9 DAY TOUR IN KAGHAN VALLEY
Trip done in Aug 2000
ATTENTION

Shogran is only three months (Jun - Sep) 'open' a year;
Naran is only for months (Jun - Oct) 'open' a year;
Babusar pass is only two months (Jul - Aug) 'open'.
PROGRAMME
Day 1: Pindi-Shogran

Course of the movement: + Pindi - Manshera with a coaster (3,5 hours); does not leave any more from the place marked in the Lonely planet;
  + Manshera - Balakot: Hi-Ace;
  + Balakot - Kawai: hitch-hike (20 PKR);
  + Kawai - Shogran: jeep, 200 PKR, very easy to take a jeep at the crossing main street - Shogran.

Balakot:  + PDTC is very helpful and the can arrange a jeep for Shogran from Balakot and even a jeep for longer distances and periods.

Shogran:  + the hotel prices in the Lonely planet are much to low;
+ in fact Shogran is only hotels and shops, but there is a very nice scenery;
+ hotels are expensive:
    - Tourist Inn, 600 PKR;
    - Tourist hotel, 600 PKR, dirty;
    - Park View, 1000 PKR
    - Hill Top, 750 PKR after big bargaining, only in the morning hot water, clean.


Day 2: Trekking to the Koh-i-Makra

I found a guide through the shopkeeper who has a shop along the road to Hill Top hotel, next to the barber. Munir is the name of the guide; he spoke barely English.

I paid the guide 500 PKR, 300 PKR is probably a fairer price.

It is not necessary to have a guide to reach Sri and Paya, but you need one to reach Makra.

Used path:
+ Shogran - Sri: 1 hour along a jeep track (a lot of jeeps pass, start early to avoid them (7 o'clock)
+ Sri - Paya: 1/2 hour, along a jeep track, very nice view, a lot of Pak tourists, food and drinks available
+ Paya - Makra: 1 1/2 hour, at some places very steep, sometimes no path, recommended.


Day 3: Shogran Naran

Used road:
+ Shogran - Kawai: jeep, arranged through the hotel owner, 150 PKR;
+ Kawai - Naran: Suzuki jeep, very crowded  (35 persons ), 5 1/2 hour, 60 Rs.

Naran:
+ In PTDC there was no information available in spite of the remark in the Lonely planet;
+ Snow View hotel:
     - very basic;
     - 200 Rs a night;
     - no shower available, bucket hot water if you ask.


Day 4: Trekking to Saiful Muluk

A guide is not necessary because the track is very clear (first a jeep track and after two kilometer you turn right to take a short cut. You have to follow the largest path after the river crossing).

You can also reach the lake by jeep or by horse.

It took two and a half hour to reach the lake.

At the lake there are a huge number of Pak tourists, you have to leave very early (6 o'clock) to avoid them.

Food and drinks are available at the lake.


Day 5: Trekking to Lalazar plateau

A guide is not necessary, because the path is very obvious (first the jeep track till Batakundi (12 Km); immediately after the mosque turn right and take the short cut; you meet enough people to ask the way ).

A lot of Pak tourists.

It took 5 hours to reach the plateau.

You can reach the plateau by jeep from Naran.


Day 6: Naran - Besal and trekking to Dudipat

Price for a jeep Naran - Chilas : 3200 PKR and on top 400 PKR for each day waiting time.

Naran - Besal : 4 Hr

Guide in Besal: Asjaraf, found through a shopkeeper in Besal. 600 PKR and food for the trip to Dudipat and back. His English is very limited.

Trek: one river crossing, one crossing of snow, one hour rather steep and then two and a half hour on a nice slope till the last village before the lake. You can have food in that village and sleep in a tent (100 PKR).


Day 7: Trekking back to Besal and Besal - Chilas

Trek: from the last village till the lake: one hour.

Besal - Chilas: 6,5 hours drive; driving in the dark must be avoided, you passes Lulusar lake, you have to ask specific to cross the Babusar pass, because there is also a shorter way to reach Chilas.

Chilas: Mountain Echo
- 250 PKR a night;
- no hot water, there is a shower;
- very basic but clean;
- local food available.

Day 8: Chilas

To find the petroglyphs in Chilas I, you need a guide. Certain shopkeepers along the KKH work as guide. There are petroglyphs on the both sides of the Indus. It is extremely hot in the valley.

You can easily find back the petroglyphs in Chilas I with the help of the Lonely planet.


Day 9: Chilas Pindi

The buses to Pindi stop along the KKH, either at the Karakoram hotel or at the Pakistan hotel. There are no fixed hours, but apparently in the afternoon there is one bus every hour. All buses I saw were very crowded. The trip takes 13 hours and is not comfortable at all.

NATCO has a daily bus service (departs at 0700) from Chilas to Manshera, departing from the bus station in the village. Reservation is possible and probably needed in an office situated near to the bus station.
Courtesy Geert Debel