Burana Tower & the Field of Petroglyphs
Trip Start Sep 14, 2007
12Trip End Sep 29, 2007
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Where I stayed
En route to Karakol
0845 hrs departure from Bishkek after usual, hearty breakfast. It was sunny, dry and dusty at Burana, which included a museum, rock carvings, mound mortars. Highlight was ascending the narrow stairway in complete darkness - don't know why Suan Ling wore her shades - for a panoramic view of the area.
Lunch was at one of many restaurants dotting the highway from Bishkek to Karakol. Menu for the day was Potato with Mutton Soup, Steamed Dumpling of Beet and Potato, washed down with pop
It was a long journey, mostly in sight of Issyk-Kul lake on the right and Chuy river on the left, in some parts, forming the border with Kazakhstan. For a short stretch, the highway diverted into Kazakh territory, where the driver, Alexander, made a pit stop for fuel (cheaper there). Scenery was of local cemeteries, where graveyards looked more like giant bird cages, and fields of potatoes being harvested. New buildings were popping up, in anticipation of boom in tourism - Kg attracts mainly Russians, and gamblers from Kazakh where casinos are banned - and real estate is a premium along the lake.
Karakol is a sizeable town with an airport. Before sunset, we were at our quaint guesthouse, where the bathroom is, interestingly, communal. Dinner within the converted basement night club of the guesthouse was of mushroom soup, stew, potatoes and tea.
Karakol is biggest city, situated near the
Issyk-Kul Lake. Karakol was named Przhevalsk in period 1889 - 1991, in
honour of famous Russian traveler - explorer Nikolai Przhevalski. At
present it is the administrative centre of Issyk-Kul region, with a
population above 80,000. Karakol is well-established as the base for
exploring the Tien-Shan mountains.