A girl’s Solo Adventure to Arang Kel

Arrang kel is located in Neelum Valley of Azad Kashmir. It is known as heaven on earth. You know traveling is one of the most amazing experiences you can have in life. It has the potential to open up your mind, create amazing opportunities you would never get otherwise, we can let go tensions off, all the hustle and bustle of crazy cities environment and set yourself free. It enables you to meet some of the humblest people on the planet, a worthy challenge with absolute limit.

That’s why at the end of my final year of university I decided that I needed to go on a solo trip. I wanted to explore the natural beauty of Northern areas of Pakistan, the culture, the landscape and the adventure.

Where to go and how?

The next part was, where to go ? and how to get there ? I started looking for tourist attractions in the northern areas. I came across a video showing a small village on a hilltop with a boom I had found my destination.I decided to go by public transport and also because public transportation is readily available to Kel. I planned to stay in Arrang Kel for two nights. I asked a local tour guide to supervise my trip and arrange my night stay. Oh, the excitement.

Also See : Neelum Valley Tour Packages 2019

The start of my solo girl’s trip:
I started my journey from Islamabad keeping in mind that it takes approximately 10-12 hours to reach Arrang Kel. One smart move we made was packing lots off snacks and water bottles with hiking boots because i learned from my previous trip that they are necessary. So thus began my adventure at 6:00 am in the morning. As trip started i realized that this will be a best trip of my life and will help me rest of life to meet the challenges.

From Islamabad to Muzaffarabad I went on the same bus. I had at, and throughout the ride, i set my mood according to the songs playing in the bus. This is the best part when everyone is fresh and energetic and also because, after the first few hours, the maniac excitement begins to drop. Traveling from Murree via Motorway, I absorbed the landscape slowly change. The flat land slowly turned to rocky roads and small hills. The altitude gradually increased, and so did my anticipation. It indeed was a treat to see the difference in natural beauty change from Islamabad to Muzaffarabad as it flyers past you. From Muzaffarabad, I took another bus straight to Kel, at 5:00 pm i was at Kel stop and after that a local guide arranged a porter for me to hike for 30 minutes, there was a chairlift which we have to choose from Kel to Arrang Kel.

Guess what, i went for? But by God it was scary. The wind was blowing at speed of bullet train, the cabin was thrilling but fun at the same time. After crossing the river, a steep hill of 30 to 60 minutes awaited me. By then it was late, and i decided to call it a night.

I made camp close to a small group of villagers. The sun was setting, women were doing daily routine work. A group of women came across carrying buckets of water, we started talking, They were so friendly and supportive. One told me that I should have medicine ready for tomorrow’s hike which thankfully I had. They were kind enough to offer me some food, but instead, I provided them some as a thank you. Overall it was a pleasant interaction which warmed my heart, and i gained a newfound respect for the locals.

Neelum Valley Tour Packages 2019 https://www.pakistantravelguide.pk/package-category/neelum-valley-tour-packages/

On Top of the World

I started my hike early in the morning, later on the ice would melt and trek gets slippery. It was difficult, but all made worth it by all the laughter and company of girls of Kinnard College Lahore, who were on trip to ArrangKel . Now i was not alone i made few friends from girls group, seen innocent gestures from some of the local children and they would from time to time run ahead of us, Teasing us about our slow speed.

Then all thoughts of a tiring journey left my mind as soon we reached the top because heaven was before my eyes.it was so beautiful. The land ahead was on a hilltop but flat with small tents, snow-covered houses, and tall trees. Surrounded by mighty mountains, all I could think off was how unique and isolated this village is.The first 3 hours we spend roaming around and just taking in the landscape. Then we checked into our accommodation and had lunch. There was also a small canteen available which is a huge plus.

What I loved about Arrang Kel was that most tourists were families who made a very secure and comforting environment. Then we got ready for our evening adventure. We took into breath-taking view, and of course, selfies are a must. It was amazing to enjoy each others company and to interact with so many people, who were visitors just like us.

 

I meet a courageous couple in their 50s who regularly came to this paradise. We also had dinner with them, and they told us they had been coming here for the past 20 years. It was a magical last evening, and as night came, we sat by a fireplace and sang songs, it was so peaceful. The night sky was clear, and I had never seen so many starts.
Next morning we started our journey back, and apparently, we were all sad but, we met with local girls from the village, and promised that next time I will come, she would make a hand made necklace for me.

These are the kinds of interactions and experiences that make life unique and beautiful. It indeed was a magical experience, few new friends, bench of memories and a solo adventure.

 

 

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