Two foreigners wanting to trek in Indian Kashmir close to the disputed Line of Control with Pakistan at the end of Ramadan.
‘Why do you book trekking with Gulam?’ the youngest of three brothers says. ‘He is a cheat. Pay very bad.’
From the shakira moored at the houseboat’s jetty on Srinagar’s Dal Lake, my partner Sharon tries to explain. ‘We know what we are doing,’ and ‘your older brother Ferroz did not listen to us. He was pushy and greedy and offended us.’
After two nights on his family’s houseboat we are leaving. Tonight we stay on Gulam’s houseboat. Tomorrow — early — we go trekking.
Trek an ancient pastoral route in Indian Kashmir, lush with bejewelled alpine lakes, wildflower meadows, and nomadic herders with their flocks of sheep and goats. Closed to foreigners for decades, this trek is a Himalayan gem.
Distance: 72 km (6 days)
Grade: easy-medium (by Himalayan standards)
Location: Kashmir, India (2-3 hours from Srinagar)
Wild 152 (2016) – Fixing the Centre – following the journals and footsteps of John McDouall Stuart through the MacDonnell Ranges becomes an obsession to identify the explorer’s forgotten and misplaced landmarks.
Bushwalking Australia volume 11 (2015) – Best walks of the Northern Territory – an overview of the best bushwalking in the diverse regions of Australia’s Northern Territory. Select BWA201506.pdf.
Wild 142 (2014) – The future of trekking is … motorised – rapid changes and road-building advances are threatening remote trekking options in Indian Himalaya of Zanskar and Ladakh.
Rock 85 (2011) – After the fall – dealing with the psychological aftershocks of witnessing a 30-metre lead climbing ground fall at Arapiles.
Wild 119 (2010) – Going the extra Giles – relationship tensions on high during a ridgetop traverse of Central Australia’s Mt Giles and Red Wall around Ormiston Pound.
Wild 118 (2010) – Just add water – a beginner’s guide to the art of dehydrating food.
Wild 112 (2009) – Traversing Sturt’s Hell – an account of the first (and only) east-to-west solo and unsupported foot crossing of Australia’s Simpson Desert from Bedourie to Old Andado homestead in July 2008, covering 450 km in 24 days with less than 100 litres of water. One man, one-thousand sandridges.