What happend in Galyat, Didn't Stay in Galyat

in WORLD OF XPILAR2 months ago

Little did I know, I'd be on another travel trip when I barely finished sharing the adventures of last year. I'm not a travel blogger but seems like I'm turning into one. This wannabe traveler doesn't mind though.


This time around, my stay was in Nathiagali (one of the cities/towns of galiyat in Abbottabad district and KPK province); we enjoyed day visits to a couple of nearby places.

Galyat (Urdu: گلیات) region, or hill tract, (also written Galliat and Galiyat) is a narrow strip or area roughly 50–80 km north-east of Islamabad, Pakistan, extending on both sides of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa-Punjab border, between Abbottabad and Murree.

I've visited this place a couple of times in the past but this time it was a group trip so the dynamics were a little different. I'm an ambivert with a slight inclination towards introversion which means I don't mind company if it's good and doesn't invade my personal space too much.

Our stay was in a beautiful setup on a hill in Nathiagali. The clear blue sky and cotton-white clouds screamed, 'we're clean and pure'.

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I took a hundred pictures of the sky there, it won't be fair if I don't share an exclusive picture of this bright blue sky because this sight is rare in the rest of the country due to pollution. The blue becomes paler and paler as you descend the mountains.
(not-edited)


While at the hill, it's a must thing to visit green spot - It's a wide green slope that also serves as a skiing spot in winter. The elevation of the spot is 2500 meters and the track which leads into the beautiful clearing comprises roughly 425 uncomfortable steps/stairs. One can trek on the sides too which are less heavy on the knees. But whichever path I take, I always suffer from dyspnoea and hypoxia walking uphill.

Beautiful Green Spot

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A picture at the green spot is a must

Kids came rolling down the foothill while we walked down carefully to the sunroom.

sun room


Another must-visit in Nathiagali is the Alpine Resort. I have shared a detailed post during my first visit in 2022, so this time I'm only attaching two new pictures for the record. It was raining the whole time, hence the wet handrail and cobblestone steps.

view from the deck

beautiful alley


During the first half of the trip, it rained almost all the time, and two times, we witnessed a heavy hailstorm. So, all we did was "eat". If it weren't for sunny days towards the end of the trip, we wouldn't be able to shed all those extra pounds we gained while in food coma.


Hailstorm in Nathiagali bazar while having a scrumptious meal at بٹ کڑاہی

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Best Chinese food in the town at Qubed (Nathiagali) while it rained outside

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Best food of the trip at Foodster (Nathiagali) except this pretty dessert from another place - and yes, it was raining. ((:

Look at the sky - that's how rain clouds covered the sky during most days (not edited)


When it was sunny finally, we trekked a 4.5km track in Ayubia National Park.

Ayubia is also one of the galiyat.

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There was a pipeline stretching along the whole track, hence the name Pipeline Track. This is no ordinary trekking area, it holds some history which I got to read on one of the boards mounted along the track. I have attached the picture and also copied the text for quick-read.

This historical track was developed from 1892 to 1900 by the British Regime mainly to provide water for their army unit deployed in the Murree cantonment area. For this purpose, some units have also been assigned the task of developing water sources by collecting natural springs' water of Makshpuri and adjoining areas as well as rain and snow harvesting to ensure consistent water supply to the Murree. Today this historical track is an integral part of Ayubia National Park and has developed into a prominent attraction for eco-tourists: The track leading from Dungagali to Ayubia is 4.5 km long and the wildlife department has maintained it for all age groups.


During our stay at Nathiagali, we visited a couple of Gali-s - Ayubia, Dungagali, and Thandiani. I had been to all places multiple times in the past except Thandiani and this is now my current favourite place.

It's a hill station in the north-east of Abbottabad district in the foothills of Himalayas.

The road to the hilltop was very narrow - it was a single road that was being used for two-way traffic in the past but now the mountains were being cut to widen the road. Along with the mountains, trees were also being removed which once made the whole passage green and beautiful, like driving in a forest. We had to walk half a mile at the end because the road got very narrow - not suitable for our vehicle.

