Gulmarg Day Trip

Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir, India
Well today was a bit of a disaster.
Gulmarg is India's premiere ski resort . In summer one can take the gondola for excellent views. The gondola goes to above 4000m in two stages.
We got up early for. 6 am breakfast in order to avoid traffic and crowds at Gulmarg. It was an uncomfortable 64km journey for me as I had to sit in the middle of the front seat, twisted to avoid the gear stick.
Once we got there there was a crowd if mainly Indian tourist jostling and pushing. We were lucky that Ashraf hired a guide to get us tickets and lead us through the crowds.
It took a while, but we were finally on the gondola and enjoyed a ride to the top of the first stage. By then dark rain clouds gathered and the weather closed in. No views to be seen.
Still, we wanted to get to the too of the second stage, but we couldn't get tickets. All sold out.
It was difficult to move, there were so many people.
Half the group decided to walk down with the guide and the rest of us took the gondola down. Ashraf suggested a walk around the golf course seeing that we would have a longish wait for the others. So we walked in mud with lots of people and ponies.
The way out was through an incredible mass of cars and ponies.
Next was a picnic lunch that Ashraf brought along. We drove about 13km on a bone jarring bad road to an absolutely awful little spot next to a power station and rubbish dump.
Needless to say no one wanted to go for a walk.
The return trip was even more uncomfortable since by then the sun was out and we were all very hot still dressed for the cold.
Getting back to the houseboat was a relief.
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