You all must be knowing about girl guides and girl scouts association that are running in different countries of the world. In my country, Pakistan; this association is called Pakistan Girl Guides Association and it works for the upliftment of women and girls in our society. I feel so privileged to be a part of guides.
Every year national camps are conducted for both guides and scouts in our country and Snow Hike Adventure Camp just started last year. So this year it was the 2nd Snow Hike Adventure Camp held in Nalter, Gilgit and the best one indeed. So here are the details of one of my life’s best experience.
From Selection to the start of our journey:
The day I filled the form and submitted it, I was hopeful and very positive that I will get selected as it was my gut feeling. After that I was waiting impatiently for the results. On the night of 1st February I got to know that I finally got selected. In the next two days, I made one of the hardest decisions of my life; to continue my job or to go on this camp. I was on a probation period and after trying my best to get leaves for ten days, my boss was not able to grant me the leaves because its against the policies to grant leaves in probation period. To go on this camp was my dream and after discussing about this matter with my friends and parents, I finally made the decision that I would not regret my whole life. I chose to go on this camp. My parents supported my decision and we began preparations for my journey. As this was my first ever travel and I was going to Gilgit which is in Pakistan’s Northern Area, we had to go for shopping to buy warm clothes and snow shoes. Apparently, I just had one day for shopping because the next day was a public holiday and we were leaving on 6th Feb. There were 6 girls and 6 boys selected from all over Karachi from our community. I met the girls of our group the day before our journey. Although, there were some miscommunications and mismanagement as we were informed about all the travelling details at a short notice but the thing was, deep down we all were excited for this new experience. Finally, the day arrived and we all met at the bus station with our parents. Everyone was nerve wrecked, a little angry to be travelling in the public bus but still excited.
The Journey from 6th to 8th Feb:
We were all settled in the bus. Our team got the backseats in the bus so we were all sitting together. 3 at last seat and other 7 sitting in the two seater seats. We had all the junk food and other necessary stuff including some warm clothes in our bagpacks with us. Me being a bookworm that I am, couldn’t travel without a book. I guess at 10.30 or 11am the bus started and we were on our way. We did our official introductions like who belonged too which area and stuff like that. The conductor of the bus told us that the bus will stop after every 6 hours sometimes 12 hours for bathroom and eating breaks. So our 3 days and 2 nights journey in the bus went something like this:
- Arsheela, Alishah and Zayan entertaining us with their talks and jokes.
- Sharing and eating junk food. Buying more junk food from the stops.
- Updating our parents in every 3 or 4 hours.
- Too tired of sitting but couldn’t do anything about it. Changing our sitting positions constantly.
- Saving our cellphone batteries by not using it too much. Everyone’s phone was on power saving mode. All of us had power banks as well.
- At the stops, the bathrooms were in the lowest condition but we had to bear with it as we had to just hold our breath and get done with it. And guess what we had to pay 10 rupees for using the bathroom.
- At the initial stops we barely ate the food there. All us girls would just share one plate and just eat 2-3 bites. Later on compensate our hunger with chips, biscuit and water.
- Luckily Farzan bought nuggets and shared with us all.
- I sometimes read book, texted my parents and best friends, listened to music or slept.
- So at night when we all tried to sleep, some little boy used to start crying at the exact same time and we all were like please make him stop crying.
- Next day we stopped somewhere in interior Punjab, early morning. It was 6 degrees at that time and we were literally freezing, though we were wearing our sweaters and hoodies. Then we just had a little bit of breakfast and ate pure sugarcane. As nearby there was a field of Sugarcane and there were tractors loaded with sugarcane. The boys brought the sugarcane for us all, it was heavenly sweet and delicious.
- A tiny detail I forgot to mention. Other than 6 scouts boys and 6 girl guides there was a scout leader with us for our protection.
- We took some really good pictures at this stop.
- Later that day, sometime after 3pm we stopped in Islamabad at a petrol pump. We bought some chips, juices and water bottles. Also, 3 of us girls bought ice cream and enjoyed every bit of it. Took some pictures there as well and then we were off to our journey.
- That same day we got a little better food to eat. Also, Umber caught fever. We all advised her to eat something, take medicine and sleep.
- We stopped at a hotel in Karakoram highway that night for 2 and a half hours. We had dinner, everyone was charging their phones and power banks, it was too out there. Probably 5 or 4 degrees, I was just tired of sitting so me and Komal were just walking outside, getting to know each other. The tow hours passed and just like that we were on road again.
- That night our feets were literally freezing because of the cold weather. But somehow we all slept through the night.
- When we woke up in the morning, we were in the mountains though gilgit was still hours away.
- We stopped at a place called Chillas for breakfast and bathroom break. We all mostly drank tea there. Some of the boys had breakfast.
- Finally at noon we reached at the Gilgit bus station.
To Be Continued….