India: Himalaya trek of Kashmir Great Lakes

Even though my virtual travel diary has become rusty my backpack barely sticks together. After 4 months of traveling in Thailand, Indonesia and India I have safely returned back to Barcelona.

Highlight? This time I have a confident answer – an eight day trek to Himalayas! Not only because of the rewarding feeling after completing the physical challenge, all the breathless views but also the experience of trouboulsome Kashmir & Jammu state situation.

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Even though knowing that need to save battery for 8 days, was not able to put down my camera after the first steps. Sonmarg, start of the trek

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Me and Sachin, our first meeting with Indian army guys who checked our documents and wished a nice journey

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At the beginning passed through some valleys and then after a dense forest we found ouserlves in a peaceful valley with the last trees we saw for the next seven days

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Mixture of vivid blue, green and white

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Our Himalayas caravan

It wouldn’t be possible to manage this 80km trek without our team of shepards, cooks and horses who were carying campsite items up and down the steep trails. We were aroud 20 people in our group which made a decent amount of groceries, tents and sleeping bags which had to travel with us.

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Mother Nature, an inspirational artist

Vishnusar lake is one of twelve lakes which the trail leads to. Full of throut is has becoma a popular fishing place. We saw some big fish confidently jumping out of water for a few times.

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There is no Wifi out there, but trust me.. the connection is much better

Enjoying view of both Vishnusar and Kishansar lakes from a Gadsar pass, the highest point of our trek, 4200m.

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How happy the moment feels to see the campsite after finishing half trek knowing that a cozy sleeping bag and warm food awaits there

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This baby culf curiously met the trekkers, he fancies some company

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Seing all the beauty makes me think, no wonder that both China and Pakistan still try to invade Kashmir

Was really surprised to learn about the situation in Jammu & Kashmir state, even Google maps doesn’t know where the actual border between Pakistan and India lays, it’s dotted.

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In an Indian army post

It was unforgetable to meet these decent guys. As soon as we arrived they ofered some water and food as they know we have hiked a long way. One of them shared their story. He is appointed to work in the location for two years. The post is located in a very remote location, so they have no means to call their families and friends, so he asked if we could call his family once we get coverage to tell that everything with him is ok. During these two years the team obviously gets very close, however after this time they will be appointed for other post and most likely will not be able to get in touch or see each other again.

My phone memory is still full with the trek pictures, and now and then I scroll it and go back in time in my thoughts.. even though it was phisically challenging, mainly because as I am not used to spicy food, which was there for majority of meals during the trek, and experiencing Kashmir and military activities in Srinagar. We had to travel to the trek starting point during the night in order to avoid from the riot of locals who want to gain independance. Well, maybe I will return one day, once the situation gets better.

Safe travels,
– Ruta

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