Most of us have been on road trips with friends and family at least once in our lifetime. There is absolutely nothing more fun than a road trip to your favorite destination with your favorite people. Although road trips are super exciting, they can be really exhausting as well. I mean it’s not everyone’s cup of tea to sit in the same car with the same people for hours and hours. But once you reach your destination, the satisfaction is inexplicable. So, for all the people who never went on a road trip across Pakistan, here is a quick overview of what a road trip across Pakistan looks like!
When I say across Pakistan, I literally mean across the whole of Pakistan. Starting from one end, Karachi, travelling to the other end, Karakoram highway. There are endless places in Pakistan which can be visited. When we leave from Karachi around 6 am, the first city that you reach is Hyderabad in about 1.5 hours. The route up till here is a motorway, hence it’s super comfortable. Here you can have breakfast and then carry on with your journey. Hyderabad onwards till Sukkur, you’ll have to travel on the national highway which isn’t the most pleasant journey. After years of travelling I realized that the best alternative is the Jamshoro Indus Highway. Although at the moment it is a single road with two-way traffic, there are hardly any cars on this road during the morning. The Indus Highway joins the national highway back at Qazi Ahmed and can save you a lot of time, around 1.5 hours.
The distance from Qazi Ahmed to Sukkur takes around 3 hours and that’s when the highway journey comes to an end and the Sukkur Multan Motorway is now complete and open for travel. This is going to be one of the most peaceful travels of your life. The roads are gorgeous with nothing but greenery on both sides and hardly any traffic. This 4 hour long journey passes by like a dream and is super enjoyable. The only problem is that the services are not fully operational at the moment and the washrooms are not quite state of the art. Here onwards the Lahore Islamabad motorway starts which is probably one of the best constructed motorway’s in the world. The services are absolutely fantastic with all big fast food chains and great restrooms. You can even use the VIP restroom just for a minor fee of Rs. 50.
On this motorway comes the beautiful hilly area of kallar kahar which is a sight to behold. The roads run on the edge of the hills while going up, down and round across Kallar Kahar. On one side, you can see the beautiful red hills of Kallar Kahar and on the other side is the breathtaking downhill view. Beauty aside, Kallar Kahar is one of the most dangerous portions of the motorway. With steep highs, lows, and sharp cuts, your car has to be in perfect condition or else chances are high that a technical difficulty like failing of brakes could be fatal. So, if you’re driving on these roads for the first time, make sure you’re extremely careful. This brings me to the most important part of road trips, thorough check up of your vehicle. This includes a break check, tire check, and engine check. Your car needs to be at optimal performance level as such long journeys can be very stressful for vehicles. I mean this should’ve been at the start but we’ll put it here for now.
So, from Kallar Kahar slowly Islamabad will approach as it is around 2 hours away. If you’re lucky enough, it’ll start raining and you’ll have the most beautiful view of your life, maybe even spot a rainbow. When you reach Islamabad the whole landscape changes. Wide and clear roads, mountainous views in front, and a clean atmosphere. Islamabad is the place that connects you to the most beautiful parts of Pakistan, The Northern Areas. The list is endless and the places just get more and more beautiful. By the time you reach Islamabad, you’ll be pretty tired from the 2 days of travelling. Spend some time in the capital city, enjoy the views and then pack up for the real quest. The rest of the journey will be explained in detail in part 2 of this Article. Stay tuned!