What a day! Im not sure where or how to start. Anyway, we woke up to blue sky and around 0 degrees. A little bit to warm but the snow was still cold, light and fluffy and our guide Rajad as we used yesterday gave us another tour through the forest, this time towards Barbareshi. This was even better than yesterday with long nice runs together with natural obstacles which made it look like a fun park, but all natural, really awesome!
Somewhere around lunch we had our first contact with the monkeys, we found a family of snow monkeys sitting in a tree, not really interested in us. After lunch which was another day with chicken soup which may be the best chicken soup I ever had but yikes, I’m starting to get tired of it now we decided to different ways. Max and our newly found friend William headed towards Tannmarg while me, Martin and Mats headed out to find some new lines. Took some pictures of some really bad as birds (eagles I guess) and tried to check how deep the snow is. The last one failed though since our probes are only 265cm long and the snow is much deeper than that.
After random walked around we met two soldiers which we started to talk with and it all ends up with we get invited to the regiment. A guided tour which ends with the classic cup of tea together with the man who invited us and once inside I notice the three golden stars on his collar, that he has his own butler and yea…I guess he was a hot shot. We never got to shoot any AK but still this is odd, at least.
Back home at the hotel neither Max or Williams was back from their run but since they were two and had a guide we never got worried until our hotel manager came up to our room and told us that there was a riot in Tennmarg. Our friends had in some sort of weird way escaped from the mob and hided back at their guides place. We were of course glad that they were safe and laughed about it but it was not until they got back home we heard the full story.
Some stupid tourist had put a sticker on his snowboard with a quote from the koran. Someone saw this and took a picture of it with his cell phone and it started to get spread around the area, of course it ended up with some fanatics who decided that it a sticker on a snowboard is the same as stamping on the koran. Of course that means that they should kill all the tourists. I cant really say that I understand their logic or anything but a riot is a riot and the police has now arrested and expelled the guy with the sticker, more for his own security but I think its also a way to calm down the people. For our security the military has given us the recommendation to not leave our hotel.
We are living in a weird world but even if I’m right now is only a few clicks from a full scale riot and have somewhere around 1500 hardcore soldiers everything feels good and I feel both safe and secure.
“If you need anything in Kashmir you talk to me, except girls”
-Hotell manager, Zagheer Continental