Thousands of apologies for the sudden hiatus from blogging. Had so little time to settle down after the exams which I failed miserably the one I took in June, and have repeated the same paper just recently in September, and failed again. I got 42 marks! Sigh. So depressed. And that was my 4th attempt FYI. Hmm. Was it that hard? Or was I not that prepared? Entahla. And I've been busy with my work too, as always. One event led to another and it all still feel a little unreal now that I find myself sitting in my room, typing this. Hehe.
Trust me, I have lots to tell, but several things have been hindering my productivity. My laziness is astonishing. After I've done and dusted with my annual peak period which has just ended in September, I snooze through quarter of the day and as a result, the body aches, the brain doesn’t function well and I just can’t be arsed to do anything at all. Yes anything, but sleep :)
So... where did I stop before? Click HERE.
We then back at the houseboat, the lights were already on, the mountains in front of our place faded away into a blanket of darkness and of course we had our Kashmiri tea again, to warm us up.
I then straight went to my room, slip under the duvet and curl up like a baby. Hehe. I was all alone at first but Nini soon joined me and believe it or not, that was the best thing ever to do during winter. BERKUNTUM! Haha.
That peaceful moment was however interrupted. There was a man rowed to our doorstep offering us Kashmiri souvenirs of which mostly pashmina shawl and some wooden fridge magnets and handicrafts. We could take a bit of Kashmir back with us home, he said.
So my friend Nini, bought the magnets and pashmina but I didn't buy any of those. Just because I thought I can find the magnets later somewhere else. However, truth to be told the fridge magnet was nowhere to be found haha. Lesson learned! Beli je lah kalau dah jumpa, just buy one at least. Hehe.
He was soon joined by another boat filled with handmade leather jackets and gloves. After so much consideration of the activities for tomorrow, I was thinking that I might need the gloves because I left mine at home. Sobs. So here you go, another unnecessary spending.
That night, all of my friends had the leftover lunch (Hyderabad biryani) for dinner and I was just eating nasi impit with sambal ikan bilis my mom packed for me. Hehe. Pure bliss.
When I got back to our room, I changed my clothes to legging and jumper, tried to sleep but couldn't. Sobs. Started thinking what if something happened to us and was this houseboat haunted or not. Tsk tsk. But anyhow, I managed to sleep and I can still remember I got up once that night to pee and had to kejut my friend to accompany me. Hehe.
I woke up the next day with a minor headache, probably because of the cold or maybe because of not getting enough sleep.
Our breakfast was just bread and omelette but I've had zero appetite and felt so dizzy this morning. So I've requested cereal and milk and a cup of Kashmiri tea for my breakfast. We then left for Sonamarg an hour later, located approximately 80km and about an hour and a half drive from Srinagar.
The route from Srinagar to Sonamarg is beautiful. But the weather and scenery changing all the time, especially during winter. And we were lucky enough to have bright sunshine and views like these. Can't stop myself from taking pictures with my phone. Then lepastu terus rasa nak muntah. Haha. Car-sickness! You know some people they can read or even playing with the phone in moving cars, but definitely not me. Hehe.
And the above is a very common sight of Kashmir. No photograph can actually bring out what it really feels like to see those mountains in the setting sun. So breathtaking. I was told by my friends that Sonamarg is also the place where the famous Hindi movie Bajrangi Bhaijan was shot. Haha. And at that point of time, I haven't watched this movie yet, so I was not that excited. Nyesal tak tengok awal-awal, Bajrangi Bhaijan is such a good Hindi movie. Hehe. And now I'm wondering if there is any part of Kashmir left untouched for Bollywood movies.
We then stopped for a while at the road side to take this picture. Those small houses and the mountains at the back, they are sooo gorgeous. We spent for almost 5 to 10 minutes just by looking at this beautiful scenery.
And suddenly a young Kashmiri boy rushed towards us, he didn't say anything but just look at us silently. And sometimes I think, immediate surrounding like this that drew our attention more. What do you want little boy? We then gave him some money before we left him to continue our journey. Sedekah :)
Our transportation for 4 days in Kashmir
We were driving through the mountains in Srinagar-Sonamarg route, listening to local music and our driver Nadeem turns out to be soo cheesy. He said, he likes my eyes. Hahaha. Pengsan. He was asking if the colour of my eyes is real. Ahaks. Well of course not! Grrr. Haha. I 've been wearing pure hazel coloured contacts, FYI, trying to blend in with the locals. Hiks.
There came to a point which Nadeem informed us we couldn’t go any further by car. We either had to ride a horse or walk. There's one guy came along which Nadeem seemed to know him very well, I assumed. He offered us very large coats, almost two sizes large and boots, for rent. I was not really keen to rent the coat at first, entah siapa-siapa la yang pernah pakai sebelum ni haha but next thing I knew, eventually I still put the coat on.
Hehe. Our first time riding horse, so excited!
But before that,
The sky suddenly looks all dramatic. At every turn , the river gave us company but the background kept changing. Sometimes it was the snow-covered mountain as a background and at other times, it filled with pine trees.
Hehe. To be honest we were all first timers, and we never ridden a horse before. But horse riding is fun, no matter what the climate is. So don't worry so much, just try and have fun.
In a region where everything has been associated by every actor known to Bollywood, it came as no surprise to me that the horses would also take the names of Raja and Rani. Hahaha. They seemed to fall in love and it was quite difficult to handle them. Asyik melekat sajork dua ekor. Tskk. Kuda pun ada pasangan, kauuuuu? Sedih.
We were told that the horses will take us someplace where there’s a river which they called Point B. And we stopped there for a while and took some pictures. It was cold seriously. Sejuksssss sangat, our noses turned red, our toes were freezing and our faces looked pale! Masa ni semua orang rasa macam weng and we quickly decided to go back. Still need to ride a horse for about 30 minutes, though. haha. Rasain.
There's always a place for chai and small conversation in every part of Kashmir
One of the resorts along the way up
And these are some pictures taken whilst riding a horse.