Kashmir कश्मीर

Often called Jammu and Kashmir, it lies on the North West of  the Indian sub-continent. They have had one strife after another, since the early 19th century, and the latest  being a conflict of the population’s preference/choice between having Indian or Pakistani governance.

I, nevertheless, went in to experience the beauty of highland trekking/camping, a stay on a Houseboat and catching a Shikara as my taxicab.

First was to “rough-it-out”, though in terms of real trekking, it was a luxury. Everything was packed and arranged while we only had to show up and have a good time.

We   actually had the whole range of mountains to ourselves, no tourists, no mountain guerrillas … *touch wood*  So we made camp about 50ft from a spring and simply roamed the beautiful mountains admiring the clear air & snow caps.

The chef cooked a curry over a kerosene cooker & later kebabs over a campfire while we explored and ran with the sheep, wondering where on earth would the shepherds be ~ we were told the sheep knew their way home.  ( Maybe Little Bo-Peep lived on the next mountain…. 😀 )

We “camped” for  3 days/2 nights in very comfortable sleeping bags and cozy tents.

Then back to “civilization” to laze on a Houseboat. There are 2 main Lakes in Kashmir; we were advised that Lake Dal can be a little too crowded so we chose Lake Nagin.  So there I am, climbing down onto the florist’s shikara to check out and sniff his gorgeous flowers, to pick some for our living room. (Look at the beautiful still water & the reflections of Houseboats.)

And here is the beautiful Living Room on our 3-bedroom Houseboat. It was simply unreal.

This whole trip simply felt like walking through a segment of Disneyworld’s Magic Kingdom. Full of surprises that brought lots of laughter.