Trekking Kyrgyzstan’s Heights of Alay Loop, Day four


Right now is, by style, a quick day of travel as we move up the valley to a yurt camp that will place us closer to Jiptik Pass, our final major challenge, which we will tackle tomorrow. As a outcome, no 1 is in any excellent hurry to wake up and get going. Fortunately, even our host household at this delightful guesthouse beside the raging river does not rise early and enter our sleeping space. We got a complete evening of sleep final evening, wake up naturally and even have some time to study quietly prior to everyone stirs.

When the door ultimately opens, having said that, it becomes clear that our area is about to be converted into the breakfast parlor. Final evening we ate out on the covered, open-air platform. I guess it is a moveable feast.

Following breakfast, we pack up and say our usual goodbyes. Ahead of we leave, the husband (who, incidentally, drives a Mercedes Benz) offers each Rob and me a classic felt hat. We are touched by the gesture and take images in our new kalpak with our host, thanking him sincerely. Timu tells us that guys who put on the felt hat do so since they are either married or are deserving of respect inside the neighborhood.

This is the initial time we have been presented a felt hat in Kyrgyzstan, so it feels genuine and not a contrived occasion offered to each tourist who passes by means of. We put on them proudly as we wave goodbye, cross the river and commence strolling up the dirt road.

It is a gentle uphill stroll these days. In spite of the truth that it is a road, it nonetheless feels like we are on a trail. The rushing river is to our suitable, and the acoustics develop into the background noise to our whole day. The hills on either side rise steeply up toward blue skies with white clouds. Wildflowers line the road. As we stroll along, we chat with a altering cast of characters as we mix and mingle. It is entertaining to be hiking and sharing this encounter with pals with whom we have some history. It feels like we are just selecting up a conversation that was began six years ago in Africa!

We cease for a couple of quick breaks along the way to rest and drink some water. Luckily it is cooler these days than yesterday. We are definitely grateful for a much less taxing day. As we round a bend, we see a couple of shepherd’s yurts come into view.

There are kids playing outdoors, and we can see Timu and our guides chatting with them. As we stroll up to join them, Timu says we have been invited for kymyz. My rule of thumb is to in no way turn down an provide for a classic beverage. We drop our packs on the grass outdoors the yurt and a bucket of kymyz is brought out. We every attempt a small though the boys simply throw back an whole bowl.

As we are relaxing, two of the kids come and sit close to me. The girl requires an interest in my trekking poles, though the young boy is fascinated by my binoculars. So I encourage each of them to give the products a test ride. It is remarkable how you can establish a small trust with out either of us becoming in a position to communicate verbally.

Timu signals that it is time to go and so off we go with smiles fortified by our fermented mare’s milk. Kymyz tends to make you sturdy!

A mere 30 minutes later we round a further bend in the road and a huge white-capped mountain comes into view. We can see the yurt camp exactly where we will remain tonight. We arrive at 1:00 pm and move into the yurt that the 4 of us will share tonight. Alison is the initial to lay down, then Timu, then the rest of us comply with suit. In minutes, we are all taking a energy nap. If these days is a rest day, then we imply to take complete benefit of it!

Timu sooner or later stirs, and quickly soon after our lunch arrives. The key dish is a sort of pasta in broth with potatoes, onions and carrots. We’ve decided this afternoon is an great time to do some laundry, so we procure a wash basin, grab our grungy clothing and stroll across the stone river bank to the water’s edge.

Rob brings his neoprene water-proof fleece-lined gloves out, and they prove beneficial as the water from the river is freezing cold. We are washing clothing the old-fashioned way, and we are grateful for the protection for our hands from the icy temperatures as we wash and wring out the clothing. The water gets dirty speedily and has to be changed often. We have collected an impressive quantity of dust as we have hiked these trails.

We hang the wet clothing out on the line hoping to catch some direct sunlight and a great breeze. Then it is time to unwind, study, create and perform on pictures. This camp is quiet! All the boys have drifted away to take naps. Only Michael, an American who lives and teaches in China, is in camp, so we chat more than tea with him a bit about travel and education.

He shares his concern for the more than-commercialization of the globe and how it has impacted travel, producing it far more and far more tricky to come across areas unspoiled by the extended arm of capitalism. He talks a mile a minute but has some fascinating insights into how China is modernizing speedily and but nonetheless maintaining close tabs on its citizens. He has worked and traveled in a lot of components of the globe, so we get pleasure from trading stories about some of the crazy experiences we have all had.


Right now feels like a effectively-earned lazy summer season afternoon, and we get pleasure from lounging about in the yurt and chatting. Each when in a though our host stops in and requires away dishes or brings far more tea. A small later dinner arrives. It feels like we are acquiring area service in our yurt!

For dinner we are served some thing new, sort of a burrito with vegetables inside, and it is a major hit with everybody. Ahead of extended, it is time to turn in for the evening. We determine we know how to make up our personal beds and close up the tündük soon after a number of nights in a yurt.

The work appears to be appreciated by our challenging-operating hosts who thank us and want us great evening. It is remarkable how speedy a day can go by, even with a totally free afternoon to spare.

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