Originally Day 10 was kept as a rest day and a day to explore Kashmir, especially Gulmarg and Pehalgaon. However we had to finish our ride on Day 11 at Chandigarh. It looked very difficult to ride for 600 kilometer that too on hilly terrains. Moreover exhaustion of House Boat and hot weather at Srinagar also forced us to run away from Srinagar. So we changed our plan to make ride little comfortable and decided to ride up to Jammu on Day 10.
We had enough time to reach Jammu, so we started at 12:00 PM noon from Srinagar. Extreme hot day of Srinagar made it difficult to even prepare our bikes with all luggage tied properly. By the time I prepared the bike for ride, I was sweating all over, it reminded of summers of Delhi. It was not at all a good feeling of being in Kashmir Valley.
We had still not seen the other hurdle which is normally seen in metros and other big cities and that is traffic jams. We almost wasted 2 hours in traffic jams and rode hardly 30 kilometers. Once we came out of the traffic jam, all of us had lost each other and every one thought that rest of the riders are behind him.
I stopped at a small tea shop to pick up water bottle when all four riders flew from behind and did not notice me at all. I rode little fast and got hold of Mohit but that time other three riders had disappeared.
Srinagar Jammu Highway has lot of small towns around it. Diversion to left and right in these towns made our life difficult as we had to inquire locals at every such diversion about correct road to Jammu. Mohit and me rode almost 2 hours alone without any clue of other three riders. The terrains full of greenery and trees made it more difficult to spot fellow riders.
Finally we decided to stop at a Dhaba for Lunch assuming that other three riders have gone way ahead. We ordered food and ate leisurely over 20 minute. When we were about to start our ride back, all three riders appeared on road. Fortunately they could see us and stopped. Pleasantly surprised, the gang was restored back again. The whole way from Srinagar to lunch spot, I thought that other three riders are ahead of us but they had lost their way at one place and that was the time when we rode on right road and rode ahead of them.
Ride after lunch was like fight of five cats with infinite dragons. We were only the riders riding downhill towards Jammu whereas uphill ride was over flooded with buses, trucks, cab and jeeps. It was all Amarnath Pilgrimage time and thousands of people were driving uphill. The worst part was that the taxi cab drivers were driving and overtaking at the places which were not obvious for overtaking. The only one thing which was in our favor was the good condition of roads.
Perhaps this was the only day when we did not stop anywhere for photographs or to appreciate serene landscapes and nature.
Srinagar Jammu highway offered us two fascinating experiences of riding. First was 2.5 kilometer long tunnel in which it feels like riding with close eyes, no matter how sharp is your bike's headlight it is bound to be dark in there. Second was Patni Top with some crazy terrains in the middle of pine and oak trees and cold climate.
We reached Jammu at around 08:00 PM. After learning the lesson from mistake we made at Srinagar we decided to look for Hotel at the outskirts of Jammu. Hence we rode on the by pass road of Pathankot.However with the help of directions given by locals we ended up landing in the middle of Jammu city.