The Long-legged Buzzard (Balochistan)

This is a long legged buzzard that was seen on the coast of Kund Malir, in Balochistan. These birds are found throughout the African and Eurasian continents. They breed in Central Asia and then travel to the open areas in southern Pakistan during the winter months.

 

And there certainly are plenty of ‘open areas’ all over Balochistan. The buzzards often prey on rodents, lizards, small birds etc.

 

Balochistan is famous as a place where Arab millionaires go to illegally hunt wildlife. These rare birds are unfortunately being targeted for the sake of Eagle Hunting hobbyists. Recently, thankfully, these kinds of threats to the birds are being spotlighted on social media and other media outlets, so now people have more awareness about the problem.

 

Photo & text: Mariko SAWADA
Observation: Nov 2019, Kund Malir, Balochistan

 

Category : ◆ Balochistan > ◇ Birds of Pakistan
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(Vlog) Adventures Exploring the Impressive Mud Volcanoes in Balochistan (including an insightful Travel Vlog shared by our customer) 

In February of this year, we visited Balochistan with a Swiss-Mexican couple, Lucas and Patricia, and photographer Toshiki Nakanishi. Patricia made a wonderful travel Vlog of our travels. Narrated in Spanish with English subtitles, please see her video, as seen by the tourist.

Patricia is a wildlife photographer. Before coming to Pakistan, she was asked many times by her Swiss friends, “Pakistan? What wildlife is there to shoot? But isn’t it dangerous?” And now, after having been there to see for herself, she made this video “to show everyone the beauty of Pakistan and our journey there!”

And now, due to the Covid19 Pandemic, in the era of #stayhome…Patrica said “Now, I have lots of time!” Patricia, thank you for opening a way for the future of tourism in Pakistan!

 

Text : Mariko SAWADA

Special Thanks to SUMMERMATTER DIAZ ENRIQUETA PATRICIA. Please visit her web site: https://elpadiro.ch/

Category : = Video clip Balochistan > ◆ Video Breathtaking Views of Pakistan > ◆ Balochistan > ◇ Pakistan Travel Tip
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(video) Soaring Over the Magnificent Mud Volcanoes

In late February 2020, Balochistan coastal tour series ended in this season. The temperature during the day has also become much higher.

“Makran Coast and Mud Volcano” drone footage taken in this season.

 

Video & Text : Maiko SAWADA

Visit : Nov2019 -Feb2020, Makran Coast, Balochistan

 

 

Category : = Video clip Balochistan > ◆ Video Breathtaking Views of Pakistan > ◆ Balochistan > - Mud Volcano > - Hingol National Park > - Makran Coast
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Gadani Ship Breaking Yard

Have you ever wondered what happens to ships at the end of their service? …used to be that they would sink into the sea in the past, but now parts are often being dismantled and reused where possible. In postwar Japan, there was a rush to build ships, but these warships became unnecessary and various countries were dismantling them. Now the countries dismantling them are mostly in SE Asia. In Gadani they practice a technique called beaching. During the high tide, the boats will be hauled up on the sandy beach and then cut down for the steel and other recyclable parts.

According to the past records, the shipyard takes up about 10 kilometers of the Gadani shoreline and in the 1980’s there were 30,000 people working there, making it the largest in the world.
In 2016, there was a huge accident causing many casualties, so many new laws and regulations requiring insurance for the workers was enforced by the new government. When we visited, there were only a few shipyard businesses operating at that time.

 

At 2 PM, after his lunch break, this worker is getting back to work.

 

Huge coastal oil tankers and cruise ships are taken apart using manual labor.

 

We observed from afar so as not to get in the way as they worked.

 

The shore of Gadani…several ships on the exhausted shore.

When we visited the shipyard, there were demolition yard workers who seemed to be local Baloch people, as well as Pashtuns from far away Swat Valley. These hard-working Pashtun men left a lasting impact as they looked so strong, bright and masculine in such a harsh working environment.

