Ok, so when I last checked in I was in the Himalayas in 'Little Tibet'. What a journey we've had since then.
It's pretty hard to go anywhere from Leh. There are two options - Manali or Srinigar. We'd been to Manali already so we decided on Srinigar. Now, Srinigar is in Kashmir. It was once described by Bill Clinton as 'the most dangerous place on earth', a statement to which I completely disagree. (please note - we underwent much deliberation and talked to many people before deciding to go to such a place).
We travelled there in a jeep which took around 17 hours (the most uncomfortable 17 hours of my life). I couldn't feel my bum cheeks afterwards the seats were so hard! Plus, a local couple with weak stomachs decided to join us so we had to endure them taking it in turns to yak out the window.
We arrived there and were picked up (or chased in a car whilst still in the bus!) by the man we had arranged to meet who would take us to our house boat. I was somewhat aprehensive as we drove into the town as despite it's amazing wooden mosks and 'Dickensian' air (as Joe would say), it was pretty dirty and busy. We arrived at our house boat on the serene Nageel lake and were taken aback by the beauty of the place. If you stay out of the cities and stick to the mountains and lakes, Kashmir is one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen.
We took a Shikara (lake boat) out into the neighbouring lake and saw the floating gardens which were amazing. The next day we looked around the Mughal gardens and sampled a bit of Kashmir culture through their Mosks and countryside.
After three days we left on another jeep to Jammu (which is the worst place I've seen in India) having to endure yet another foul individual in the form of an adolescent boy with a flem/spitting problem. Once the jeep experience was over we stayed in Jammu for all of half an hour before jumping on a massive bus for Amritsar.
The Punjab is like nowhere else in India. It's amazingly clean and I can't begin to describe the beautiful smells. It's like a mixture of floral perfume and baked goods. Everyone here is pretty nice but I'd got used to blending in with the rest of the tourists - something you can't do here in the Punjab. We constantly had people taking our pictures and I have to say I lost my rag somewhat! Ah well, such is life.
So today we went to the Golden Temple (an absolutely amazing sight - wikipedia it), a few Hindu temples and the seikh museum. We are thorougly worn out! Tomrrow we plan to go to a ceremony that is held at the pakistan border which involves opening the border walls at sunset. Apparently it's quite a sight and is perfectly safe.
Anyhow, I've written more than enough now so I will stop! Once again, I can't get my pictures up due to the stoneage computers but will keep you posted! Plus - check out our planned route on here if you fancy knowing about where we're going next.
Miss you all,
Lots of Indian Love,