Bishkek and Ala Archa

The following morning we headed by bus back to Bishkek. The route took us along the northern shore of Issyk Kul with beautiful views to the south of the Tien Shan rising to the northern edge of the Tibetan Plateau. Issy Kul is a large intra-continental lake formed by tectonic subsidence within the actively deforming mountain belt. 

When we arrived in Bishkek we located the accommodation - a strange place behind inconspicuous large metal gates. 

  The owner and his alcoholic ocd/hoarder brother lived there. There was a large yard where the brother pottered obsessively; apparently sorting and organising refuse and junk.


There was a large yurt for guest accommodation. Also containing some junk.

Dogs and cats living together.

The next day we headed into the mountains of Ala Archa National Park just south of the city for a couple of days walking and camping before we were due to finally part ways and, for Ruth and I at least, head back home.

We walked for a day south along a river valley into the mountains.

At the end of the day we found a place to set up camp for the night and celebrated Ruth's Birthday.

The following morning we headed off for a long hike to the head of the valley.

It was pretty tough going. We had to clamber over large rocks and cross very fast-flowing ice cold mountain rivers.

It was very, very peaceful and the air was incredibly crisp and fresh. There were no other people and we felt really alone in the mountains.

Apart from the wild horses.

The next day we headed back down to Bishkek.

We spent the evening in Bishkek and stayed at the same hostel again. Not much to report from Bishkek.

In the morning we said goodbye to Hannah. She headed off back to Karakol. Ruth and I took a bus to Almaty to take a flight back to Belfast.

Hannah went to Iraq for a holiday and we didn't see her again for several weeks.
When we got back to the UK we rebooted our lives. What happened next is for another chapter.

I finally completed this blog!

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