the Fairy Meadows Broad View Hotel owned by Fazl-ur-Rehman, it was my 2nd time there. The hotel offers rooms in wooden cottages as well as camping facilities. We were served welcome tea (Tumuru) which I always enjoy. There were a lot more tourists in the valley then my previous visits and more hotels too.
Reflection Lake – Fairy Meadows
Next day I was up early in the morning to take some pictures, went to the Reflection Lake to capture the reflection of Nanga Parbat in the little pond.
After the breakfast, one of our friend decided to stay in the Fairy Meadows while three of us left for the Beyal Camp. This trek used to be a thick forest but due to increase in the hotels and expansion of the existing ones, locals are cutting the trees. This deforestation needs to be stopped, someone needs to step-in. As we got closer to the Beyal Camp, it started drizzling.
Its an easy trek following the trails going though the pines. Once you are near the Beyal Camp landscape becomes wider and more picturesque. Beyal Camp is not only a stop over point on the way to the base camp, its used by the local shepherds as summer home for their cattle. It took us almost 1.5 hours to reach Beyal Camp. We stopped there for tea and biscuits. Two of us (Manoj and I) left for the View Point which is 30 – 40 minutes away.
Views from the View point are a treat to watch. On a clear day one can see glaciers and peaks like Raikot Glacier, Boulder Peak, Chongra Peak and off course the majestic Nanga Parbat. Bad weather and shortage of time forced us to leave without visiting the Nanga Parbat base camp. In less than couple of hours we were back to our hotel.
Fairy Meadows is not a pocket friendly place but this is due to the logistics issues, costs etc. We spent couple of nights in Fairy Meadows, met some very nice and friendly tourists and locals. Next morning we trekked down to Jhel where our jeep driver was waiting for us to take us back to the Raikot bridge.