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    A Trek to Nathiagali – Khalid Masood

    Living in Abbottabad till late seventies, will be a cherish able memory.
    The town had a clean atmosphere, pristine suburbs, watched by the towering mountains, which are still eye catching.

    On the weekends and during holidays, trekking around Abbottabad was an exhilarating experience and full of fun.

    On a sunny day the cold winter, a clime towards hills or cycling Mansehra road were our favourite outings, the road which is known as KKH, did not have much vehicular traffic, few buses, trucks were found plying, on Sundays traffic was quite thin, the lining trees and open fields along the road provided a serene outlook and atmosphere, a break at some teashop, which provided crisp Pakoras added to our excitements.

    It was July, we decided to trek to Nathiagali, ,myself, Tariq,Mehmood, Pervaiz and Qambar Jaffri ,was pack.
    We started before dawn from the town, after quite brisk walk, we managed to reach Harno, with the rise of Sun, the bazaar had few shanty shops, and a tea kiosk, we had our breakfast as we were carrying a backpack with eatables, the Chay wala could only offer us tea on that early morning.

    From Harno we crisscrossed the Bagnotar village, now it was Perwaiz s, turn to carry the weight less bag, as we were treading up in the village an elderly women taunted us in Hinko “you have burdened the youngest amongst you with the backpack ”
    Pervaiz seemed youngest merely due to physique and outlook.

    After Bagnotar, road becomes steeper till Kalabagh, the fatigue and tireness was appernt on our faces, we stopped for short rests, the greenery alloyed around and traffic less road was nourishing us for the steep hike.

    Tariq who had knack of singing and parodies, was trying to amuse, sipping water from the springs and chirping of birds were soothing our minds and bodies.
    At about noon ,we limped into Nathiagali bazar, which had about a dozen shops an few hotels.

    We hurriedly found an eatery and asked for the meal, “Chappoyes ” provided the very much needed rest, attendants of hotel more courteous and contended, materialism has not only eroded the environment of these ares, but also minds and hearts of the people.
    I had taken a camera, man shots were clicked.

    In afternoon a bus took us to Abbottabad.
    We waited anxiously for the prints of our shots, without proper focusing, pictures were quite blurred, But awesome long trek, mirthful company, remains never blurred in our memories.

    Khalid Masood
    Ex SP Chitral/Ex IGP NWFP


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