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Published: July 25th 2016
July 20 - Pamir Highway trip Day 9 - Langar to Bulunkul
Woke up with a bad stomach and was in the bathroom every hour from 5-8am. Good times. I found out later that the others also felt a little bad, but not as much. Must have been something from the homestay. Ate the porridge for breakfast, and a little bread.
We left at 9am and the initial part was a really bouncy unpaved road. I was sitting in the back and it felt particularly bad, with my stomach. The others realized they had forgotten the beers they bought last night, and they had to go back to retrieve them, so I got out of car and waited. Didn't want to experience that two more times on the round trip. While I waited, I bought a watermelon for us at the bus shop.
We drove a couple hours and then I changed to the front seat. I felt exhausted all day, due to the altitude. We started from about 3200m. High altitudes make me sleepy, and I spent a lot of time dozing on and off. The landscape started to change a lot today, as we finally left
the river that borders Afghanistan. It started to look quite different and maybe even lunar. Eventually we stopped for a hike to the top of 360 degree panorama which started at 4200m and went up to 4700m. I gave it a go, but only made it about halfway. I stopped and decided to wait for Anna and Tommy to come back (Gio has stayed behind), but I saw them go over a ridge, and twenty minutes went by without seeing them again, so I thought they might have gone back a different way. As I waited, I saw a lot of marmot holes, but no marmots. I waited a short time more and then eventually decided to go back. So glad I remembered the way. When I got back, Dish was not there and Gio was asleep in the jeep. I decided to get in and close my eyes as well. Eventually the others made their way back, and it was via a different route. Driving away, we did see a lot of marmots running away. Quite orange, and adorable!
We drove on to Bulunkul, a small village off the main route, near a lake of the same name.
Nearby there is also Issyk kul lake. It has a weird end of the world type feel. Once we settled into the homestay, the woman brought us some bread and tea and yogurt. I didn't eat the yogurt, because it didn't seem like a good idea with my stomach. We sat around relaxing for a while and then took a walk around the village. A few small houses, lots of cows, broken bottles, and several animals with bad legs. Oddly, there are also several animal hooves just on the ground. Not sure of the meaning of that. Anna and I then watched a bit of a volley ball tournament that was going on towards sunset. It was all men, and they were pretty good. Not much else to do here; better than drinking.
We had dinner at 7pm and it was fried potatoes, carrot salad with garlic and cucumbers and tomatoes. Pretty tasty. And I thought it would be a good idea to just go ahead and eat and see what happened. A bit more oil than I would have liked, but veggies.
After dinner we played Trivial Pursuit for a bit but then it was time for
bed. Anna and I walked to the toilet one last time for the night - and it was super far and cold out - and the whole town seemed to be asleep already. It was before 10pm. The toilet had two holes next to each other. No thanks - we took turns.
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