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The scenery at the top was breathtaking. The pictures don't do justice even a tiny bit.

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Camping Pods

I've been to many remote places but this was the first place that felt like stepping right-into-the-nature. There were some dwellings infact a small village that made me wonder how those people live without the facilities of the city which was 37km downhill.

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It rained again...


We ended the trip with the mandatory bonfire and barbecue, for which we all prayed for a clear night.

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And of course, I had to take out the telescope on a clear night. But it was another failed attempt. I couldn't focus on that stubborn star which went far as the night grew... )):


What happened in Galyat, will stay in my heart, forever.


All pictures are mine unless otherwise stated, taken with my phone's camera. No filter or editing process is applied on any picture to keep the scenes as original as possible.

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Your photos would easily fit into a report about the Thuringian Forest in Germany ;-)) Well - except for the food served...

Seriously: very, very beautiful area. Inviting.

What's with the hypoxia...? You're too young for that, I think...

I'm only 24 and when I reached the Karakorum highway, I suffered with hypoxia. Turned a bit red, started wheezing (I already have acute bronchitis)

Hypoxia doesn't necessarily depend upon age, rather than lifestyle, the area you're living in and the amount of oxygen available to you in that area. The people who live on high altitudes don't have access to the amount of oxygen available to southern people specially those people who live by the sea. What happens is, generations after generation, people live in high altitude areas, this results in mutation in their genes over the course of time which results in an increased production of Red Blood Cells (RBCs)

Why RBCs? Because rbcs carry haemoglobin and haemoglobin carries oxygen molecules. Less oxygen = more rbc production. This is known as Negative Feedback.

This is the reason why you'd find people who live in mountains have cherry red cheeks.

When a southern person visits a mountainous place, the first thing they're struck with is hypoxia as our body produces rbcs according to our southern needs. As soon as we reach northern areas or start hiking or doing anything that requires energy, this is what happens:

Less oxygen available > Signal to the brain > body needs oxygen at all cost > not enough rbcs to carry the required amount of oxygen > heavy breathing > Respiration rate increases.

Sorry for boring y'all.

Fun fact: if you sit down and consciously start breathing heavily and quickly, you might feel a very short period of euphoria due to abundant amount of oxygen being breathed into your lungs

Not boring, my dear! Thank you very much. You reminded me that I also experienced something similar years ago in the Andes. The locals chewed coca leaves to compensate for this deficiency by increasing blood flow and oxygen uptake...

It never occurred to me that there could be such extreme differences within one country...

 2 months ago (edited)

I experienced episodes of hypoxia throughout my visit to SKARDU. My family didn't feel it that much. Huzaifa explained the physiology of this phenomenon quite well.

will also blame my sedentary lifestyle for this aspect. My kids hiked like they were born there... This highlights the importance of physical activity! The kids are used to running around and being physically active more than us elders.

I was a good runner before kids. Now I can't even do a brisk walk. 🥲

The kids are used to running around and being physically active more than us elders.

I hope they continue to do that even when they get older. Of course I'm not in the shoes of any parent out there but it's infuriating for me when I see 90% of parents around me instilling the dopamine rush into their kids by handing them over mobile phones so that their kids don't disturb them. Doing this will haunt the parents forever. The dopamine that is being released due to screen exposure is so terrifying and the kids should be getting it through physical activities instead of cartoons on YouTube.

never occurred to me that there could be such extreme differences within one country

Biology is fascinating...

It never occurred to me that there could be such extreme differences within one country...

We have second-highest peak of the world, forests, rivers, plateus, deserts and a sea. We are too diverse. 😀

Interesting. I had an idea but you explained it perfectly. That means I shouldn't worry about my shortness of breath while climbing mountains.

when I reached the Karakorum highway, I suffered with hypoxia.

