Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Kyrgyzstan Day II: Southern Side of Issyk-Kul

The next day we headed out to go halfway around the lake. Early in the drive we pulled over in a canyon and had a great time exploring and climbing.  Of course it wasn't any of the several canyons mentioned in the tourist guides, but it was everything we were looking for.  We headed back to the car around the time the raindrops started falling.
We were already crawling so the rain didn't really slow us down, and in fact it came and went all day. The slightly larger town of Bokonbayevo allegedly had a tourist information center, and while wandering around the center of town looking for it we wandered into the town's May 9 Victory Day celebration. (May 9 is the day WWII ended in Europe and is celebrated in many countries.)  We had come to ask directions to an alleged highlight of the Issyk-kul area, Barskoon Waterfalls.  The lady at the tourist info center told us, in essence, "take the road out of town, but turn right instead of left, and keep going, you can't miss it." As we learned that night when reunited with internet, the waterfalls are an hour away from the town on a logging road - we were actually on the right road, which we didn't think at the time, but only went about 15 minutes down and turned around.

We also saw on our GPS the landmark of "Lenin Cutout" and decided it deserved a visit.  Alex and I scrambled most of the way up the hill while Zoltan stayed in the car and Terry took photos.

Unfortunately for us by the time we hit some of the "major" sights - only about an hour out of Karakol - we were drained, weary of sitting in the car, needing the bathroom and not wanting to potty behind a bush in the rain so we drove right by.  Sorry "fairytale canyon" and "7 bulls rocks," i am sure we will forever regret not checking you out.

On the other hand, it was a great relief to pull into the hotel and stretch out again.

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