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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Karakol, Kyrgyzstan

Oct 13, 2013 - Jeti-Oghuz

Another high Alpine valley, Kok Jayik - the valley of flowers. Today is a "free day" which means that there are no plans and we wander about at will. I want some alone time and spend my day along the nearby line of birches. A wonderful day to appreciate, to remember, and be grateful. Enjoy the photos.

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Oct 12, 2013 - Altyn Arashan

Salam - A picturesque alpine valley at 3000 meters. Would never have been able to get here on my own - too remote. Even Aziza couldn't make it. After a night in Karakol we transferred to a 6 wheel Russian troop transport and even then there were places where we had to get out and walk due to the gradient and questionable bridges. No tents but relatively frigid dorms. The real delight was a series of hot pools to relax in after hiking. Our troop transport driver, Sergei, gets into the vodka a bit heavy the first night. The next morning we...

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Oct 11, 2013 - Karakol

Salam - After leaving Bishkek we spent two nights camping before reaching a hotel our third night. Too bad hot water was scarce and water pressure low. Along the way we managed a hike up a wadi into hills reminiscent of Utah, visited ancient petroglyphs, and skirted the shores of Lake Issyk-Kul, the second largest alpine lake in the world. Karakol had several sights of interest, including a Dungan temple which was built without nails by 20 Chinese artisans just after the turn of the Twentieth century. We also visited Holy Trinity...

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Aug 29, 2012 - Bishkek - Karakol

Wtorek, 28 sierpnia - Bishkek, Karakol Wstaje juz o 6:30 rano i od razu kieruje sie na dworzec. Juz przed 8-ma jade marszutka do Karakol (300 Som). Droga najpierw czteropasmowa zamienia sie wkrotce w niezbyt zla dwopasmowke. Przejezdzamy przez przelecz aby dotrzec do brzegu jeziora Issyk Kol aby prawie objechac to jezioro dookola. Po okolo 7 godzinach wypelniony busik dociera na miejsce. Najpierw ide odnalezdz hostel - Teskey Guesthouse, polecany w przewodniku. Miejsce na uboczu od centrum ale czyste i schludne. Co najwazniejsze tylko 3...

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Jul 18, 2012 - Trekking the valley of the unicorns

With a whole day free in Jeti-oghuz, most decided to go for a hike. The hardcore Trekkers left at 5am to try and reach the glacier, the more sane, left at 8:30am and then those who were enjoying the free day left later or didn't hike.  The trail headed along the valley floor with a nice climb in the middle to test you out, but it was a mostly pleasant undulating walk following the river towards the glacier.   On the way I was offered "kumis".  It's fermented horse milk, which is mildly alcoholic also.  I politely declined, only due to the...

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Jul 17, 2012 - Valley to Valley

We drove out of the valley of hot springs down the shocking road where I thought I'd die at least 5 times towards the valley of Jeti-oghuz aka as the valley of the unicorns, because it is so stunning and beautiful, you'd expect unicorns to bound around the valley.    On the way we stopped at a few red rock formations, the 7 bulls and the broken heart.  They stand at the gateway of the valley, which leads towards the higher peaks and a glacier.

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Jul 16, 2012 - Russian military vehicles

Today was the tripvehicles so called "tank camp". The vehicle that showed up was a russian truck with the ability to inflate and deflate its tyres but it was far from a tank. The vehicle also seated 2 less than required and assaulted the steep windy, stoney trail in such a way that I was sick, yet again. When we arrived at Altyn arashan it was definately worth the trip. A postcard valley dotted with a few farmhouses, lots of animals and a few hot springs. The hot springs were lovely and hot. Apparently the trick is to jump into the cold...

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Jul 15, 2012 - A mazing market

Today we drove to Karakol, firstly to visit the animal market. Without too much imagination, you can picture hoards of cows, sheep, goats, horses, people and other things. Cute baby goats though were the real winner. One of the girls commented that the toilets smelt worse than the hoards of animals, thus the toilet was far from the cleanest in Central Asia. After the animal markets we headed to the main foor and stuff markets. When I entered the markets my first thought was how am I'm going to get out of here. I wandered around keeping...

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Aug 3, 2011 - Tash rabat

An amzing place of the silk road, used until the 13th cent but was it a church because of its crossed layout? a mosque because of its dome? surely a caranvanserai... and has it been used as a jail because of its 30 odd cells??? What is certain is that it is a very special place! PS: if you go there.. there are 2 yurts camps and one of them is facing the fort which is good by itself (yo need to know that there are also REAL beds in the yurts there!!!) Un endroit incroyable au milieu de.. no where! cette forterresse a ete habitee jusquau...

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Jul 25, 2011 - Kyrgyzstan- Karakol and around

We spent a full week in Karakol and in the surrounding mountains, walking and horseback riding. From Karakol to the On Ter Glacier, next to the river to Dzhol Kolot valley via some not so clear paths for the horses. Camping is fun... when the sun is shinning and when you have waterproof tent and warm sleeping bags!! On sunday, the horse games were brought the end to a rabbit and a goat lives, since the headless goat was the ball for the horse game! bloody games! Nous avons passe une semaine a Karakol et dans les montagnes avoisinantes,...

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May 29, 2011 - 23 May - Djety Oguz Valley

On 23 May we left Karakol for the drive to the alpine trekking region of Djety Oguz. We have 2 nights here. 7 spectacular red sandstone clifs guard the entrance to the Djety Oguz Valley. Legend says that the cliffs were once wild bulls, immobilised by the gods to stop them terrorising local yurt dwellers! The valley lies on the northern slopes of the Terskei Ala-Too range and is surrounded by majestic snow-capped mountains. Kyrgystan is one of the most beautiful countries I have seen. We spent our time here walking in the mountains and...

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May 28, 2011 - 21 May - Karakol

On the way to Karakol we stopped to see some petroglyphs dating from the 11th century BC, then drove on to Lake Issyk-Kul, one of the largest natural water reservoirs in the world at 170km long and 70km wide. The lake is mildly saline and never freezes, in fact the name Issyk-Kul means "warm lake". It's the holiday place for Russians and other nationalities and we could see resorts being built on the shores of the lake. We visited the beach which was empty while we were there but over the summer is apparently packed. After a few hours at...

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