mini-glacier dropping into the river in the Altyn Arashan Valley

mini-glacier dropping into the river in the Altyn Arashan Valley

Taking a walk in the park, and enjoying not only the view of the mountains, but also a hot spring

One of the things to do around Karakol is walking in the mountains that surround the lake; Karakol is sort of the unofficial Kyrgyz capital of hiking and trekking, from just walking up one of the many beautiful valleys in the vicinity, to six-seven day treks to far-away glaciers, or into Kazakhstan.

Luckily, for us, it is once again not yet the season – although even in season I don’t see us do multi-day treks carrying tent and equipment. But a good couple of hours walk in the mountains, that would be quite nice, of course, and the promise of a hot spring at the end, even better.

 

a piece of road, seriously

a piece of road, seriously

our Russian Jeep, and Marat, the driver-hero

our Russian Jeep, and Marat, the driver-hero

from the hot springs settlement, the view of the 4260 m high Palatka Peak

from the hot springs settlement, the view of the 4260 m high Palatka Peak

In the event, we turned things around, and found a guy with an ancient Russian Jeep prepared to drop us at the hot springs, up the Altyn Arashan Valley at about 2800 m altitude (Karakol is at 1800 m), at the end of a road even I would not have called a road. But the car and the driver managed, quite extraordinarily, to get the car not just through the mud, but also across some incredibly rough boulder-strewn patches, and after almost two hours we had covered the 17 km or so up the mountain.

our private cabin, with pool inside

our private cabin, with pool inside

and our private pool, with concrete bench

and our private pool, with concrete bench

The hot spring complex was, shall we say, rather basic, with a number of concrete pools inside small private huts which don’t seem to be able to survive another winter – but I am sure that is being said for years, already. Where the spring itself is, remains unclear, but somehow the water, hot and not too smelly, is being piped in, and flows out at the other side of our pool again, into the river. A pleasant enough experience, also because we had the hut just for ourselves.

the view along the road back

the view along the road back

more view, of big mountains

more view, of big mountains

fast-flowing river

fast-flowing river

occasionally, we meet a man on a horse

occasionally, we meet a man on a horse

log bridge across the river

log bridge across the river

one of the mini-glaciers again

one of the mini-glaciers again

And our mountain walk? Well, the idea was that we would walk down the valley again, more or less following the road we had taken up. Which took us a good four hours – not much more than a round of golf -, with views over spectacular snow-capped peaks to views of the fast-flowing mountain river that accompanied us downhill, including the occasional mini-glaciers. And let’s agree that walking down is a lot less strenuous than walking up!

haphazard tourists in their private pool

haphazard tourists in their private pool

same tourists, now fully dressed enjoying lunch along the road

same tourists, now fully dressed enjoying lunch along the road

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6 Responses to 25. the hot springs

  1. Thea Oudmaijer says:

    How nice a photo in your private pool and afterwards a photo from both of you at lunch!
    Very very nice!

    • oudmayer says:

      Ha Thea, there was some discussion about whether to post the pool photo, but when compensated with the fully dressed one, Sofia agreed.

  2. Ineke Lenting says:

    hallo Sofia en Bruno, eindelijk een berichtje van mij. Ik heb alle verslagen gelezen foto’s en diafilmpjes gezien. Wat een avonturen beleven jullie weer, ook leuk om een foto van jullie in het warmwatergletsjeszwembad te zien en daarna lekker genietend van een lunch.nog veel plezier samen en geniet ervan.

    • oudmayer says:

      Ha Ineke, zoals altijd, leuk dat je onze avonturen volgt! De laatste week, of zo, geen internet gehad, dus misschien moeten we de laatste verhalen wel bij de thee vertellen. Groet, Bruno

  3. Franc says:

    Jullie zien er mooi schoon uit, hoe rosé kan iemand zijn na een lekker badje.
    Geniet er nog lekker van.
    Wij verheugen ons op jullie thuiskomst.
    Franc en Wilma.

    • oudmayer says:

      Ha Franc, ook wij kijken uit naar onze thuiskomst. Dat ‘schoon’ is inmiddels wat minder geworden, maar we zullen er voor zorgen dat we gewassen en wel bij jullie op de stoep staan, maandag 15 juni. Zolang er maar geen schaap of lam op het menu staat!!

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