This day was going to be long, so we started early at 8:30 am. First 110 kms to Kargil were tough. Road was not good and a lot of trucks on the way made the journey time consuming. We took 3 hours to reach Kargil. We didn’t stop in Kargil and headed for Drass. Road improved after Kargil and we reached Drass by 2 pm. We didn’t stop in Drass also and continued our journey for Sonmarg. As we entered more into the Kashmir valley, the scenery started to turn green.
Everything was going smooth when suddenly bad roads started to appear. The weather also didn’t look great. It started to rain also. We were actually confused that howcome weather become so bad.
e decided to stop near an Army camp. Looking at our conditions, the Army person offered tea and biscuits. We came to know that we were heading Zozila pass and weather could remain bad for days here. After staying at the camp for 20 min, we put on our raincoats and went ahead. I must say that the roads before and after Zozila pass were very dangerous. It was scary also
After reaching the top, we could see the Sonmarg valley. It was a fantastic view. Many helicopters were also flying in the valley. I had never seen helicopters, flying at an altitude lower than mine
Roads improved after a while, but remained slippery because of the rain. We took 1.5 hours to cross the pass and reached Sonmarg by 4:30 pm. Sonmarg valley is an awesome place. Whole of the world’s greenery is concentrated there. Tall green trees on hills on both sides of the road and river flowing in between the hills, the scene was simply amazing. If we had one day extra, we would have stayed in Sonmarg.
The rain had stopped and Srinagar was 85 km from Sonmarg. We covered the distance in 2 hours and reached Srinagar at 6:30. We had been driving non-stop for 10 hours and needed a break. We asked local people for a place to stay. They advised us to stay near the Dal lake gate, because next day curfew was going to be imposed in Srinagar. A lot of tourists stay near the Dal gate, because the highway to Jammu is near to it, and it’s easier to leave the city without much trouble in the morning.
We travelled 10-12 km around the lake to reach the gate. The lake was looking beautiful while the sun was going below the horizon.
We got a room in a hotel and without wasting much of time had dinner. I was very tired and slept like a baby that night.
Day summary: Lamayuru – Kargil – Drass – Sonmarg – Srinagar, 10 hrs, 320 km