Monday, 2 June 2008

Ormara and a night out from Karachi

This is a longer post than most as I went away for the weekend. Lot to write about.
This was my second trip to Ormara. Ahmad had decided we should make it an over night one and so give us a bit of time for a spot of fishing. Official reason for the trip was to undertake a site visit to the naval base and check on some ongoing ground improvement works. Can't tell you about that or I'll get shot!
Mujtaba joined us for the trip so there was plenty of chatter and banter on the way down. Who will get the biggest fish etc. And indeed who got the biggest one last time. I was not bothered I knew I had got and was going to get the biggest one tomorrow.
Ormara, lies about 350 kilometers west of Karachi. It is a small fishing village, existing on a short spit of sand perpendicular to the coast and running out to sea sea with a mud cliff ‘hammer' head at the end. Difficult to describe so I’ve added a Google photo, and believe me it is spectacular. The whole area comprises soft mud/sandstone hence the peculiar layered effect on the mountains, brought about by the wind erosion. Quite spectacular. The problem with taking photos of it all that is it so vast there is no sense of depth and the extent of the plains and mountains is lost in a small 4x5 print!! However, I did try, and actually found that a movie is probably better, as there is some movement in the frames, and this lends itself to giving some sense of scale. The other problem with taking photos was the Navy. No photos allowed!! So my trip up the hill to base camp etc, all interesting, but no printed memories.
So after starting off from Karachi around 10.30am we made our way along the main highway and had our first stop at a road side ‘cafe’. (Actually it's the only road side cafĂ© for about 100 kilometers either way!!) And there were only 4 other customers. We ordered some tea and Nan bread with chana (peas to you!). The Nan bread was baked fresh as we waited. It was good, very good. The cafe is located against a spectacular view over looking the sea and a fabulous mountain back drop. Amazing looking round this area and the only mess is caused by man. Plastic bags and litter etc. If you avoid seeing it, then, the place is quiet simply fantastic.

Back on the road. Its a long road, part long and straight and some windy and reaching 2000+ meters above sea level. I've added a short clip to give you some idea of the rugged terrain and maybe provide some sense of scale and vastness of the area. Ahmad had some CD's from John Denver so I've used one track to remind me of the flavour of the trip!! Next time I'll ask him to add Pakistani music to the Cd player.

Well Ormara once there is a small dusty place and seems to exist mainly on fishing and small shops supplying local demand. The demands have increased as a result to the Navy being present. You can buy just about anything and its amazing when you look at the short video and see nothing but a really basic village. I bought a new car charger for a nokia phone!!
Whiskey, Gin and Vodka are also available if you know who to ask. A 1.5 litre bottle is about 1,500 Rupees. Fantastic value as the same in Karachi is going for about 3,500 Rupees or more. It depend on who you know, as you won't find it in a shop! I was sure there was no way I was going to find anyone to sell it to me without a good introduction. Need good contacts. I was told it is smuggled in from Iran. So some stops off in Ormara and the rest makes its way to Karachi. Iran is only about 300 kilometers away! I think I could with such assistance while away a few evenings in Ormara!!! I'll sort it out for the next trip.

The village is not much to write home about but you really need to see to arrive at that conclusion if you follow my meaning. Not sure even I follow it!! Its full of little shops all selling small scale items.

Well, we had a walk through. (I seem to be adding a lot of video this post!)

Mujtaba then showed me round the area where they were making fishing boats. (I've added it into this posting as it is all part and parcel of my trip to Ormara).

They make wooden boats in Ormara, in the same way that their fathers and forefathers did. The wood is not local, but imported from up country. It is generally of poor quality. Nor is it properly cured so the bending and shaping depends to a large extent on the shape of the original wood pieces.

Tools comprise a manual saw, hand turned drill (bow and arrow) and an arris for rough cutting and shaping. And a hammer to drive in the nails. (steel nails no less, not copper nails). They will not use an electric drill, stating that it will burn the wood..... Go figure....

Interestingly the general shape is good. I had Mujtaba take a close look and make a professional judgement. Seems all OK.

....Till next time....


khaleeq said...

very good trip
arrange for us if possible i am very fond of fishing but don,t know how to fishing.


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