A PAGE FROM MY TRAVEL JOURNAL
December 2016 was packed with joys of visiting two places back to back. One of them was Ranikot. The place was chosen for me by my guide whom I entrusted the burden of making my trip as memorable as can be. And the place was well opted by him I must say.
My journey started from Waahi Paandhi towards Sunn in my guide’s personal car. Since it was a GLI, my ride was smooth. We stocked up on the way for preparation of dinner and breakfast at the great fort. The food too was a surprise for me. Everything was pre-arranged for me in terms of accommodation, food and sight-seeing.
I can recall our car on an isolated earthen road towards the majestic fort. As night had fallen upon us and it was a cold winter one, the windscreen frosted and had to be thawed by heating. I could not make out which gate of the fort we used to enter and there in, only some areas were lighted while the rest remained casted by pitch dark. The car pulled over in front of the newly built rest room that treasured a coloured wooden jhoola, cane and jute furniture, two ‘manjhis’ with bed spread and quilt, some crockery and a centre table with earthen and regional decorationpieces well kept around the room.
I placed my bag pack at a corner and looked around the room taking a few pictures then came out to help in the preparation of the meal. The protein was then and there marinated for Tikka and then Karahi was prepared, one of chicken and the other of bird- the name of which I never understood. After dinner was ready, bread staple was provided by a local house hold. What a mighty flavorful meal it was. I devoured the bird only as I’ve never had such a delicacy in Karachi. We cleaned up post dinner and had coffee around bonfire. Soon it was off to bed. The great thing about the night at the fort was the star lit sky. Galaxies upon galaxies and the milky way! I could not set my eyes off the sky and tried getting in as much of the glorious view as I could. Even the toilet had no ceiling and one could enjoy the stars while doing their job.
I had a sound sleep and woke early at dawn, climbed the staircase to enjoy the magnificent view. The wall is bricked and one can easily move around it. The stair cased lead one to the top from where one can easily view the majestic forts on the hill tops with the naked eye. What a wall there is for the seeker of beauty.
Breakfast was a simple egg omelet with bread but the taste of food on vacations is never the same as home. Post breakfast we set foot for Pariyoun Jo Thal and it was on my way out that I came to know that our adobe was Mirikot.
We passed a few green pastures and met with the local children on the way. After the point where vehicle can no longer continue, we trekked towards the stream. Once reached I enjoyed the natural pedicure. It was a moment of divine happiness for me as before then, I had never touched any species of animals. The very thought of fish taking off the dead skin is ticklish yet the experience wasn’t that giggly.
After Mirikot I boarded a local non AC transport towards Karachi from Sunn. This journey has a league of its own since at first there was no vacant seat and I was given the seat of the conductor. Well that was a perk for me as all passengers could view me and I could view them. The glared at me as we glare at celebrities and I felt there was no harm in living the moment so I imagined myself one of the classy breed. Very soon I got a decent seat midway and I enjoyed the Sev and Coconut snacks on the way bought from the kiosk owners on the way.
I met with a family on the bus and I haven’t forgotten them to date. Innocent kind faces so empathetic towards travelers is what one does not find in Karachi.
I am forever indebted to my guide and his friend for making my trip ‘a lasting for the lifetime one’.