As our new found friends approached us, they quickly told us to jump in the back of the bus. For some reason they were being let go, but we had to leave quickly. Without hesitation, the four of us leapt in the back as our drivers jumped into the cab, turned the key and sped away faster than any freight truck has or will ever go....

A few kilometers down the road the truck stopped and our drivers shouted for us to join them in the cab. Happy to oblige, we were met with a shower of affection from our new friends.

As we continued down the road on our way to Srinagar they told us that if it weren't for us standing up to the military they would have been shot before nightfall. All too often the military will arrest anyone who looks Pakistani(which in an area that borders Pakistan is everyone) as a way of retaliation and subjugation. Most of the time innocent Kashmiri's get caught in the crossfire. They warned us that things were a bit unstable in Kashmir and that we should keep our wits about us.

photo(c) Pat Mcginnis
~This photo and the next six were taken by a new found friend named Pat Mcginnis. He is the only person I've met back here in the states who's also been to Kashmir. As luck would have it, he was also my next door neighbor for a while. Here is another beautiful sample of Dal Lake~