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Old 21st September 2012, 12:33   #1
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Default IJC'ians dance through Parsan's Tunnel of death, Chitral

Time had come to plan IJC summer camp for 2012. Chitral was chosen as the destination. More than 23 member and non members participated riding over 9 vehicles. As no one from IJC had ever visited Parsan and more so after viewing it being dubbed as one of the deadliest journeys in the world on Media and Youtube, Ijcians couldn?t resist crawling through the tunnel of death.The beauty of Chitral lies in its rustic, mountainous terrain as in its warm hearted and friendly inhabitants. This land of Tirich Mir and the Kalasha, people of the lost world, is obscured behind the Lowari Top, which due to its inaccessibility generally keeps the tourist and holiday makers at bay. One such legend describes Chitral as an abode of genies and fairies in times when no one lived here and locals still look up to the Tirich Mir, which they believe still has the castle of fairies.

Day 1:
Meeting point was set at Islamabad Motor way toll plaza. Desert Devil joined us from Peshawar. The gang set out at 0045hrs from Islamabad. Radios were switched on, fuel toped up and we were on our way to Chitral. We crossed Mardan around 0200hrs. Desert Devil and Yasir were anxiously waiting for the rest of the gang at Mardan interchange. After a short breakfast stop over at Dir we reached Lowari Tunnel at around 0900hrs. To our utter disappointment Lowari tunnel was closed for traffic (The guard indicated a turned over truck at the Chitral exit). Eventually we had to take Lowari pass in order to reach Chitral. Beautiful clouds and rain greeted us at the top of Lowari Pass (10,500 above MSL) and it was coldddd. After a short partial photo session we started our descend into the Chitral valley. The weather had started to clear up and we stopped for filling our guzzlers at Drosh Town. The destination set for first night was Bambooret, Kalash valley. We had been driving for almost 14 hours, Fatigue and hormones were shooting up and everyone was anxiously waiting to get to the hotel and rest. We entered Kalasha Valley around 1430 hrs. Ishtiaq and Juma khan had already arrived a day earlier so were waiting for us at the hotel. They had organized and prepared a wonderful lunch for the gang. After every one had filled their bellies we left in small teams to explore the valley and its culture. The Kalash people are believed to be the decedents of the Alexander the Great who came to this region in 325 BC. One part of his army entered into this region from hindu kush and some of his army escaped and found refuge in these difficult to reach valleys.
The walk through village was very interesting and the whole group enjoyed it thoroughly. Late evening every one came back and some started setting up their tents and a few slept in the rooms. After being up for 36 hours every one slept like babies.

Day 2:
It was a bright crystal clear morning at Bumboorat . After breakfast we packed our stuff and set out to for Parsan valley. 40 kilometres of this road, dubbed the 'death tunnel' by locals, cuts straight through the mountain. In 40 Kilometers one attains 10,000 Ft of altitude from just 4000ft. The smallest error can be fatal. It was time to test man and machine. The entrance to the valley is via a narrow bridge. It was so narrow that we had to fold the side mirrors of our vehicles. We started gaining altitude immediately. The road was curvy and steep with little or no chance of error. The unpaved road throughout was so narrow that if a vehicle came from the opposite side one had to reverse at least 1Km to find passage for the other vehicle to pass through. Ali Zafar even made this challenge more difficult for himself and IJC by taking a 2X4 VW on this route. How that went? is a long story which will unfold as we travel through the thread. After going 33 Km came a sight that everyone was waiting for, named as tunnel of death. We stopped and sent in our volunteer photo experts to cover every turn. One by one every one entered the tunnel and crawled through the grade. It was a thrilling ride with vehicles pushing to their limits and tyres spinning and trying to grip on the loose gravel. After crossing the tunnel, Parsan village was in sight. Most of the inhabitants were outside and waving to us. They offered few of us delicious fresh fruit from their trees, whereas the others felt jealous . The road became narrower and grades got more difficult after crossing the village. Yasir had to perform the duty of Marshal for almost all of the vehicles. He is no doubt good at it. It was getting dark and the road was getting difficult but we all reached the camp site (10,000 Ft above MSL) at the last light, less Shabab and Ali (they joined us later). The light was just enough to take out our camping gear. Flash lights were switched on and we started assembling our tents. In the mean while Juma Khan prepared one of the most delicious BBQ and chicken Karahi. Around 30 to 40 locals came up to our camp site to meet and greet us. They had brought along their local drum which was just too tempting when they started playing it. Few Ijcians couldn?t resist it and also started dancing to the tunes of their beat. We had our delicious dinner at 11 and after few rounds of chit chat we called it off. The night was cold but was very peaceful except for constant chatter from Jadoon and Untame's team which was successfully put to rest initially by Saeed Bhai and later by Desertdevil (The my way or the highway man) Our initial plan for day 3 was to get down from Parsan and then proceed to Chitral Gol National Park, however owing to few unscheduled stops enroute we got late and then decided to just stay in Chitral and rest. Few of us went to local bazar for window shopping whereas few went busy in fixing minor issues in their 4x4s. Evening was spent in Pamir Inn hotel at the bank of River Kunar and the weather was just too damn perfect. The next morning we left Chitral at 8:30 am and through a special arrangement went through the tunnel. The drive through Lowari tunnel was an amazing experience. It was cold, dark and noisy with V6s, Nissans and 1 FZs roaring. Man it was noisy like anything. The tunnel is indeed a marvel and cut short the travel time by almost 2 hours. We had then a brief stop near Warai for lunch and Alhamdollilah reached isloo safe and sound around 8 pm. Following members and their friends (25 in total) with vehicles participated in the Summer Camp.