 

Photo & Text : Mariko SAWADA
Visit: Nov 2019, Ship breaking yard of Gadani, Balochistan

Category : ◆ Balochistan
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(video) Hidden Jewels on the Makran Coast – Captivating Mud Volcano

We could travel to more remote areas of the breathtaking shoreline along the Makran Coast. In the winter of 2019, the active Mud Volcanoes were unforgettable. It was amazing to see the mud bubbling up at your feet! I have seen Mud Volcanoes before, but this was a new experience all together!

Video & Text : Mariko SAWADA
Visit :Nov 2019, Makran Coast, Balochistan

Category : = Video clip Balochistan > ◆ Video Breathtaking Views of Pakistan > ◆ Balochistan > - Mud Volcano > - Hingol National Park > - Makran Coast
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(video) Bird’s Eye View of Princess of Hope & Buzi Pass

Traveling from Kund Malir to Ormara, just off of the Makran Coastal Highway you will find the Buzi Pass.
Just near the Kund Malir Beach, the famous “Princess of Hope” will greet you. Even though I cannot see the princess in the shape, if you happen to be there on a weekend in the afternoon, you will see many local tourists surrounding the Princess.
Enjoy the magnificent view of Buzi Pass and nature’s art landscaping using erosion.

Video & Text : Mariko SAWADA
Visit :Nov 2019, Makran Coastal Highway, Balochistan

Category : = Video clip Balochistan > ◆ Video Breathtaking Views of Pakistan > ◆ Balochistan > - Mud Volcano > - Hingol National Park > - Makran Coast
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(video) Deep Inside Hingol Narional Park – Hidden Landscapes of Balochistan 

Deep Inside Hingol Narional Park – Hidden Landscapes of Balochistan

Hingol National Park’s remote offroad backcountry exploration reveals the world of Mud Volcanoes.

Starting in the winter of 2018, after my third visit, I could finally make it to “Mars Point” which is named unofficially by our staff. Even though of course, none of us have ever been to Mars, but standing here in this landscape makes you feel like “This is not Earth!”

Thank you for the came in our video, Mr. Toshiki Nakanishi (professional photographer).

 

Video (Drone footage) & Text : Mariko SAWADA
Visit :Nov 2019, Hingol National Park, Balochistan

Category : = Video clip Balochistan > ◆ Video Breathtaking Views of Pakistan > ◆ Balochistan > - Mud Volcano > - Hingol National Park > - Makran Coast
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Excellent Fishing! Kund Malir Fishing Port (Balochistan)

While camping around Kund Malir, there was a night with no waves or wind and we could see the fishing light thru the darkness of night. The next morning of such a calm night, we visited the fishing port.

 

Kund Malir is a really small fishing port. The system here is that the larger fishing vessles off load their catch to the smaller fishing boats to bring them into the beach. When we arrived at the beach, there were already many boats out gathering off the harbor.

 

This is the fishing boat. They had already caught so many fish. As I was wondering what fish that was…I found out it was a largehead hairtail (or beltfish). They say that these adult beltfish come to the surface of the sea in the early morning hours.

 

The smaller fishing boats offload their catch onto the beach for transport.

 

Locals carry the fish to the trucks. Even in such a small fishing village there is an Ice Factory. The fish are packed in ice and transported directly to Karachi.

 

The local people all pitch in to help with the haul. They were kind enough to allow us to see their catch for today.

 

These are the largehead hairtail. Now that we have seen them, we cannot resist buying a little. Such a fresh catch! We loaded it in our cooler and took it to camp. Working with our cook Noor, we prepared the 15 beltfish and made sashimi. We grilled some with salt over the charcoal and ate our Fish Nanban (escabeche). It turned out to be a gourmet meal with our steamed Japanese rice and all kinds of prepared fish for dinner.

 

At our campsite, we dined on our fresh fish sashimi with the beer and wine we brought along with us.

