9th September 2014
A relaxing end to a busy tour staying for a few nights on Lake Dal. There may be plenty to see around Srinagar but the relaxing atmosphere of the houseboat under the expert eye of Mustafa, who has been serving guests there for over 30 years, was enough to keep us occupied. The locals drifted past on their way to school or to work or to market, eagles, herons and kingfishers were easy to spot amongst the lotus plants and we were targeted by salesmen, touring with their suitcases. They are skilful individuals selling 'bespoke, authentic' souvenirs and liable to leave you feeling your purchase has helped carry on a noble tradition of selling high quality merchandise directly to visitors to the lake, although not at the bargain price you may have hoped for.
We enjoyed our time in Kashmir, or Indian-occupied Kashmir as our local guide said, but without doubt the highlight of the trip was the time spent in Pakistan; specifically Hunza in the north – or in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir as the same guide suggested. Not surprising then that security levels at Srinagar airport were high, but the long trip back to the UK was punctuated by an excellent meal at Claridges in Delhi, which put the seal on what had been a very tasty tour.
Tour leader Max Wood recently led our Karakoram Adventure group tour.