It was a beautiful morning at Song Kol, Kyrgyzstan.
We saw Simon and Amy leaving on their horses in the direction we had come from.
We washed and cleaned our teeth at the little sink outside the tent. Instead of a tap there was a bucket filled with water from the stream.
Our lovely hostess Asel prepared a breakfast of fresh homemade bread, jam and cream and joined us.
Ruth had been complaining about there being too many other people hanging about whenever she wanted to go to the toilet. The toilet was just a pit in the ground behind a low dry stone wall so it wasn't very private. So I thought it was hilarious that when she did go to the toilet it was surrounded by loads of sheep!
Bayrambekwith Asel's Father outside his yurt.
Asel and her Father outside their yurt.
Wee boy turned up on a donkey carrying a live sheep.
Asel Bayrambek and Asel's Father.
And we're off again!
We rode along the north shore of the lake all day to get to our third yurt stay. Bayrambek seemed to be in a bit more of a hurry today. He towed Hannah along most of the way. The dog was still with us.
We arrived at our third yurt camp. The men were sitting about drinking vodka and wearing traditional Kyrgyz white felt hats. Today was a national holiday so people were taking it easy and drinking vodka.
View from our yurt looking southeast; horses and the lake.
This tiny puppy lived in this little hole to shelter it from the sun in the day and the cold at night.
The lads. Check out the hats.
There was this young girl who lived there. She was very sweet and we played ball with her.
Looking into our yurt.
It started to rain so we chilled out in the yurt for a while.
We had been trekking for 3 days and hadn't been told about any washing arrangements so we decided to make our own. When the rain eased off we ventured out and took a walk to the lake to have a wash there.
We went and lfound a secluded spot.
It rained some more.
The lake wasn't too cold.
On the way back to the yurt we found a stone circle/earthwork.
Presumably its very old and similar in form and function to the Neolithic burial mounds and stone circles in Britain.
There's our yurt and the vast grassy plain stretched out to the southwest.
The donkey at the back of our yurt.
Bayrambek was busy flirting with one of the girls who lived at the yurt and so we took the horses out by ourselves. The dog followed us.
We headed southwest in the late afternoon sun.
Toward a low mump on the horizon. It was another mound; one of a pair. The only thing to head for in the vast flat grassy plain.
We rode our horses up onto the top of the mound and rested for a little while.
Then we got back on the horses and went down off the mound. We said "lets try and get them to go a bit faster this time". "shoo! shoo!"
Mine and Hannah's horses suddenly leapt into full gallop. It was a bit of a surprise and it was a bit too fast. We tried to slow them down but they just got faster and faster! I was getting scared. My horse wasn't responding. Hannah started to panic. Ruth wasn't with us. The horses were going full pelt and heading into rough ground. We couldn't control them. Hannah started screaming "Sam! Sam!". I was trying everything I could. Pulling back the reins and shouting "woooow! woooow! It was a challenge just to stay on. They were going as fast as they could. They had gone right off the track and we were hurtling across boggy and really bumpy ground. I saw a big ditch coming up fast and thought "they're going to jump!". I braced myself and they both jumped simultaneously. Hannah and her horse were right next to me and mine, sometimes bashing into each other. Hannah was shouting "I'm scared! I'm going to jump off!" I don't know ow long this went on for but they galloped nearly all the way back to the yurts before we got them to stop. Luckily we were both just about in one piece but both terrified. My leg was bleeding from rubbing against the stirrup. Ruth had been left behind and we couldn't even see her anymore. We waited for her where we were. Neither of us wanted to get back on the horses. It took her about 1/2 an hour to catch us up.
When we got back to the yurt it turned out Bayrambek hadn't been flirting with the girl or drinking too much vodka. He had been fishing and caught a great big fish!
We had fresh fish for supper that night. It was delicious.
It was a freezing cold night. After supper we settled down beneath our huge pile of blankets and slept.