Song-Kol, Kyrgizstan Week 126 August 23rd - 26th 2013
Song Kol is an alpine lake. About 3025m. Apparently not quite as high as Titicacca in the Andes. Our guide book is full of useful information!

The lake is about 25 km long and 17km wide. Sort of elliptical. The basin with surrounding pasture is longer. Its central in the Moldo Too range.

For those who've been there it reminds me of an upside down, inside out, Stewart Island. Tracks that cross numerous creeks.

Since there are no trees the eagle has to be a bit inventive.

Not much option really, apart from leaving.

The small ger camps are about a km apart.

Not sure what these guys were doing.

We suspect gathering fuel (animal droppings).

This is what happens when we have time on our hands. We could become amateur sleuths and wonder why the vehicles are facing opposite directions? And why there? We haven't seen them stopped anywhere else. Why isn't everyone else doing it?

We haven't seen solar panels or wind generators on the gers (like Mongolia). Nor have we seen yak carts. And the ger camps seem to have cars, but not their own trucks. Though there are some trucks - maybe contract removals!

We are a wee way away from the lake shore.

The locals move around on horses as well as vehicles. The boys on donkeys.

The herds of sheep are generally big.

The only herder we've seen on foot was a woman with a half dozen cows.

I went for a walk as far towards the lake shore as I could get.

We haven't seen many birds.

This one was well hidden.

The white dots are seagulls.

There are three people fishing.

We've seen a few leftover bits of very fine nets.

We couldn't find their tyre marks to reach the edge.

There are a couple of boats far out in the lake but not launched here..

Near the edge are these hummocks.

About 100m from the edge there's water between the hummocks. It just gets soggier.

The stony bit here is river bed, but only for short distances.

The dot in the middle of the photo is our truck.

We are getting used to the weather pattern. We think.

Sun in the morning and showers in the afternoon.

Not much rain and the surface dries quickly.

No photos but the night sky has been brilliant. Even with my aged eyes the milky way was really visible.

But we can't rely on the pattern.

Next morning is overcast.

Our plan is to move.

Just tyre marks across the flat, we think the way to the track that we can see through binoculars in the hills  is to the right of that central hill.

The boy is on a donkey, trying to herd horses.

The horses are faster than the donkey.

And so it was. The track exactly where we thought it would be.

Not too far and we found a sheltered bay. A short 9km for the day. Further than it looked.

With a creek.

Looks bigger than it is, we are about 100m from the stony shore. 

Time to fill up the water tanks, then wash the solar panels and windows.

We are a bit wary of the rain as its uphill to get back to the track. The way out that is, not the rain.

But its a strange climate. After a couple of hours of very light rain, and a little more overnight, the "mole hills" (at least mounds of soil raised by underground things) are dry. As is the grass. And the way out. Maybe I just like having something to worry about!

And if they can do it so can we. Though they've probably got traction control and all sorts of whizbangery.

Must be tourists ..... Kyrgiz looking tourists. They lasted a couple of minutes in the water.

Its a mixture of warm when the sun is out and cold when it disappears.

And very cold when the wind blows.

But cosy inside. Where's Goldilocks when we need her. I'll do some blog then fix the headlight later.

Can't imagine why it didn't occur to us to have a swim!

There's more than enough sun to keep the batteries charged.

It seems we are an attraction for cattle.

Somewhere to scratch an itch. Maybe lick the salt.

Later managed to break the washing line pole (though still usable). After the washing had mostly been dried.

We've watched the herders though. Small stones hurled in their general direction - our aim is terrible.

Sunshine this morning. Sparkling on the water.

A day for washing. Its surprising how hard it is to simply stop.

Moving that is. Stopping washing is even harder.

We've noticed a lot of times. It seems that wildlife departs when we arrive. But comes for a look after a couple of days.

This is one of several raptors of various sizes.

Still shy though. Point the camera at them and they leave.

We've also seen a few Grebes among the seagulls. Too far away to know what sort.

A few small birds, picking over the ground, but a bit far way for photos.

The rain seems to have disappeared. Sunshine all day.

We can't get past the colours.

Climbing the hill was a bit strenuous.

We've become a bit unfit. And we aren't used to 3,000 m.

And having climbed the hill I had to look the other way.

Our first camp was on that flat area in the distance.

The sun is setting behind us.
Yet another sunny day.

The fishermen venture forth.

They seem to be catching fish but too far away to see what.

We've had a few visits from people on horses. They seem to be traveling from A to B. And more horses and cattle - without herders.

Shorts and tee-shirt for a bit of maintenance. I'd been dreading trying to work in a cold breeze.

Wondering what are the chances of finding a bulb like this. Dip beam has blown. Though a bit of research, now we have internet, suggests its a standard H4 size bulb - so "should" be easy. But of course seemingly simple things become complicated by lack of language and familiarity with where to buy things.

And why do they make it so hard to change a light bulb?

The door can now be locked from the inside again. And it rattles a lot less. And a bit of tightening things underneath.

And while we are relaxing we learn that there is an outbreak of Bubonic Plague (Black Death) in the east of Kyrgizstan. Its a bit deadly. Spread by fleas and rodents.

Song-Kol to Issyk Kol, Kyrgizstan Week 126 August 27th - 30th 2013

Rob Gray Fri, 30 Aug 13 10:54:33 +1000
The pic with the guys gathering fuel (J 011?) appears to be corrupted.

Some really great camp sites you've had lately.


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