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Published: November 10th 2017
Geo: 41.2943, 75.3412
Travelled up to Son Kul Lake reportedly the worlds second highest lake. Not too much there except Nomadic Kyrgs living in their Yurts, herds of horses and vast open spaces. To say our camp was a little exposed would be a small understatement. The artic wind blew a gale. One of our neighbours came by after we had set up camp to suggest we would get eaten by wolves if we stayed and we should stay in one of his yurts...Hmmm sounded like a tourist con to us so we decided to stay. No wolves to report in the morning, only horses grazing close to the tent during the night.
We spent a couple of nights waiting for the Germans to get their Chinese Visas and car chores done. We met up just before Tash Rabat which is a caravanasari located at about 3,100metres. We saw the historic remains then thought to ourselves... hmmm we have two nights to kill before we are allowed to cross into China so decided to rent ourselves a Yurt.
The Yurts are heated by a pot belly stove fired with Yak dung and whilst the fire is lit are surprisingly warm. The water in our
cars water tank parked outside froze solid in the pipes, the backup battery got very annoyed as it was below operating temperature and generally speaking it is the coldest we have been for some time.
After the first night the sun shone, the wind dropped and we had a whole day to kill so decided to go on a horse trek. Now we expected someone to guide us and help with the horses but this apparently got lost in the translation. So what really happened at the agreed time we headed to the stable area to find four horses saddled and ready to go. There was no English spoken so it was difficult to know which were the harder ones to ride as the Germans had not ridden before, Darren's riding experience was minimal and I had no problem with riding whatever. So we randomly selected horses and imagined the four of us riding off into the sunset, not knowing where we were going. Yeah right.. What really happened is more like this.. Thomas who is very German expected the above but could not get his to move forward. He could not understand why his horse did not do what
he wanted after he followed my instructions. Sarah's was worse and I decided to lead hers for a while as he refused to take a single step for her. In the meantime Darren's had spun around, tried to do a small pigroot to get rid of him and head directly back for home. Hmm the first half hour did not see us even get across the small creek which marked the outside of our Yurt Camp.
Anyway after Darren and I swapped horses, Thomas had seemed to come to some understanding with his and I lead Sarah's we did eventually ride up the valley towards the snow capped mountains accompanied by the dogs from the Yurt Camp who seemed happy to tag along for the days ride.
All in all we enjoyed the experience and apart from sore butts had no real dramas so all was good.
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