Hmm... If you experienced it on the highway that means you were probably in a vehicle and your body didn't exert (no climbing), right? And you still went through hypoxia?

I feel pretty normal while at any altitude except for when I climb or exert in any way - be at a mountain or a slope near sea.

That means I shouldn't worry about my shortness of breath while climbing mountains.

That depends. Do you also face breathlessness while doing routine tasks at home? If yes, you should be worried and you need to hit the gym.

Do you only feel breathlessness while hiking? If yes, that's pretty normal for everyone but you still need to hit the gym. Hitting the gym is never a bad decision xD

The best way to train lungs is to jog at a steady pace. Also, doing breathing exercises. Breath in to the maximum capacity of your lungs. Hold the air inside and then exhale out in 4-5 steps. Do this atleast twice for two minutes in a day. Alongside breathing issues it will also solve your anxiety.

Hmm... If you experienced it on the highway that means you were probably in a vehicle and your body didn't exert (no climbing), right? And you still went through hypoxia?

No I meant when I got out of the bus at the Pak-China border. Still, there was no sort of hiking or Trekking, only walking yet I still felt shortness of breath (pretty normal at that altitude)

Okay I get it... I'm not exactly fit at home too... definitely need some physical training.

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I just googled the images of Thuringian Forest - it does look beautiful and quite similar to the places I visited.

What's with the hypoxia...? You're too young for that, I think...

Ummm... I think it's the sedentary lifestyle. It's not just me, many lowlanders get hypoxia at higher altitudes - not severely, but shortness of breath is very common while going up on a slope. I also only feel breathlessness and rapid heart rate while climbing up which subsides quickly if I take a break for few minutes. I don't know if it should be taken seriously; I blame caesareans for my poor physical stamina.

 2 months ago 

Coincidentally, we both posted our mountain diaries at almost the same time, and I enjoyed every bit of your post. I was not accompanying you this time but you ensured to make me jealous with all these details. Not fair, though.

Jokes aside, I'm in awe and love of my Pakistan. So many diverse landscapes. One mountain range is totally different from the other and beautiful in its own way.

After Skardu I will be writing about Kashmir! The paradise on Earth as they call it...

we both posted our mountain diaries at almost the same time

Haha... I saw it and it's open in my tab since last night. Can't wait to read more about Skardu.

you ensured to make me jealous with all these details.

😅 I couldn't have shared the nitty gritties of the trip like this in person.

One mountain range is totally different from the other and beautiful in its own way.

I second that.

I will be writing about Kashmir!

I was eight when I visited Kashmir. The memories are fading. I'd love to re-visit through your blog. 😍

 2 months ago 

A great story about a great trip 😀. You showed us a very nice place. Your country is rich in amazing landscapes.

You are a great travel blogger 😉.

It's diverse in terms of everything... landscapes, weather, culture...

That is a corolla 86 in middle and that is one hell of a car. Everlasting

I show you a dozen of beautiful pictures and all you appreciate is a car.... men will be men. 😅

P.S. چھیاسی کورولا کی بات ہی اور تھی۔

Doesn't this looks like a paradise...?

What a beautiful serene you have shared here..!

Out of the 36 states in Nigeria, I have only visited just 5 of them. I know there are still more I might not visit till I pass away.

How's Nigeria? Does it have beautiful landscapes too?

You don't like traveling or you don't get much chance to explore your country?

Yeah, Nigeria have many beautiful places. A good place to visit..but to be secured, you have to be extremely simple especially as a foreigner 🙂.

I like traveling, but I think the only problem in this one could be chance and finance..., Nigeria is a very big country...., bug enough to form other countries.

you have to be extremely simple especially as a foreigner

Simple as in???

Appearance and everything while touring to avoid casualties from hungry dogs (the bad guys), if you know what I mean.

PS: It's just a piece of advice for foreigners.

That's scary. If that's the case, many people would think twice about out-of -necessity-traveling, let alone excursions.

Even with that , with still have a lot of foreigners here. Mostly UK and China.

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