29th May – Karakol

This morning Michael, David and our guide Akay go to a motor mechanics to see about getting a bracket made up to replace one he broke yesterday that attaches to his rear passengers shock absorber. They order the part to be made and they will deliver it to our hotel while we go up into the mountains today.

At 10:30 we are picked up in an old Russian army truck and transported up into the  mountains, over a very steep and rocky path.

It’s a far from smooth ride as the truck climbs over huge rocks and negotiates narrow passages with a cliff face one side and a roaring icy river the other.  We stop when the track ends at a glacier that blocks our way, so we all get out with our bags and walk over the icy snow to get into another truck to complete our journey.

This truck is even more bouncy than the first one and the gradient becomes much steeper as the track becomes even rockier, but the scenery is absolutely gorgeous, with snow capped mountains and beautiful tall straight fur trees.

We climb to about 2,800 metres and come into a most beautiful valley and to our guest house for the night Ala-Kul. We get out of the truck and walk the last part of the trip down to the guest house, the air is so fresh & crisp and the sun is warm.

When we arrive lunch is ready for us which consists of lovely soft noodles with vegetables and freshly baked bread and a mug of tea, delicious And we get a fork to eat it with!

We get into our rooms, which are bunks and single beds, so we separate the men & women because of the bedding configuration.  We change into our bathers and head off to find a natural hot spring pool which is right next to the very fast flowing icy cold river.  It’s a lovely setting to relax in after our 2 and a quarter hour truck drive to get here, but it’s certainly worth it!

The mountains at the end of the valley are the border with China and the tallest mountain is over 5,000 metres.  The pass through the mountains is over 4,000 metres.


We have a very relaxing afternoon, reading and sitting in the sun talking.

Peter & Michael decide to go for a horse ride down the valley for an hour which they really enjoy.

We have another lovely home cooked meal for dinner of a meat & vegetable soup & a salad. Before it gets dark we go for another walk up a hill to watch the sun set over the valley.

As the power to the guest house is solar and the power only lasts for a few hours each day we decide to retire early.  We also have an early start tomorrow morning.


  1. just catching up with your and Maja and Henk’s posts
    looks like it has been very different and interesting countryside.
    take care and enjoy

  2. Hi Kay and Mike. All brings back great memories but where’s your sense of adventure- the MGs would have romped up that hill. All the best from Lorraine and Ian enjoying a much less adventurous trip around Scotland

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