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12Feb/120

Down To Tangmarg

It had snowed the previous night and as expected phase 2 of the gondola was shut.  Jim and I made the decision to head down to Tangmarg for some tree riding.  Shafi our trusty guide started haggling with the taxi drivers to attain a reasonable price for a ride to our starting point.  To no avail we decided to walk there.  Half hour later we were standing on the road over looking a steep slope of powder strewn with garbage on the top.  Looks like we just stumbled onto one of the local rubbish tips.

Jim decided to drop in first, he climbed onto the ledge and jumped onto the slope thinking he would sink and stop so that he could strap his board on.  When his feet touched the snow he lost his footing and slid down head first towards the fresh pile of garbage!  The party of scavengers made up by crows and macaque monkeys bolted in every direction as a human carcass was screaming towards them.  Shafi and I were gob smacked by what was happening in front of us.  Jim eventually came to a stop but he managed to take down half of Gulmarg's household garabage with him.

We snowboarded down to Tangmarg through heavy slush, only to be greeted by some boys who started throwing snowballs at us.  Then came the long ride back to Gulmarg in the good old Tata (made in India) SUV.  The journey back took us 2 hours instead of the normal 45 minutes thanks to ignorant locals who cannot drive and have no sense to fitting snow chains to their vehicles... incredible India.  Jim fell seriously ill that evening, I wondered if it was something he ingested when he was swimming through Gulmarg's rubbish.

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