It has been a tradition of our school, Chitral Public School and College, that when students come to the 10th class, they go on a study tour to explore the beauty of nature and visit backward areas.
This time it was our turn. I was really excited for that day and couldn’t sleep the night before. I woke up early in the morning and arrived at school at 07:30 am. The coach arrived at school at 08:00 am.
After completing all the formalities, the coach was ready for the trip. We went to Goldur where we had to pick up some chicken and other necessary supplies. At 12:00 pm, we reached Garum Chashma Valley, where we bought tandoori roti, a few kilograms of tomatoes, and a few bottles of carbonated drinks as it was the last market where we could find everything we needed.
After continuously traveling for five hours, we finally reached our final destination: a beautiful, spacious meadow in Gobor Valley where we were going to camp. The valley was even more beautiful than we had expected, with crystal-clear and cold water, and the lush grass gave us a sense of heaven.
After arriving, we started assembling our tents. Since it was our first time, it took us about an hour to set up six tents. After that, we played football, and a few local players joined us.
As Gobor Valley is located at a higher altitude from sea level, it was challenging to breathe freely while playing football. We played for about one and a half hours and then started preparing dinner as we had been hungry since morning.
Late at night, we started a musical program that lasted until 3:00 am. Then the teachers insisted that we get some sleep as we were going for a trek early in the morning. We woke up at 6:00 am and decided to go trekking without breakfast.
After an hour of trekking, some friends decided to return to the camp, but others, including myself, insisted on going to Shah Saleem, the last village of Pakistan on this side that shares a border with Afghanistan. After four hours of trekking, we arrived there at 10:00 am.
The people of Shah Saleem were very hospitable and offered us breakfast in their small tent located on a small hill. We returned to our camp at 2:00 pm. On the way back, we enjoyed swimming in the cold, clear waters of the Kunar River.
When we returned to the camp, some friends were cooking lunch, and we played cricket. After lunch, we started our journey back to school and safely arrived at 9:00 pm. This concludes our journey. Now, the question is, what was our experience?
To be very honest, the valley was incredibly beautiful, peaceful, and, most importantly, devoid of air pollution, noise pollution, or water pollution. It offered a clean, calm, and cool environment. The people living there lead simple lives, characterized by humility and hard work. Most of them are not familiar with technology, and their lifestyle resembles that of our fathers and grandfathers.
They live in houses made of stones, mud, and wood and are healthier than us as they are not accustomed to consuming junk food. They extend their love and hospitality to everyone they meet.
However, there are a few things that concern me regarding the negative impact on the beauty of the valley. Firstly, the growing population, which is a national issue, is affecting the environment.
People have begun cultivating the beautiful meadows and cutting down trees to meet their daily needs. Secondly, pollution caused by an influx of tourists is also a problem. Tourists often litter the area without taking responsibility for cleaning it up.
To address these issues, we must initiate seminars to raise awareness about preserving the environment and the consequences of destroying nature.