Friday, July 07, 2006

Kargil-Srinagar (24th June 2006)

24rd June2006
Start Trip Meter: 2340.4 km
End Trip Meter: 2565.4 km
Route: Kargil-Drass-Zojilla Pass-Kangan-Srinagar
Stay & Cost: Guest house in Srinagar– 300 Rupees, Single bedroom

I wake up at 6 AM with 4 pegs of OMR lodged in my head.. The COMRADE Network On Ryze should make me an icon for having OMR at a high altitude.. LOL

Typical kashmiri house among the woods.

Pakistan has posts just across the river on the hill

Two Swedish cars doing a Sweden-Denmark-Germany-Poland-Czech-Austria-Slovakia—Ukraine-Romania-Bulgaria-…….pakistan-india-Nepal route… I think they are returning back…because I saw them at leh the other day.

Inspiring…. My blood was gushing up my head when I saw this.

As I approach drass.. Drass was at -60 degrees on 9 jan 1995. Second coldest inhabited place.

Tiger Hills, Drass. The root cause of the kargil war

Tololing heights, Drass.

Backdrop of amazing snow clad mountains.

In drass, I stop over for a coffee.. Strange people with beards, 6 ft tall in a butchers shop across the road, attracted my attention.

But then I just went on towards zozilla pass. On the way I saw a similar looking guy and I stopped over. These are Shepard’s. They come from Jammu and then go back during the winter. They take 2 months to travel from jammu, and 2 months to travel back. The graze around for the rest of the time.

They are at least 6 ft tall, look afghani, are Muslims and have a lot of sheep

As I go forward, Disaster strikes again… this is my third puncture. And its because I was abusing the machine, lashing it against the road.

There is not a soul around. There is no hill for me to lean the bike.

I am so funny.. I keep my spirits high at bad times

So I dismantle the tyre, change the tube again. And pump till 30 psi… it never goes above 30 psi though I was pumping like crazy.

At last I see a car coming and I try stop it.. they ignore me. The local muslim Shepard woman tells me if she helps me hold the bike, I should drop her at a village 6 km down the way.. I didn’t want to attempt that..

Finally some Gujaratis stopped by and helped lean the bike while I put the wheel back in and put the axle back.

Simi (Military Explosive detector) and me.. I think she has a rank.

Before Zozilla

End of Himank…. Start of Beacon

Zozilla Pass

Pagal Slide

Army in Kashmir

Amarnath Yaatri before Sonmarg

Pine Trees to prevent land slides

HAWS Laboratory

I stop by about 10 km before Kangan and have some kashmiri kawa with some para military men

Srinagar has armed gun totting men every 50-100 metres.. women are very very safe... they come out without burkhas.. Security men have a great time guarding them.
The kasmiris are very cool. Heres a conversation i had at a chai shop:
ADK: Chai milegi ? (Can I get some tea)
A: Ji, par chai banane wala kahin bahar gaya hain. (Sure, but the guy who prepares has gone out)
ADK: oh, tab to intejaar karna padega. (So I guess I have to wait)
A: Aap DAL jheel jaao, aur chai peeyo... wah wah. (You go to Dal Lake and have a tea, applause)
ADK: Theek hai.. Yahan par itne pahara?? Kashmir to safe hai na ? (Ok, so much of security around here, is Kashmir safe?)
A (Laughing) : Haan haan kyo nahi.. aagar ye log nahin hote to hum yahan thoodi hoten. (Yes, if these soldiers weren’t here, we wouldn’t be here!)
With my mouth shut, I carry on to dal lake.. but prefer a 300 buck guest house to a 800+ buck dal lake.

At dal lake, I park my bike in a nearby bike parking place and head in a shikara towards house boats to get a feel of what it was.. The Shikara ride was an amazing experience! But the house boats were very expensive.. starting at 700 Indian Rupees a Night.

Shikara Ride on Dal Lake

Dal Lake at night

That day Army Captian (Capt. SD Singh) was lost in Ratnipora, Pulwama district 40 km south of srinagar And some time after, Militants later threw a grenade at a security checkpoint in Lal Chowk area located in the heart of Srinagar, killing a civilian and injuring many

My landlord indicated that Terrorism is now down to 2%.

I was so pissed at these terrorists who made a hell of this heaven; I then have some dinner in a nearby restaurant.

I end the day with some shopping effort for my wife and home.


At 8:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah yeah kill those bastards

They deserve to die for making this heaven a hell.



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