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"Sonamarg, our next stop, reached after an easy 4 hour bus ride was the nearest thing I have seen in India to a place for day trippers, with a row of small wooden souvenir shops and cafes, but little else except the mountains and a beautiful valley.

We had been told by the tourist office in Srinagar that this was the best place to start a track into the hills, so after booking into a nearby bungalow, more like indoor camping, for although it looked alright from the outside it had neither heating, lights nor water. But the man running it was very friendly and helpful telling us his brother had horses and could take us on a short track. It was soon arranged, and we were able to enjoy an easy afternoon, myself  doing some sketching and painting with a quick walk upto the nearby glacier.

The next morning our guide arrived with a friend and 3 horses. It was an easy going track, taking us up first through lush green meadows with farmers grazing their cattle, then as we climbed higher the track got steeper and more rocky. Finally, just before dusk, we reached a small shepherds hut where we spent the night, glad to use our sleeping bags as it was quite cold. The next morning our guide cooked our breakfast of rice and eggs, after which we started our return, our backsides so sore from sitting in the uncomfortable saddles the previous day, we were glad to walk most of the way back, but the track made for an interesting and enjoyable excursion. I was only sorry we were unable to say more than a few words to our two guides who spoke little English.

After another night at the bungalow we set off again, this time for Kargil. We soon got a lift with one of the many trucks taking supplies up to Ladakh, and we were on our way, or so we thought 'til after only 4 miles, we pulled into a large truck park where we were told we would have to wait for about 4 hours as the pass was only one way at at time. As luck would have it there was an interesting village nearby where I was able to do a painting and got talking to the local schoolmaster who showed us round his village." -MH

Track into hills above Sonamarg, Kashmir, 1980

  • All items are produced from original paintings by Martyn Hanks.

    Prints: Size is A4 (8.27" x 11.69"/210 x 297mm). Printed onto high quality 245gsm fine art watercolour paper to give the print an authentic look and feel. Supplied in a textured off white mount size 12" x 16" (305 x 406mm), backed and sealed in a clear cellophane wrap and delivered in a protective carton to ensure it reaches you in perfect condition.

    Cards: Size 7" X 5"/178 x 127mm. Packaged in a clear cellophane wrap with a top quality 150gsm self-seal white envelope.

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