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Published: September 3rd 2014
Steep sided valley runs up to high plateau
For run back to Bishkek, had spotted a short cut to Izzyk Kol over mountains, was this a good idea?
Started bit late at 1pm for 150km jolly, nice to start with, but 4 river crossing (wet socks) and topped out on glacial moraine heap at 3800m, generally another good day.
Stopped in another version of Butlins by Issyk kul, a nice salty swim in morning.
Owner told me about the biggest gold mine in world, yields 20t of gold /year, just 130km away at 4000m. They say London's roads paved in gold - I don't think so just too many pot holes, but the gravel track to mine was smooth hardly a bump for 100km - what money can do!. Hairpins were steep for trucks (which had to turn 140deg, then back up 4m to achieve turn), Bull-dust heard the term & was told worst conditions for bikes but never seen any, well it is fine talkcom powder with small rocks lost in it, makes for tricky uphill turns.
Lots of environmental issues suround mine, but government cannot manage with out income, 7.7% of GDP from mine alone. So is bit like
In years gone by, I would have been here with kayaks, to consider possibilities of grade V+ rapid under bridge.
Eggar in Hexham, jobs and wealth out vote environment issues, but they use cyanide here by truck full to extract gold.
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