Toktogul via Toluk to Song-Kol, Kyrgizstan - Part One Week 125 August 19th - 20th 2013
A slightly lazy start.

We headed down hill towards Toktogul

The herds gave way to honey.
Then, after Toktogul, the reservoir.
Reminiscent of Loess.
We stopped just before the road turned away from the lake.

We were headed towards Sary-Chelek Reserve.

Alas, we finally found the reserve website saying "camping is not allowed".

We need quite a few days so will head east to Song-Kol instead.

About 30 km backtrack.
But it gave us a chance to look at the contorted landscape again.
Presumably all water carved.
Some of these valleys have tracks leading towards the lake.
Towards the east of the lake there's agriculture.

And some sort of military post that we didn't photograph.

Just a pleasant drive on very good road.
Not all rock is the same colour.
We are nearly at the head of the lake.

Our route will hopefully take us north east through those mountains.

Flowing into the lake is the Naryn River. There's another reservoir further east.

Naryn (town), on the river, even further east. We will pass through it on our way to China.

The Naryn River continues beyond the lake, through the Fergana Valley, and is a major source for the Syr Darya.

We are reliant on googlemaps and the coordinates I've read from them.

The gravel road looks good.

Some small corrugations but no potholes.

As the crow flies its about 100km almost due east to the A367. The long way round on good roads is about twice that.

Just the occasional mobile hay stack to contend with.
A small village, with an elegant mosque.

The last village for quite a while.

We are slowly climbing and following the track around mountains.
And across rivers (with bridges).
We are only about one third of the way to the next main road.

About 95 km of gravel road as the crow flies.

But its still a formed road, still with bridges.
By the time we get to the end we'll probably have covered more than 200 km.

The route is contorted and twisty.

We seem to have crossed from river valley to river valley a couple of times.

And avoided picking wild apples.

Apparently apples originated in Kazakhstan.

Most of the hay cutting has been by hand.

In Soviet collective times hay making was mechanised.

This is the first bailer we've seen.

The major Soviet factory for hay bailers was in Kyrgizstan but is no longer operating.

Down to Toluk.

Fortunately we have mobile phone reception here.

We consulted the map in detail.

The main road, the by-pass, is to the left.

Though I guess going through the village would get to the bridge at the other end!

Quite a climb out of Toluk.

The track deteriorated. Narrower, clinging to the side of the mountain. A second gear plod up a very long hill avoiding ruts.

But what a place to be.
We stopped about 3pm. The only vacant flat ground for miles.

Its not as tiring as Kazakhstan. 

Its a steady plod at an even pace rather than the bone jarring potholes and other obstacles needing frequent speed and gear changes.

A visit from a couple of herders and we settled to watch the sun go down.

At the reservoir we'd seen corn and melons. Then the hay making as we climbed. Then the herds further up still.

Horses, cattle, plus sheep and goats. 

Toktogul via Toluk to Song-Kol, Kyrgizstan - Part Two Week 125 August 21st 2013

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