Gondolas in Gulmarg
On Friday 3 May it was time to leave Pahalgam and we took a private taxi “van” to Gulmarg, a ski resort, for 3600 Rs although I paid 4000 Rs (£45) with a tip. I had booked Hotel Poshwan on booking.com for just under 3000 Rs (£34) for two nights which was basic but definitely adequate. The staff were very kind and helpful. Forget about nappies drying here as it was cold enough to need an electric blanket!
If you are able to splash the cash a bit the hotel next door called Old Vintage is just lovely but it was 8000 Rs (£91) for a room and 14,000 Rs (£159) for a suite – London prices! Still, we visited, had a look around, used their Wifi and I would have gone back for dinner if I’d have had time and possibly no baby!
Gulmarg is an Indian ski resort although at the time we were there, there wasn’t much snow. It would be interesting to see it in full swing. I didn’t feel great though whilst I was there as I got a cold and was taking paracetamol almost continuously for 2-3 days. I kept worrying that Tiger would catch what I had but, of course – presumably with breast feeding added into the mix, she never caught it.
On Saturday 4 May we took the gondola up the mountain which meant around a 30 minute walk (you can also do this as a mini pony trek if you liked for 100-200 Rs) and then queuing for the tickets… it’s really popular with the Indian tourists! Phase One cost 740 Rs (£8) and Phase Two was 950 Rs (£11) and of course we had to do both to go right to the top! It genuinely wasn’t until I was on the first gondola did I realise how utterly scary it was and I kept thinking what happens if we fall but was reassured it was “Italian technology” so nothing to worry about…. Ok then! At the top it was 3950m, we only stayed for ten minutes or so as the altitude was noticeable.
The walk back was a bit of a killer as it was quite far with the baby carrier anyway, but I also needed paracetamol which I did eventually find at the hospital as nobody else sold it. Pampers everywhere in the little shops but no pharmacy except at the hospital. Eventually my illness started to wear off and only really lasted whilst we were in Gulmarg.