Travel Diary : Naran / Babusar Top

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Work has been crazy lately, there’s been a lot going on the Blog front and some of my personal business ventures and NOTHING would have salvaged the situation better than a (much needed) mini-holiday !! All of you who have been on Instagram lately would know that I went road trippin to Naran and Babusar Top this past weekend. It was a short trip (2 nights stay) and much of the time was spent travelling, but My God, every scene and every stop was so breathtaking that you dont mind travelling all day and all night.

If you’re planning a trip anytime soon, here’s a few highlights from my trip.

We left around 9am from Islamabad – if you’re travelling by your own car , it will take approximately 6:30 hours to Naran. Since we were like 80 people in 3 buses, it took us approximately 9 hours , including 2 stopovers. The road to Naran is pretty smooth (Good job NHA or whoever is responsible) and at no point do you feel uncomfortable.

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We took the route through Abbotabad / Mansehra , and stopped over for Chai & Pakorras at an “Abshar Cafe” at Kewai. The dhaaba is built literally inside a waterfall and you can dip you feet in the icing cold water while eating garma garam pakorray and chai ….Blisss !!

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We were staying at Hotel DeManchi (whatever that means) in Naran. The trip was being organized by this travel /adventure Group , Tripkar.com (look up at their website) , so they suggested this hotel was one of the best in the area. Its a pretty decent place, the rooms were nice and clean but heads up : There’s garam pani for shower only in the mornings / day time and the Wifi is kind of hormonal too. Also another heads up : No other Telco service works through the journey and in Naran except Telenor. The location was quite central (inside the bazaar) , and the breakfast / dinner menu was pretty decent. I mean I’m not a very demanding person anyway (boys – fyi).

We headed to Babusar Top the next morning, and it takes about an hour and a half to reach there. Babusar was Frikkinnnnnnnnn cold. Its -5 degrees there, with surprise showers / snowing , so make sure you’re carrying a Warm Coat / Jacket, a sweter, a neck scarf, a Topi and your confiest boots. Anything less will literally freeze your ass off. There’s some Chai Dhabas at the Babusar Pass, though its a speed test to drink it before it turns cold – in literally 10 seconds.

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I wish we had gone further to Chillas and Siri Pae, but its reason enough for me to go back again (in response to the chai wala’s question : phir kab aao gay). On our way back to Naran, we stopped over the amazzzzzingly beautiful, serene and somewhat freaky Lulusar Lake. Its a vast calm lake in the centre of the valley, and made for a perfect backdrop for Instagram selfies and cover photos 😀
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On your way, you will  come across some beautiful flowing streams, where you can camp by the river bank. We chilled there (literally) , had lunch and made friends with these babies:

Isn’t the little one a totally edible peanut ?

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A few must-haves for you to carry if you’re travelling up North : Battery bank , Socks, Dry shampoo (I’m a cat when it comes to showering in the cold), medicines (especially anti-allergy, a pain killer and flagyl) , a music speaker , sunnies and lots and lots of sunblock.

On way back home, we stopped over at Garhi Habibullah (an hour before Abbotabad) for River rafting…. I was leading the pack (of course) with some crazy chappu moves , and boy was it exhilerating and crazy ! You get DRENCHED in water head-to-toe so brace yourselves before going ahead. I guess they have certain operating hours (we went at 2pm) so you might want to check beforehand. Here’s a few clicks from that – if you have any questions, ask away !

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