Song Kol Lake to Kochkor - Day 22
I don’t think any one of us wanted to leave Song Kol Lake, but early this morning we were on our way. The weather had turned – we had rain, and there was a smattering of fresh snow on the hills surrounding the lake.
We realised how lucky we’d been with the weather the day before. While Cavan and I’d been riding, others had gone on hikes, or climbed the hills behind us – all in ideal conditions. Weather changes very quickly up here in the mountains.
Actually, it wasn’t all plain sailing getting out of the valley. The truck became stuck in the freshly wet mud, and we had to put metal plates down on the ground so that the truck could crawl its way out of the morass. It’s reassuring the truck is so well equipped that it can cope with these inconveniences.
Once we were free, the truck made short work of climbing up over the pass and down the other side to Kochkor. We’d stopped at a truck-stop on the way up to the lake, and the memory of those toilets haunts me still. I wish I could add odour to this Blog. We passed it today with a sneer of disdain.
For a change our trip today was designed to be short, quick and efficient. The main driver being that after several days of ‘roughing it’ we are all running out of clean clothes.
We have been assured that this homestay will manage to wash, and dry, our laundry overnight – a promise I’m deeply sceptical about.
Before we reached our destination, we did a tour of a felt making operation which was a lot of fun as yet another Grandma insisted on our participation in the production of a rug. We admired their craftsmanship and of course bought a couple of rugs.
I haven’t quite become accustomed to the guesthouse system, where a family vacates its home for a bunch of strangers. On top of this they cook and clean for us, and in this particular situation, do our laundry.
I’m pretty sure that Cavan and I secured the master bedroom. Whatever, it was lovely to have a proper shower, wash my hair, and be warm and dry, even though my hairdryer drying that hair blew the fuse on our plug board for a few minutes.
Another plus is charging up all our electrical gadgets. My laptop had run out of power at Song Kul Lake so it was great to recharge the battery.
There was VERY limited Wi-Fi. I was able to check the bank balance and emails, although I failed to send any. I equally failed to upload photos to my Blog.
The food tonight was excellent. Kyrgyzstan produces remarkably good soups, based I imagine, on their wonderful fresh and tasty produce.
Unsurprisingly our washing returned to us soaking wet the next morning. We now have the dismal prospect of trying to get it dry at the next campsite when it’s cold and raining outside.
Metal plates for our stuck truck!
Other, more successful modes of transport
The felting factory
Grandma and sidekick
Cavan 'treading the felt'
The results of our efforts - thank heavens they have a shop!
Different felt techniques
Cavan with a hat yearning!