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On the Road with Alex

Ladakh Fam 2012 507Late last year I was lucky enough to recce our new trip to Ladakh and Kashmir, the latter recently re-opened to tourists after years of political turmoil.  Talk about a trip of two contrasts – Ladakh with its incredible mountain views, freezing temperatures and hair-raising roads (!) and Kashmir with its laid-back, ‘journey back in time’ feel.  I loved them both.
As we descended from Leh in Ladakh, through Kargil to Srinagar the temperature increased gradually until we were back up to the 20’s again, though it cooled off at night.  Dal Lake is an awesome sight with everyone moving about gracefully on shikaras (small gondolas powered by a skilful man with a prettily painted paddle, normally heart-shaped).  People, goods and sheep are all transported around the town by these small boats.  The lake itself is on the edge of the city and overlooked by densely forested hills and the last functioning Hindu temple left.
There are about 450 house boats moored on the lake and it’s like stepping back in time by 50 yearsLadakh Fam 2012 412 when you board these.  Ours was aptly called Queen Elizabeth - they all have these quirky English names.  On board the rugs are deep and the furniture made of heavy dark wood.  The food prepared for us was fantastic, more of a fusion of Chinese and Indian with the level of heat in the traditional lamb curry certainly intense!  
We had a fantastic couple of days here relaxing and watching life float by. The local people are really pleased to see traveller back in the region and it is fantastic that we have already launched a new overland trip here.  If travellers have half as good a time as I did then they will most certainly not be disappointed.
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