Travel

Weekend Trip to Kund Malir and visiting Princess of Hope

One fine day, as we sat, dreaming about some far off exotic location and feeling burdened with all the work on our hands, we decided to take a trip. We couldn’t go anywhere far off and exotic, but we could take a short trip to a nearby location. Living in Karachi, means having limited options but there are options nevertheless. 

Princess of Hope road
Isn’t it a must to take pictures everywhere 😉 on our way to the Princess of Hope, we couldn’t resist stopping for pictures

New year was coming up and so finding a trip wasn’t difficult. There are many tours happening around this time and most are family friendly as well. Our search led us to finding a weekend trip to Kund Malir beach. Thus, again we embarked on an adventure, this time all girls. Sounds cool right. It does to me because it was such a huge thing for me. Travelling with my girls, not a care in the world. Yaaasssssss!!

Day 1

In case you don’t know, Kund Malir is located in Hingol National Park in Balochistan at a distance of 150 kilometres from Zero Point on the Makran Coastal Highway. We travelled with Karachi Travellers Group and it was quite a pleasant, safe and peaceful experience. They plan everything to the last detail leaving no surprises. We left Karachi early morning on Saturday and within 2 hours, we reached our destination. After we freshened up, we had daal roti at a nearby dhaba and went off to explore the surroundings.

lunch at a local hotel near Kund Malir Beach
Our scrumptious lunch nearby at a local hotel

The whole place gives off a very rugged yet calm vibe. As it is not usually crowded you can find your peace on the beach and just relax with the waves. Nearby, you can go explore the trails and mountains like we did. 

Have you met the Princess?

Princess of Hope at Hingol National Park
Princess of Hope that stands tall in Hingol National Park, overlooking the area

When you travel the road on the Makran Coastal Highway you come across the Princess of Hope, from Karachi it would be after about 190 km. It is named thus by Angelina Jolie when she visited the area as the rock formation looks like a princess overlooking her surroundings. When you ponder closely at her, she does seem to be majestically standing atop the mountain, carved so beautifully, although legend has it that it’s a natural sculpture shaped by the winds of the Arabian Sea.

Kund Malir Beach sunset
Beautiful sunset at Kund Malir Beach

After we were done exploring the mountains around the princess (and taking tons of pictures) where we attempted but failed miserably to climb to the top, we came back to just chill at the beach.

Sitting by the beach, listening to the waves, watching the sun go down at you, it is all such a surreal and beautiful experience. It is unforgettable. Sometimes i think that’s what our life is, a string of unforgettable experiences, or this is what it should be about, creating those unforgettable experiences. I know I’m fascinated by it. If you have these beautiful moments to look back on, it makes you feel so humble and grateful that you have had the chance to experience something like this. What is a life lived without creating such beautiful memories? I wonder.

At night, we had a BBQ scene which as you know is always such a hit on the beach, songs, laughter and games with my best pals. I will forever remember and cherish the memory of it. We slept in a tent (first for me) with smiles on our faces, talking goofy, with the hope that we’ll wake up to watch the sunrise. Do you think that happened? Well if you did, sorry to tell you that our lazy, tired selves couldn’t catch it.

Day 2

So, after we were done with the morning breakfast, the fun did not end there. The beach day lasted one day, and as it was Sunday now, we had to return back and return to work the following day. So our return journey started with a stopover at the mud volcanoes in Hingol National Park.

mud volcano at Hingol National Park
a closer view of the mud pool at one of the steeper volcanoes

There are three big mud volcanoes known as Chandragupt mud volcano 1, 2 and 3. One of the 300 foot high volcanoes is a Hindu pilgrimage site with a Mandir close by also. some people did try reaching the top of that but i don’t remember anyone making it. we climbed to the mouth of one of the smaller mountains and witnessed it oozing mud. We did also witness Hindus who came to the site for worship.

mud volcanoes at Hingol National Park
Hindu community that came for worship at the mud volcanoes

At lunchtime, we stopped over at a road side hotel for food and I kid you not, they had the best daal (lentil). By the time we reached home, we were half dead and exhausted but also, happy people who managed to break the monotony.

Oh and I must tell you, the place didn’t have any signals to i guess it counts as the perfect escape also (he he he).

Have you visited Kund Malir Beach? What are your thoughts about it? Come, tell me in the comments below:

Reflections

What Keeps you Grounded (and How to Cope in Difficult Times)-Part 2

In the previous post I talked about how by changing your perspective and having faith can help you navigate the tough times in your life. I thought I should take it further and talk about some coping strategies as well. Sometimes what happens when we are going through a difficult time is that we tend to close off. That may be due to fear, for example, we may fear being judged or we may feel embarrassed talking about it.

What one needs to understand here is that there is no shame in talking about your story. You are not the only one and that it can happen to anyone. You don’t have to go open up to the world about your problem(s) but you need a genuine outlet to let the steam off, and hear some words of inspiration or wisdom which can really help you in tough times. Sometimes, sharing about your problem also helps to gain perspective, find support or a possible solution for it. So you if you find yourself beaten down by life, first of all, know that you’re not alone. Secondly, remind yourself that it is a test and you will pass it. Life happens to everyone and everybody’s tested albeit in different ways. So let’s move on to some coping strategies:

Confide in your Close Ones

It’s very important to have people close to you, who understand you, know you and genuinely care for you. When you have identified such people in your life, then you should find your strength in them. Having support means a lot. You understand that you are not alone. You have friends and/or family who care and that they will go the extra mile for you. If  nothing, they will lend an ear to you, which can really help.

Find a Support Group

You can also find a support group, locally or online, where you can interact with people who are going through the same situation as you. Sometimes, it can really help in listening to others and how they are coping with their situation. You can gain insight by their experience and feel less lonely in your situation.

Generally, when something bad happens to us, our first reaction to it is that it’s the worst thing that has happened to us and nothing more bad can ever happen to anyone. By talking to people or in a a support group, your perspective can shift and help you cope.

Surround Yourself with Non Judgmental People

When you’re going through a tough phase in life, it’s important to surround yourself with positive interactions and influences. You don’t want more negativity around you at such times or people unnecessarily prying in your matters. Keep at a distance with such people and only interact with those you know genuinely care about you. Their care and support can go a long way in helping you cope in such times.

Engage Yourself in Hobbies That Make you Happy

It may feel like life is at a standstill and nothing is moving forward, but you don’t have to be glued where you are. You don’t have to sit and wait for things to get better. Get back to things that you love doing for yourself. Find a hobby and do a little of it every day. It could be something as simple as growing plants, or learning a skill that you always wanted to learn. Engaging your mind somewhere will also help keep the negative thoughts away. Engaging your hands in making something, like crafts or crocheting can help with stress and anxiety because you divert your minds focus towards something else.

Connect with God

All through this time, make sure you don’t give up on your faith. Don’t allow yourself to develop any negative feelings or resentment bur rather, hold on stronger to hope. Keep praying for a better time and ask God to guide you, show you the way and keep you calm. Even if things don’t get better instantly, praying and staying connected to God does bring a certain calm that come whatever may, you are in safe hands of a higher power. If he has put you in it he will give you the strength to pull through it also.

I hope this helps anyone who is going through a tough phase.