1.Salman, Saeed, Hasan & Shehzad TLC 1 FZ
2.Hayzin & Murad in Nissan Patrol
3.Jahangir, Bilal & Hasan Rrizvi in Nissan Safari
4.Shabab, Ashfaq, Hasan Rana & Jadoon in TLC 1 FZ
5.Ishtiaq, JK and Qayum in Pajero 3.5 V6
6.Saleem sb & his son in Nissan Pathfinder 2.5 ECi
7.Nomi & Nauman in Nissan Safari
8.Ali & Omer in his VW Bus
9.Asad, Yasir and Arsalan in Pajero 3.0 v6
IJC would like to thank each and every participant for making it yet another fun filled successful event.
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Last edited by Rehaan : 21st September 2012 at 13:55. Reason: Adding a bit of formatting (spaces, bold, etc)
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Old 21st September 2012, 15:35   #2
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Default Re: IJC'ians dance through Parsan's Tunnel of death, Chitral

Uploading pictures as per TBHP style
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Old 21st September 2012, 15:38   #3
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Default Re: IJC'ians dance through Parsan's Tunnel of death, Chitral

More pictures from gallery
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Old 21st September 2012, 15:42   #4
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Default Re: IJC'ians dance through Parsan's Tunnel of death, Chitral

Hope u will like these pics
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Old 21st September 2012, 15:45   #5
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Default Re: IJC'ians dance through Parsan's Tunnel of death, Chitral

Need ur expert comments
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Old 21st September 2012, 15:49   #6
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Default Re: IJC'ians dance through Parsan's Tunnel of death, Chitral

Few more pictures left
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IJC'ians dance through Parsan's Tunnel of death, Chitral-dscn7029k1001.jpg  

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Old 21st September 2012, 15:52   #7
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Default Re: IJC'ians dance through Parsan's Tunnel of death, Chitral

Second last batch of pictures
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Old 21st September 2012, 15:56   #8
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Default Re: IJC'ians dance through Parsan's Tunnel of death, Chitral

Thats all from my side
Hope u will like these pictures
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Old 22nd September 2012, 10:18   #9
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Default Re: IJC'ians dance through Parsan's Tunnel of death, Chitral

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 22nd September 2012, 10:35   #10
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Default Re: IJC'ians dance through Parsan's Tunnel of death, Chitral

Wow, those are some truly amazing photos. Must have been one hell of a drive.

Good to know that you all got through Ok with no major damage to any vehicles.
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Old 22nd September 2012, 10:36   #11
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Default Re: IJC'ians dance through Parsan's Tunnel of death, Chitral

That looks like some rough terrain, and beautiful at the same time. All the vehicles look to be in stock condition, were they able to handle the terrain? Which vehicle performed better?
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Old 22nd September 2012, 11:10   #12
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Default Re: IJC'ians dance through Parsan's Tunnel of death, Chitral

@Aamir, thanks for sharing the pics. That's truly a beautiful place !

One suggestion (for such threads) - could you also include a map of the route you took ? (I sometimes refer to google maps as the source).
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Old 22nd September 2012, 23:13   #13
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Default Re: IJC'ians dance through Parsan's Tunnel of death, Chitral

Thanks for the nice comments
All vehicles performed well

I will try to upload map from google
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Old 29th September 2012, 00:57   #14
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Default Re: IJC'ians dance through Parsan's Tunnel of death, Chitral

The route is awesome! I held a fascination to drive through some of those routes. Someday!

Is the story about Attabad correct??
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Old 29th September 2012, 21:11   #15
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Default Re: IJC'ians dance through Parsan's Tunnel of death, Chitral

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ushuaia View Post
The route is awesome! I held a fascination to drive through some of those routes. Someday!

Is the story about Attabad correct??
No doubt it was one of the most dangerous routes
It would be our pleasure to be your host
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