All the happenings, stories and snippets from the vibrant world of Serena Hotels Pakistan
Our featured blogger is Sarwat Majeed who is an avid traveler and adventure explorer. Together with her family, she experiences Hopar Valley like never before.
Recently I had the privilege to visiting the Northern areas of Pakistan. Traveling by road to that region is an experience in itself; however the highlight of this trip was our visit to the Hopar Glacier.
We made Hunza Serena Inn our center from where we started our tour for different places. No doubt that each and every place we visited was breathtaking but Hopper Glacier was a unique experience.
Hopar is located in Nagar valley and is about one and a half hour’s drive from Hunza. On the winding road to Hopar Glacier we could see the natural beauty of Nagar valley, with the river flowing on one side and apricot trees on the other side. We were lucky to see the trees laden with fruit; the entire valley was full of apples and ripe apricots. All through the way, the beauty of the valley kept on changing, with angry flowing river to lush green valleys, and sometimes one could even see a glacier at a distance – a white glare amongst brown mountains.
Near Hopar the valley widens and we could see the crops growing all around. At the time we visited main crop in season was potatoes. The two main Inns at Hopper valley are located at the top of the mountain from where one can easily climb down to the glacier at the bottom of the valley. The village people are extremely friendly and helpful. Most of them can speak Urdu and almost 90% of the population is educated.
From the Inn the glacier is not visible. For the glacier we had to climb up this little hill from where we could see this magnificent glacier flowing at the bottom of the valley. My mother being over 75 years old could not climb the hill without assistance, and as soon as she said she wants to see the glacier the locals stepped forward helping her up the hill. The Glacier that was in front of us had turned brown due to deposit of mud on it, however as we looked further down we could see the white peeking out. It’s been said that it is one of the fastest flowing glaciers in Pakistan.
My brother and his kids went glacier walking and did a four hour trek almost to the bottom of the peak from where the glacier is coming. The locals informed us it was the first time that any Pakistani females had attempted glacier walking on Hopar.
It was a very hot day and we could see pools of water on the glacier where the glacier had melted which was fascinating.
The valley itself was not only extremely beautiful but also very fertile; add the friendliness of locals and one comes up with an irresistible combination. I found it really interesting that when we ordered fries this small kid just ran across to the fields, plucked the potatoes and washed them before handing them over to his father who made the fries; I never had fresher or better fries than those.
It was Ramadan and by evening we saw all these little kids with buckets in their hands, trekking down the mountain towards the Glacier. On inquiring we were told that their mothers had sent them to the glacier to get Ice for Iftar beverages, something new and very refreshing, nature’s own deep freezer. We ended our day with a little bit of shopping which was all about precious and semi-precious stones, and Fool’s Gold.
On this happy note we started our journey back to Hunza Serena Inn with one more adventure and experience to remember for a life time.