Relaxing round lake Yssyk-Kol.

Now at full strength (with Mary Hunter having joining Carl in Bigfoot) and with 10 days to cover the few hundred kilometers between Bishkek and Naryn the Anglophone group are making a relaxed circumnavigation of lake Yssyk-Kol in the north east of Kyrgyzstan.

Lake Yssyk-Kol, at 175km long and 70km wide, is the world's second largest alpine lake. Situated at 1609 meters it is also both cool and beautiful. Until now the Anglophone group have never camped in the same wild camp site two days running. Round this lake we have done so twice!

The first camp site was to the north of Semonorka, in an an area marked on the map as a "mountaineering camp".

In practice the road north from Semonorka (N42.72247 E77.52629) stops at a barrier were you must pay about $1USA per vehicle to continue. Beyond this point the road winds up beside a white water river through forests and into a series of alpine valleys.

Within 5km of the barrier are half a dozen camp sites to rival anything in Switzerland, and they are free, empty and clean! We camped in a clearing in the forest beside the river at N42.78033 E77.52777.

After about 7km the road turns into a 4 wheel drive track and climbs to over 2400 meters with views of snow covered peaks. Strongly recommended.

The second "two night" camp site was just beyond Zer-Oguz to the south of Karakol. The tarmac road peters out at a "health resort" beyond which is a dirt road that winds up the mountains to a number of "yurt" camps. We camped about 1km beyond the "health resort" in sight of some red sand stone cliffs (N42.32595 E78.24517).

Stop Press: We have just received e-mail confirmation that the four French vans due to meet us in 5 days time were in Almaty (Kazakhstan) on the 2002-07-04. This is very good news!

Stephen Stewart.

Home - This page last changed on 2002-07-05.