Mughal Sheraton Group Of House Boats
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... in the car.
Once we're dropped off, we once again enter the madness of Indian travel. The whirling movement of confused but defiant travelers could best be likened to a brigade of infiltrating ants that has suddenly lost the crumb of food that set their mission. The object here is to circumnavigate the churning masses and reach the door. But that just isn't as easy as it seems. Side note; we came to India expecting odor that Richard Pryor ...
... sabash" followed us through the mountains for 7 days after becoming a group favourite phrase. We quickly set up our tent in the day light and got warm before the sun disappeared over the mountains.
Day 3: Nichnai (11,500ft) to Vishansar lake (12,00ft) - 12km
The first momentous task for the day was to cross Nichnai pass or Vishansar Berry. The pass slopes ominously upwards from the campsite, so you know immediately what you are in for. Steep, climb, up! To our left ...
... our decision to enter the Kashmir Valley which has quite the conflict - riddled reputation. Needless to say, after arriving just after midday, we hid in the room for the afternoon uncomfortable to venture out. We fell asleep to a street rioting below us, and awoke before dawn to the prayer songs of the mosque close to our hotel.
If I were to do this trip again, I'd use a less popular Mulbekh town as a night stop over. It is quite a bit further south than Kargil (ie away from ...
... going off all around, lit by kids celebrating Eid, which kept us on our toes as it sounds very similar to gunfire and in this place with tensions high and soldiers everywhere you never quite know, so it makes it a little nerve racking.
We ate some more dal and naan bread for dinner and then took a shikara ride along the river/ lake. A shikara is basically a long paddle boat that is beautifully decorated with carpets and colourful pillows ...
... the locals.
The sign suggested we ‘Have a Break’ but, approaching the Kashmir Valley checkpoint, it became obvious that I would have to put on hold my plans to listen to the Zeppelin classic. If we stopped for too long, all the vehicles we had worked so hard to overtake would come thundering by and we would have to re-pass them all again. Thus, our enjoyment and first view of the celebrated, lush green valley and its rim of scrubby ...