Alex Wright, the manager of Allshore’s overseas sales team, tells us about the company trip to Naran Valley where many of Allshore’s developers and managers enjoyed hiking, swimming, and a little bit of unexpected volunteer work with the local community.
In the early hours of May 25th a bus left the office in Islamabad for a company trip to Naran Valley.
Known locally as a place “belonging to fairies,” Naran is in northern Pakistan (a 9-10 hour drive from Islamabad) and is one of the most scenic valleys in the country. This is one of the most tourist-centric places in Pakistan where visitors can swim in fresh water streams, hike in snow-capped mountains, and camp on lush green hills. The valley is 160km long (100 miles) and above all offers break to relax and recharge in pristine nature.
It took us almost a full day to reach our destination. The rout to Naran Valley passes through many beautiful areas, so we made several stops along the way: we ate breakfast on the banks of the Balakot River, stopped to swim in the Kunhar River, and stood beneath the waterfall from melting glaciers in Kwai. Standing in the waterfalls from melting glaciers was a much better idea in theory; it was beautiful and the water was pure and clear, but it was of course freezing and a few of us (myself included) found ourselves with sore throats the next day. I had to mime things for half a day until my throat felt better, and as it turns out, my coworkers are not very good at charades.
When we finally reached Naran, the weather had taken a nasty turn and it was pouring rain and hailing. The bad weather cleared up by the next day, but the downpour, combined with glacial melting in the surrounding mountains, had caused a landslide, which left boulders the size of trucks on the main road through the valley. The residents of the local villages were trying desperately to clear to the road so we sprang into action! Many of the rocks were too large to possible be moved without machinery, so we helped the men build a ramp over and around the obstruction so thatcars and vans could once more pass. We worked hard for 3-4 hours building a solid ramp and then helped get cars over it, sometimes pushing them when they needed it. It was only a temporary solution, but it cleared the miles of traffic that had built up around the spot and the villagers and passing travelers applauded us for our efforts. Rescue crews made it into the area by nightfall and had the road cleared properly by noon the next day.
We spent the rest of our time in Naran hiking in the mountains and exploring the glaciers at their peaks. We cooked, laughed, and had a dance competition, which Nasir dominated with some cheeky moves. It was my first time in this area and the experience was incredible. The nature is some of the most beautiful I have seen and the restaurants and shops in the area were wonderful.
The Naran Valley is definitely a must-see for everyone in Pakistan!
A few more pictures!
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pakistan_location_map.svg Author: NordNordWest
Other photos from Allshore Team.