Adventure Project Travelling to Kashmir

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Adventure Project: Gulmarg, India

I have finally purchased my tickets to Gulmarg, India for my 8 week ski trip of a lifetime. Getting to Gulmarg is going to be a  fair journey on its own as I fly home from Japan on the 9th of January and fly out on the 11th of January. I will be flying via Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia before arriving in Bangalore, India where I’ll have to spend a 7 hours in the airport overnight before catching a domestic flight to Delhi, another domestic flight to Srinagar before finding a 4wd taxi to drive me the last 45 kms to Gulmarg Ski Resort.

It took me a while to sort out the best flights to get to Gulmarg as I will be in Japan on a previously scheduled ski holiday which actually overlapped the start of the contract with NZ Ski Club of Kashmir. To save time I wanted to fly from Japan but it was going to be too expensive and include no return flight to Melbourne to get home. I then was looking at a flight which departed within 12 hours of my arrival from Japan. That flight involved a 12 hour stop over in Kuala Lumpur, then another 12 hour stopover in Delhi before getting to Srinigar and then onto Gulmarg. Obviously that was not going to be a comfortable trip so I will now arrive a day later but it only has the one lay over.

The only thing I am worried about is traveling with my ski bag through India as it is going to make me stick out like a sore thumb or worse an easy target. During my ski year where I did back to back winters with my girlfriend at Whakapapa, New Zealand and Lake Louise, Canada I can remember lugging the ski bag around bus terminals, airports, city streets and hostels. Everything had to be pre planned and timed so we could get all our gear transferred from one place to the other. We had the benefit of no language barriers and also having two of us to manage our load and make sure nothing got lost or swiped along the way.

During that same year we dumped the ski bags with a freight company and traveled through Hong Kong, London and Paris on our way to Vancouver. In Hong Kong we arrived at midnight, took a bus to Kowloon the seedier side of Hong Kong looking for our budget hostel we had booked. As soon as we stepped off the bus onto the bustling street we were mobbed by hotel spruikers, somehow we managed to shake them off and get to our hostel but for a minute there I didn’t know what the hell was happening or where we should walk. I don’t know what we would have done if we had to manage our ski bags as well in that situation.

Oh well I guess I’ll have to just cross each bridge as I get to it and hope I don’t get myself too lost on the way. But it will be interesting hailing a 4wd cab to get me to Gulmarg, apparently there is a bus service that runs to the resort but seats are pretty limited. Also the road gets washed out pretty regularly so a 4wd is recommended. I’m actually looking forward to that last leg of the journey it should be pretty interesting. Hopefully I will get some good shots of the mountain as I drive towards the hill.

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