Date/Day – Thursday, 23rd June
Journey – Srinagar-Gulmarg-Srinagar
Distance – 100 kms
Riding Time – 2 Hrs Uphill/2 Hrs Downhill
We got up pretty late as we both were mentally prepared to travel for 4-5 hrs only. Our day started with mild breakfast and Initial assessment of our bikes. I was bit frustrated due to my bike seat not being very comfortable on previous day. My younger brother had warned me before the trip I ignored it to save some money. Farzin and I also wanted to get minor checks done on our bike by a professional bullet mechanic before we start our ascend to first pass (Zoji-la) of our journey. We roamed around Srinagar to find padding for my bike seat but failed. Also 2 bungee chords we bought were on verge of breaking, we started looking for the bungee chords and failed again. We visited all major bike shops near Dal Lake, Lal Chowk but no luck. Lucky we got bullet specialist for fine tuning our bikes for tomorrow and phew it was already ticking 12:30 on the clock. We decided to take just 1 bike for this day trip.
We chuked the idea of bungee chords and seat and made our way towards Gulmarg “Path of Roses”. The Accent to Gulmarg was super green clean. Single road but very well maintained and it started getting cold in sharp sunlight due to lush greenery. We clicked some photos and had lunch en-route on a local dhabha. We reached Gulmarg at about 3 and were told that we are late for Phase 2 of Gondola.
The Gondola service for Phase 2 stops operation at 3 PM because of weather conditions up on the mountain. We got tickets for Phase 1 and reached midway. The Gondola experience was pretty similar to the experience in Switzerland. We had some snacks till 4 PM and decided to descend back. We reached the Gulmarg base at 5 PM and started to descend towards Sri-nagar. We reached guest house by 6:30 PM and were dead tired. We ordered food(Spinach for me and Rogan Josh for Farzin) in our room and started packing our bags for the big day – Zoji-la.