Back down from Altyn Arashan to Karakol

It was a cold morning. There was no heating except for the wood stove on the other side of our room and clearly nobody had started to refuel it again. When I went outside to brush my teeth there was snow on the ground. Yep, could have been a bit warmer but it was only May and we were in the mountains. The scenery was absolutely stunning though.

good morning @Altyn Arashan

good morning @Altyn Arashan

our guesthouse @Altyn Arashan

our guesthouse @Altyn Arashan

@Altyn Arashan

@Altyn Arashan

@Altyn Arashan

@Altyn Arashan

"washroom" @Altyn Arashan

“washroom” @Altyn Arashan

After breakfast I was off with Edgash to see some wild hot springs. Sylvia couldn’t be bothered to walk more than was requested, so she stayed at the guest house making friends with the two current inhabitants and again with the local wild life.

@Altyn Arashan

@Altyn Arashan

hot spring in heart form @Altyn Arashan

hot spring in heart form @Altyn Arashan

hot spring in frog form @Altyn Arashan

hot spring in frog form @Altyn Arashan

@Altyn Arashan

@Altyn Arashan

@Altyn Arashan

@Altyn Arashan

Sylvia with local wild life @Altyn Arashan

Sylvia with local wild life @Altyn Arashan

Pollybert with local wild life @Altyn Arashan

Pollybert with local wild life @Altyn Arashan

I made it back with soggy feet. The melting snow had left everything wet and my summer trekking shoes were not waterproof (of course not, they have air holes) and me feet stated wet for the rest of the way down to Karakol.

We were accompanied about half the trek downhill by one of the dogs. So nice that he came along. My shoes on the other hand didn’t make me happy because at one time I had to choose a different trek than the guide and of course it was a swamp. I sank ankle-deep into it while Sylvia naturally had waited for me to clear the field first. With shoes this dirty I couldn’t go back so I stepped into the river and got them washed. Weird feeling to have the river flow through one’s shoes.

The way down felt almost a bit longer than the trek up the day before but at least the weather was a bit better. The bright blue sky had vanished again, still it looked pretty amazing.

our companions on the way back @Altyn Arashan

our companions on the way back @Altyn Arashan

from Altyn Arashan to Karakol

from Altyn Arashan to Karakol

from Altyn Arashan to Karakol

from Altyn Arashan to Karakol

half time break @Altyn Arashan

half time break @Altyn Arashan

from Altyn Arashan to Karakol

from Altyn Arashan to Karakol

from Altyn Arashan to Karakol

from Altyn Arashan to Karakol

When we reached the bottom again we were both happy and exhausted and the white-capped mountains on the other side of Karakol were a welcome sight.

almost back @Karakol

almost back @Karakol

Tilek, the best driver and guide in Kyrgyzstan, arrived shortly after with a newly washed car and then the world had us back again. We made a short stop at our guesthouse to shower and change clothes and then we were off to visit the city.

Our first stop was the local Russian Orthodox Church, the Holy Trinity Cathedral. This wooden building was so beautiful and it was just a bit over 100 years old. We had the good fortune to watch a marriage taking place while we were visiting but polite as I am, I was not taking pictures.

Holy Trinity Cathedral @Karakol

Holy Trinity Cathedral @Karakol

Holy Trinity Cathedral @Karakol

Holy Trinity Cathedral @Karakol

Next stop after was the Dungan Mosque, also a very beautiful wooden structure in vivid colors. My pictures don’t really do it justice.

Dungan Mosque @Karakol

Dungan Mosque @Karakol

Dungan Mosque @Karakol

Dungan Mosque @Karakol

After that we told Tilek that we wanted to go shopping and he brought us to a couple of shops where we found everything from souvenirs to local designer pieces. Amazing how fast money was running through my fingers again once I was back in civilization.

On the way to the guesthouse we passed this fascinating home which mixed the Russian colors with the Kyrgyz colors. By the way the Kyrgyz symbol represents the sun as well as the top of a yurt.

A mix of Russia and Kyrgystan @Karakol

A mix of Russia and Kyrgystan @Karakol

Kyrgyz flag @Karakol

Kyrgyz flag @Karakol

Dinner that evening at the guesthouse was a very tasty affair and I was happy to have my appetite back. Yours, Pollybert

Kyrgyz food @Karakol

Kyrgyz food @Karakol

Kyrgyz food @Karakol

Kyrgyz food @Karakol

Kyrgyz food @Karakol

Kyrgyz food @Karakol

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