Published: August 30th 2010July 17th 2010
The 3 day trek we did from Karakol Valley to Ak Suu was quite demanding, lots of walking up and down passes and on dirt roads you walk on stony paths, but the scenery was stunning so as tired as we were we had a great time. Now time to head to Djety oguz, the last time I ws there was 3 years ago when I travelled with Dragoman, it was a different experience i wanted to see it again as I have fun memories. We asked Talaai from Teskey GH about places to free camp there and Russ went to TIC to ask about transport to the sanatorium where you start the hike. We have to buy food provisions again.
Sore from the trek we decided to postpone the Djety Oguz hike until the next day, our legs are still sore and my feet tender. we went to the Vista internet place, our favorite spot and lo and behold mostly gringos are there, were are they staying I haven't a clue, most are talking about moving on to Tajikistan, i wanted to chat with them but everyone seems to be pre occupied with internet, one of my fellow blogger,
His Dudeness was across me and I just read his blog about Kyrgyzstan too, I wanted to chat to him but we needed to go to sort out our stuff, hopefully I meet him again somewhere. We checked out of Tesky's GH and moved into town at Neofit GH, and rooms are cheaper and closer to everything, we thanked Talaai, very nice host, and excellent GH only thing is its quite a walk from the center. Anyways after walking 20 minutes with our heavy packs in the heat of day, we arrived at Neofit exhausted, we met the Swiss bro and sis again the people we met at Yak GH in Arashan valley, we hope to meet them again in Bishkek soon.
We had a great lunch then walked in the heat of day to the Chinese mosque place, nothing really spectacular. Then off to some Art gallery near our place then we found a souvenir shop and we were there for 1 hour trying hats and things, great souvenir shop! I bought cool hats made of felt/wool with Kyrgyz designs. We bargained hard and got a good deal. Russ is going out with the TIC staff for dinner
Kyrgyz kids in our street
so I am left to my own tonight.
Saturday morning Russ and i headed to Djety Oguz valley, one of my favorite spots here in Karakol. we walked down to Aktilev(?) bazaar, as we walk there this dude who chatted with us yesterday in English saw us and helped us find the minivans that go there, at first the driver said only to Djety oguz village we agreed, I got our of the van to buy some fresh strawberries from the stands nearby and when I came back Russ told me the driver decided to go all the way to the sanatorium where the trail starts, for 50 soms each, not bad. It took about 30 minutes to get there, the clouds are rolling in but the sun prevailed and when we got off to the sanatorium the sun is very intense. We passed by yurts selling kymyz the sour fermented horse milk that the locals love. I am not a big fan but downs it when offered by locals.
The red wind carved cliffs is amazing to see,we were lucky we have good light and took advantage, took numerous photos up a hill opposite the
Seven Bulls(Djety oguz in Kyrg). Then we made the wrong move, we went inside the sanatorium thinking the trail also starts there, eventually followed the dirt road on the left, Talaai, the Tesket hostel owner in Karakol told us go pass the 5 bridges then you see the valley open up and lots of hiking to do. Russ stubbed his pinky toe the day before and is walking gingerly and i am still mending a sore feet from the big hike couple days a go, we took it easy and walk slowly, lots of cars passing us, as it is Saturday the locals go have their picnics there. On the 4th bridge we decided to not cross the river and found a little nook, rocky if anything to chill and have lunch, it is not possible to swim, the current is torrential so after an hour we moved down to the site near the side of the road where you can have a swim.
We skinny dipped, cars go by, hikers walk along the road, locals in horseback see us, we did not care we just want to enjoy the beautiful sun and the cool water. we
did not sunbathe nude though, after a quick dip we dot dressed and walked back slowly towards the trail head. we went to a store to buy cold water, none, so I ended up having Baltika beer, the only cold beverage in the fridge. The owner of the store told us nyet bus, taxi only, but no taxis either, after waiting 30 minutes at the bus stand we decided to walk the 4 miles to town, 2 minutes into the walk a Mercedes Benz pulled up after we flagged it, Karakol? we asked the dude nodded and so we got on, Russ paid him 100 soms up front, he was happy and we got it easy getting back to town. At the Neofit hostel we met Brian again, the nice American former Peace corp volunteer here in Kyrg, and the Finnish couple we will be going to see the eagle show with tomorrow. we packed our stuff then went to sleep.
6am we woke up to go and see the animal market, at the Aktilev bazaar, as wewere walking looking for transport we heard Mal bazaar! from a taxi driver, how much, 50 soms he said, so
we got on, 10 minutes later out of town we arrived at this busy bustling animal market. Full of taxis and trucks, sheeps, horses and cows for sale, owners standing around with their animals in tow waiting for a buyer or bidder, one dude was even checking the sheep's teeth before buying it. It was not as big as the Kashgar market but entertaining enough for us. The horse section was a bit intimidating, the horses are toe to toe with each other difficult to navigate without being threateened to get kicked. never walk behind horses we remembered but here it is impossible, we kind of follow the locals to weave through the messy maze. Of course we are also an attraction in itself being the only tourists at the moment.Locals obliging for photographs with their golden teeth out especially the men.
Outside the market, people started hauling in their animals that they bought at the back of their lada cars, they tie it up then load them up in the trunk, some kid was pulling small goats by the horns, we grabbed a taxi after an hour here and met the Finnish couple to move on
to Kady-Say, the bus station(south) is only 2 blocks from Neofit, we found the minivan right away, we paid 100 soms each at the counter then showed our receipt to the driver and hopped on to the bus. we filled up quickly and we drove around westward towards Balykchy, it was painfully slow, took us 3 hours, the Issy Kul is always to our right, beautiful colors when the suhn is up, we encountered a few rain drops, we keep stopping for fare, arriving in Kady Say it was windy and raining.
There are more photos below