Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pristine waters, marvelous mountains, Lake Issyk Kul

Posted by Hippo Bean at 11:57 PM
Morning drive to Lake Issyk Kul. We've stopped at the town of TokMok to a supermarket to gather material for a picnic lunch. I spotted colored toilet paper and bought a pack of green and orange ones. Greg made fun of my toilet paper faddish. What, he and his 1 hat a city thing, so what if mine was toilet paper? The entire group thought I was strange, and well, the Hippo is. About mid-way to our destination, we stopped on top of the mountains pass for our picnic lunch. The scenery was barren rocks and the wind simply howled, so I remained in the bus to eat my miserable lunch of bread and juice. My stomach still wasnt feeling too well after last night fiasco. This morning having my tea and bread for breakfast, Bryde came over to my table and told me they did bring out last night's cake but he didnt see any with my initials on it. After a long drive through pretty spectacular mountain roads and canyons and brownish/beige rocks, we finally make it to the highest lake in Central Asia. The scenery was spectacularly serene and except for a few developments by the shore, it was almost completely unspoiled and pristine. Although some of the group didnt like it (what, you expect Lake Tahoe?), I liked it for it was still pretty true to nature, no glass high rises with neon lights that lined up the shores. Much like lake Prespa in Macedonia. The bit more crowded shores were almost like Ohrid.

Our lakeside resort the Raduga was simply a paradise as compared to the lousy hotels we had so far. It was right in front of the shore, with the mountains as backdrop. The individual rooms were tiny but there were 2 separate temp controls, one for the room floor and another for the bathroom floor. Everything was spanky clean and new, including the very white and fluffy towels. I simply loved staying in the room because it was so warm. The only thing that didnt work was the bedside table lamp with power chord that had square prongs but the wall outlet had round holes! Go figure this one out!

Neither the petroglyphs nor the local museum were very impressive. But the boat ride on the lake was a marvelous way to end the day. It was cold but nevertheless I've enjoyed it tremendously. Jonathan played bartender and poured us vodka, brandy, coke and juice and even brought us cookies. We had the entire boat for ourselves. The sun was setting and simultaneously on the opposite end of the lake the full moon rose. The Tien Shan in between and the lake water transparent and quite clean. And I've realized this was the last day of the trip, and what a magnificent way to end a trip. I sat on the boat admiring the setting sun and the rising moon, listening to the sound of water lapping against the boat, and the glorious mountains, and reminiscing all the sites I've seen on this trip, and I was a happy camper.

lake issyk kul

Lake Issyk kul photos



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