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Published: March 19th 2013
Ala-Archa National Park, Kyrgyzstan - 14thJuly 2012 β mile 10.229
Our legs are in shock β they have been asked to do some walking, they are not used to a whole day without the motorbike to carry them round!
Ala-Archa is a spectacular canyon only 40km south of Bishkek in the Tien Shen mountains. To be fair most of Kyrgyzstan is spectacular β 97%!o(MISSING)f it is covered in mountains and the tallest peaks of the old USSR are found here. We're only walking up small peaks. Its very pleasant climbing up through the spruce and juniper woods, past all the wild flowers. Every now and then we pop out of the wood and get views of the steep sided mountains surrounding us with their snowy peaks and glaciers. If you're a real ruffty-tuffty you can walk for several days carrying all your own camping gear.
Its a popular spot for climbers & mountaineers and our first stop is at the Alpinists Cemetery tucked away in the woods. Its a very peaceful place, it has a nice feel to it. Its slightly overgrown but that just gives it a natural feel, how it should be out here in
the wilds. 30 or so climbers who died on these mountains are remembered here and the monuments are very descriptive.
We spend a pleasant couple of hours wandering up and down the hillsides sitting by babbling glacial streams, crossing rickety wooden bridges, clambering over rocks to see waterfalls and generally taking in the view. Wild flowers are everywhere as is the revered βarchaβ plant. The locals burn it in their homes as the smoke chases away evil spirits.
When the legs finally give up we head back to the big city to ready ourselves to ride out of town on our new knobbly tyres tomorrow.
Tot: 0.39s; Tpl: 0.018s; cc: 19; qc: 87; dbt: 0.0279s; 1; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.5mb