Road blocks Kyrgystan
We left Bishkek and headed for Lake Issyk - Kul and all the time constantly reminded of the Tian Shan mountains by their overwhelming presence. Once again as we passed along the villages to the North of the Lake, we just looked over across the lake to the curtain of mountains which were full of snow.
And yes, again I was glad I had been told to take a jumper - thanks mum. I got cold again. Daily temps were around 10 to 25 degrees, but as we moved north east towards the mountains and massive lake things got a little chilly. We travelled 7 hours by mini bus or more like a van.
Tian Shan Mtns Kyrgystan
We arrived at Karakol, a place we had been advised was near the lake but out of the way of tourists. And so it was. A small town with the main road a tarmac with pot holes that entire families have gone missing in over the years and never to return. We camped in a Yurt at the Turkestan Yuk Camp run by a lovely guy, his wife and his 19 year old daughter who had more hair on her legs than I have ever had on my head. But she was a lovely person. It was a little more expensive here, paying 4 Euros per night for accommodation and 3 Euros for a 4 course dinner with table service from a chef who was one of only 40 hand-picked to cook for the Olympic athletes at the Moscow Games in 1980. The food was varied and excellent.
We had planned to walk around the town the following day and go chilly, but the weather turned really ugly and it rained and became freezing as the temps dropped at least 10 degrees.
Needless to say we used a heater to get to sleep that night, and that jumper. We also checked out a Russian Orthodox Church service that celebrated some great event, the Holy Trinity I think; it sounded like a scene from Keanu Reaves' Matrix movies. There were people everywhere and fresh grass placed all over the floor to the church. The priest and his merry band of followers walked out of the church, did a lap of the grounds, all the time stopping and splashing water out from a bowl of water which had been blessed earlier, then after the circumnavigation of the church, back inside for some more prayers. Something different. Take that to bible class, Dad.