Hi Mum and Dad,

Good to hear from you. I tried sending an e-mail from Kashmir a few days ago but the server crashed just as I completed it! Bad connections up there.
I have just arrived back in McLeod Ganj after my stay in Kashmir. I have never seen a region of such stunning natural beauty, but unfortunately it is tainted by being a near war-zone. Heavily armed soldiers are everywhere. I was continually stopped in my travels to be searched and interrogated, but once they saw I was an Aussie they treated be with smiles and respect.
There are still very few tourists in the area as security forces patrol the streets and mountain resorts, but I felt I had to see the place and it was well worth any risk. In the mountains I went trout fishing and on a horse riding trek as well as playing a round of golf on the world’s highest golf course. World’s highest golf course

In the capital, Srinigar, I stayed on a houseboat owned by the most genuinely kind and friendly family of Sufi Muslims. Many of the wonderful conversations I shared with them has changed my outlook on life.

House-boats
I have had a very long and hard journey over the past 24 hours. The roads were flooded and washed out at some points and we had to detour several times costing many hours. There was also a transport strike near my destination and I had to leave my jeep ride to finish the last stage of my journey on a packed local bus. Not much fun after driving all night! I’m here safely though and ready for some rest. In 2 days I begin my next meditation course but I’ll call before then.
I’m really surprised my books arrived so soon, they told me 2-3 months by sea! Considering I sent it from the isolated Himalayas, I’m impressed. I am preparing a parcel of clothes to send back soon, I need to free up some room in my pack.

Love you both, please give Bella a big hug for me too.

Paul