The next morning, we did a quick photo shoot in the tree-lined pathways around our resort before setting off towards Srinagar. There were multiple interruptions on account of traffic jams, plus there were tons of photo-ops that I just could not resist. The valleys were beautiful and slightly scary too, as they were quite deep. We reached Srinagar after dusk and stayed in a lovely houseboat on the Dal Lake, and I dined on the finest mutton biryani I have had for years.
The morning began particularly beautifully for me, as I offered namaaz right there on our houseboat overlooking the calming lake waters — what a spiritual experience. Our destination was Kargil, which I knew as the centrepiece of the 1999 Indo-Pak war. Rough patches were aplenty but the suspension of the TVS Scooty Zest 110 soaked it all. Jaywalkers who would not cross quickly even in spite of repeated honking too seemed to be out in crowd strength, and again we could not beat dusk in reaching Kargil. En route, I rode through Zoji La, the first mountain pass for both me and the TVS Scooty Zest 110. Zoji La isn’t the highest of the passes that lay on my route but the rough roads and the steep climb served as an excellent first test of the surprisingly capable TVS Scooty Zest 110.