 

This really amazing beltfish grilled with salt…was beyond delicious. This night, there were 7 Japanese people to gorge themselves on the 15 fish that were prepared. In my many long years of travelling thru Pakistan, it turned out to be the best dinner I ever had.

 

Photo & text : Mariko SAWADA (Including photos taken from drone footage)
Visit: Nov 2019, Kund Malir, Balochistan

Category : ◆ Balochistan > - Kund Malir
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Visiting the Land of the Baloch (Gorakh Hill, Sindh)

In the Gorakh Hill Station area of Sindh state, we  visited the local villagers of the Baloch. The Baloch people are a minority that make up only 4 percent of the total 200 million people living in Pakistan and are mainly living in the three countries of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. The majority of Baloch live in Balochistan making up 50% and in Sindh 40% of the people living there (respectively).

Speaking Balochi, a northwestern Iranian language, the women of Baloch are famous for their elegant clothing and accessories. The Balochi people, are actually made up of as many as 130-150 different tribes. This time we met with the tribe members of the Buzdar clan.

 

Being a very conservative people, simply visiting them in Balochistan  province can be quite challenging, just as daunting was getting their permission to photograph them. It might only be because they are accustomed to Pakistani visitors to Gorakh Hill Station, that (for now at least) we can be welcomed as foreigners to the area.

 

We were able to visit three villages in the Gorakh Hill Station area, and at each new stop we were welcomed by the eldest patriarch. They welcomed us by showing us their homes and introducing us to their family members. Other than the patriarch, the men worked in the fields at the foot of the hills or taking their cattle out grazing. The women gather local plants and work hard to weave sturdy mats from them.

 

Near the Gorakh Hill was a village called Jarra Buthi. The elder was the 6th generation of his tribe who settled here. Women were working to weave their mats and sell them to earn an income. One mat is 500 Rupees.

 

The traditional dress of the Balochi people is beautifully embroidered.

 

The Balochi people somehow make a living in the harsh nature and conditions of the Kirthar Mountain Range. As Pakistan is changing and progressing, these people are still living in their beautiful villages with a very traditional lifestyle.

 

Photo & Text : Mariko SAWADA
Visit : Nov 2019, Gorakh Hill, Sindh

Category : - Gorakh Hills > ◆ Sindh
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Sunrise at Gorakh Hill Station

Gorakh Hill is a popular tourist destination in Sindh.

Drive to west from N55 (commonly known as the Indus Highway), it is a plateau of 1,700m above sea level in the Kiltar Mountains. View is similar to mountainside of Balochistan and the people who live along the road are Baloch people.

The name of Gorakh is derived from a Hindu devotee who believes in Shiva. Yes, Sindh is the state where 94% of Pakistani Hindus live.

 

The altitude rose from the plains of Sindh and finally we came above the clouds! This is the trail which can be done only by 4WD and it took a lot of time, so we missed the sunset on this day.

 

Despite that bad road, it is a busy place for tourists coming from urban areas such as Karachi on weekends. Since we visited on weekdays, there were only a few groups, but sometimes it could exceed 1000 people. Coming from hot place to a cool plateau, watching sunset and sunrise, campfire at night … such a trip is very popular among young tourists.

 

We went to the Benazir viewpoint to see sunrise.

 

Good Morning, Gorakh hill !

 

A villa-like building was built in a nice view of the plateau. Will it eventually become like Murre in the suburbs of Islamabad? I wanted to leave a magnificent view of the Kirthar Mountains and it’s nature.

 

This is the viewpoint … located edge of plateau.

 

After the sunrise, breakfast was served in a restaurant run by Juman Jamali.
The experience at Gorakh hill …. I couldn’t think that I am in Sindh.

Photo  & Text : Mariko SAWADA * Some photos are taken by drone.
Visit: Nov 2019, Gorakh Hill Station, Dadu, Sindh

 

Category : - Gorakh Hills > ◆ Sindh
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