Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Places in Pakistan: Phander lake

Date: 21st Sep, 2011.

Location: 36°10'13"N 72°55'4"E

Finally, we were at Phander lake. The PTDC bus had dropped us next to a government rest house with all our camping gear strewn on the road. So we had to hurriedly remove all that stuff from the road otherwise there would have been a traffic jam and lot of honking. After removing all the luggage we were thinking about the room. We desperately wanted the room to throw all this stuff in it. Rest House seemed a good place to start. I nudged Adeel, who is in PSO, to talk his way into the rest house. I must tell you a thing or two about the rest houses maintained by Government of Pakistan. Firstly, they are all run on very professional basis, from the taxes that we pay. This is done to please the ministers and their bloated, egoistic families. Ministers in Pakistan almost always never pay their taxes. No wonder they are held with such contempt across the country. But Adeel did not show any contempt. He just asked the keeper to allow us for a single night in any room which might be available. He solemnly informed all of us that all rooms were empty but he is not allowed to give any non-official any room. Then Zahid bhai stepped forward, his think palm into the palm of the keeper and informed the poor man that he is a journalist from GEO TV, which off course was a blatant lie. But Zahid bhai specializes in lying to government chowkidars and keepers. He has done it before and he was doing it again, under intense cold and mounting clouds overhead. After 30 minutes of negotiations, casual promise of a bribe, and promises that we would only stay one night, we were allowed into a room with no beds and no running water and no heater. Well, we still agreed to pay Rs.250 for a night in. The private hotel, belonging to a Ismaili, opposite this rest house would have cost us Rs.1000 for a night.

We soon dragged our luggage, walking sticks and some fruits into the room, took our cameras out and scrambled for outdoors. This was the first, open view of the lake from our side. You can note PTDC motels, run by Government, across the lake. This place was very beautiful and the only disappointment was the lake, for which we had come so long a distance. I was truly disappointed by its appearance. It was the second time I had been so disappointed by a Pakistani lake, the first being Keenjhar lake in Sindh province.


viewer 4 said...

HA! "No beds, no running water and no heat"!
Why the disappointment with the lake?

viewer 4 said...

That was my comment, the new computer doesn't recognize me.

SEE?? You should have stayed at at the place across the road!

Ameer Hamza said...

Well, I don't think I said no electricity. If I said, it was wrong. There was indeed electricity, run by water plant, but the water in our taps wasn't heated. The reason: No visitors expected this time of the year. It must be noted that the last visitors come here during August. And that's the last touristy month for this and all nearby places. And very inexpensive at that.

BioLearner said...

Nice post,Thanks for sharing......what a place and the lake is awesome,amazing.