Infinite beauty of Kyrgyzstan. Part 1

South Issyk-Kul

We decided to travel to Kyrgyzstan in May, and our travel was very eventful. We managed to visit the most distant places of that relatively small, but vivid country, and it took from us just 14 days. Down hills burned us with heat, while at the mountains we were covered by snow. We cruised through the highways and drove on the bumpy roads. We conquered the mighty serpentine roads and passed river fords. We listened for the first time in our lives the peaceful breathing of lake Issyk-Kul in the sunrise and saw when first sunbeams lit mountain peaks of Tien-Shan into a fire. We met a sunset in picturesque valley and waited for falling stars on the shiny sky with bated breaths.

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Every day that we spent in Kyrgyzstan was unlike any other. But there was one thing that remained constant – kind-hearted, open and incredibly helpful people that we everywhere we set our foot. I believe that people is the biggest wealth of any place and Kyrgyzstan has something to be proud of! I couldn’t go to such journey without a camera and here is the result of my trip to Kyrgyzstan. Let’s go!”

For first days we decided to get acquainted with local weather and we made a camp at one of the wild shores at the southern Issyk-Kul. Three day we met sunsets and sunrises. My old dream finally came true – to see how first sun beams gently touch the snowy mountain capes, and the silhouette  of the giant Sun hides behind the monumental wall of Tien-Shan and it looks like they took the guard over the sky, standing silently on the horizon, behind the calm lake waters.

Sunset at the lake of Issyk-Kul.

Lone fisherman. Kungey Ala-Too – one the mountain ranges of northern Tien-Shan.

Morning of the next day.

Night views of the Issyk-Kul and eye of the moon.

At night Issyk-Kul is especially silent and mysterious. Southern shore is still barely populated and remains wild. Thanks to this there are no electric lights, and local altitude level (1600 m) allows you to see the rich star pattern on the sky.

Blossoming apricot.

Kumtor pass, 3600 m.

Behind the pass lies cold and chilly Ara-Bel plateau, covered with snow and strong freezing wind.

Among Kyzyl Korgon lifeless red mountains sometimes you can see small green bushes. It happens because subterranean waters ascending to the surface and plant roots are able to reach the water, which slightly improves living conditions. Such gorges, which does not allow too many of light, plants have to grow rapidly towards the sun in order to survive.

Resting at the peak.

Goat herd lost among the rocks during the dissension to the valley, gorge of Kyzyl Korgon. Ordinary goats are not skilled mountaineers, like mountain sheep, but they strive in order to survive. You can see how twenty of them are struggling there, while others descend down towards the river, raising clouds of dust. During the day herd grazes on the hillsides, feeding on plentiful green meadows. At the end of a day shepherd takes them down to the valley, and they rush towards the river. When they reach it, they organize themselves into a line along the river and drink water… they can do that almost for an hour!

This is Fairy-tale – beautiful gorge, located on the southern shore of the Issyk-Kul lake. This gorge was formed by different layers of soil, enriched with various minerals, which are easily mixed during the rain or strong wind. Such factors make this gorge a beautiful place, because each time you visit it, it looks different. Bizarre and fascinating rock formations resembles some mythical creatures, animals and heroes, and sometimes you can spot the change just for a second! I have no doubt about this mysterious and fascinating place, it lives by its own laws…

Michael Shmelev

To be continued ...

Author: Michael Shmelev