| | Re: Ladakh: Mission Accomplished
All the ratings I give to hotels/services are personal/group travelled and are based on the money we spent on them.
Few pointers from the trip.
* Do not plan your stay or destination untill you are at Kashmir,due to change in weather/road conditions you have to make changes
* Even if you tentatively plan,do not prebook hotels (we did the mistake and had to cancel those due to many factors like travel plans,hotels not good as stated in website etc,distance from city center)
* lot of accomodations available all over the place,many aren't listed online. You can get better and cheaper accomodation.
* Most of the dhabas did not have printed menus, check the price before ordering. We did pay 80Rs for a cup of plain maggi and 150rs for a single aloo paratha at two differnt places
* After Kargil,you will not get non-veg food at most of the places
* Take good care of your health,reduce smoking and intake of alcohol,listen to locals/your driver for a better experience
* We met 4 drivers during the trip and all of them were more than eager to show and stop at places to take pictures
* If you plan to do shopping/buy memoirs,get it when you get a chance. Leh city was closed for 2 days due to some issues.
* Eat apricot jam !!
* All the drivers were extreamly professional and were bang on time
* Carry govt ID proof-not PAN card
* UV protect sunglass and sunscreen a must
* Carry premix coffee sachets if you are a coffee lover,coffees not available at some places and cup noodles (this was the unsung hero)
* Smoking is prohibited at most places and also cigarette is not available
* Nubra to Pangong was one of the most deserted road,carry water and food with you
* Take a hotel near the market in Leh, even if the distances mentioned is 5-10 mins from market,try to avoid.The roads are uphill and walking 100 mts would take lot of effort
* Plan your trip around the full moon days- a full moon night at pangong or at Nubra would be best gift you can give yourself
* Please make some donations to the monasteries for their upkeeping, as entry is free
* Wear clothes in layers due to varied weather conditions
* If possible carry mobile car charger as battery drains out faster and most of the times you would spend travelling
Day 1:31st August 2017 : Bengaluru-Delhi-Srinagar
Returned early from office,did the lat minute packing and the wait started. Could not sleep anticipating the journey. Our flight from Bengaluru to Delhi was at 06:50 AM. Left home to airport by 03:30 AM, security and all formalities were over by 05:00 AM. Now the painful wait begins. Reached Delhi by 09:30 AM and got to know the flight from Delhi to Srinagar is delayed and we are to reach Srinagar by 04:30 PM.Called the hotel at Srinagar and conveyed the same,the hotel asked if we need a cab to which I agreeded .Finally landed at Srinagar and took a cab to the prebooked hotel. Initial plan was to keep the luggage at hotel and visit Dal lake but as the flight was delayed and we all being tired,dropped and plan. Called the taxi driver from Leh who was supposed to pick us from Srinagar. He now tells he cannot pick us from Srinagar but has arranged a cab from Srinagar to Kargil and he will pick us from Kargil. So all the cab related issues were resolved through call and the driver would pick us from hotel at 07:00 AM next morning. The dinner ordered were delicious particularly the kashmiri dum aloo.
Hotel Welcome Residency
Cost:2500 INR for 3 double room/day
Cab: 750 INR from airport to hotel
Day 2:1st September 2017 : Srinagar-Kargil
Woke up around 06:00 AM and the first thing was to call the driver, the driver promptly received the call and told he would be there by 07:00 AM and he was at hotel sharp at 07:00 AM. Left the hotel and made a brief stop at dal lake as it was raining,took few pictures and moved to our destination for the day "Kargil". 3 fellow travellers who were visiting Srinagar for the first time, they were not at all happy with the city or the scenery as the city was damp and cold. But their expressions changed once we climbed towards Sonmarg. What views !! I had been to Kashmir during the winters of January 2013 and 2014, but the greenery was a first time for me. Stopped at a Dhaba on the way to Sonmarg for breakfast. Stopped at Sonmarg for pictures. We encountered lot of guides who wanted us to visit the glacier in their pony but due to lack of time we polietly declined and moved towrads the infamous Zozila pass. Once we crossed Zozila pass, we encountered ice and a landslide which the BRO team cleared within 30 minutes. Stopped at Zozila war memorial, paid our homage. Opposite to the war memorial is an army camp and few of my friends wanted to take a picture with the soldier manning the gates,he politely declined and he later called us when he was joined by few of his buddies. We got to know that he declined as he was alone and could not leave the post for a second. Then we moved towards the Drass war memorial also known as Kargil war memorial. The soldier at the gate takes your details and tells you about the dos and don'ts. Another army personnel explains about the war. This place is something magical. Your heart feels with pride and eyes with tears. Salute to the brave hearts !!
Finally we reach Kargil by 03:30 PM and check in to a guest house, next morning we would be moving towards Leh with change in cab somewhere in-between.
Afzal guest house
Cleanliness/rooms/facilities : 4.5/5
Cost:2000 INR for 1 double room and 1 family room
I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.