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    • Day 16

      Karakol Stadt

      July 28, 2022 in Kyrgyzstan ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

      Rückreise aus den Bergen. Die ruppige Fahrt im geländegängigen Bus ging über Huckelpiste durch die enge Schlucht des Arashan-Tals. Die rund 12km wären sicherlich auch schön zu wandern gewesen. Gegen Mittag erreichten wir die Stadt Karakol, machten eine kleine Stadtbesichtigung, Mittagessen und stiegen in einen Kleinbus um.Read more

    • Day 286


      September 24, 2023 in Kyrgyzstan ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

      After sufficient time chilling in Bishkek I headed to Karakol in the east for some trekking in the famously beautiful Kyrgyzstan mountains. First I enjoyed spending time in Karakol itself, previously a small Russian outpost that has become the fourth biggest city in Kyrgyzstan, that being said the population is still less than 100,000 so it feels like a small town. It's also the main jumping off point for trekking which means that a lot of travellers congregate here making it another nice place to hang out. Some of the sites include the Russian Orthodox Cathedral made out of wood, the Dugan mosque for the Chinese Muslims that looks more like a Chinese temple, and the colourful Russian houses.

      Further afield there were some nice day hikes, and a trip to Jeti Oguz, a soviet sanatorium. Stalin enshrined the right to rest in the 1936 constitution - labourers needed a two week rest in one of the many sanatoriums throughout the Soviet Union. This is one of the few that still survives and is still in use, although it was looking a little past it's prime. Supposedly the cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin stayed here to recuperate after returning from space. If you fancy it you can still get treatments here including radon baths and electrocution treatments. Needless to say I gave this a pass, but I did drink from the health giving spring which has a long list of minerals in it, including radon. The sign says that you shouldn't drink from it without guidance from your doctor, but our taxi driver insisted that everyone drinks from it and indeed there were people there filling up large vessels with the water to take home. It tasted like sucking on copper pennies and surprisingly I didn't get sick!

      It was getting a bit late in the season to do the high hikes because of snow, thankfully as altitude does not like me! So I set off with some hikers from the hostel to Altyn Arashan, a valley 3000 meters above sea level and home to several hot springs. We did this hike over two days, hiking up to the valley and spending the night in a guest house heated by spring water. After the long hike we soaked in the springs to ease our muscles. Some of the springs were excruciatingly hot! Luckily there were some slightly cooler ones that were a bit more relaxing. Then there was a good communal dinner and lots of tea. The following morning we visited an outdoor spring before heading back down the mountain. The scenery on this hike was stunning, very alpine with snowy peaks, crystal clear rivers and horses roaming around.

      I loved Karakol and was intending to stay a bit longer to see more of the sights and do more hikes, but then I got word of other travellers wanting to go on the pamir highway in Tajikistan so I had to head off to meet them!
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    • Day 375


      July 16, 2023 in Kyrgyzstan ⋅ ☁️ 22 °C

      Heute Morgen kurze Fahrt nach Karakol. Ich bin in einem Hostel eingecheckt, weil ich auch mal wieder duschen wollte und meine Wäsche muss mal wieder gewaschen werden. Die Akkus sind auch leer und müssen mal wieder ans Netz.Read more

    • Day 25

      Festivités de Karakol

      July 1, 2022 in Kyrgyzstan ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

      Nous apprenons qu'il y a la fête de Karakol qui se tient sur deux jours au moment où nous y sommes. 🥳 Sur un terrain se trouve plusieurs stands artisanaux (portefeuilles, vêtements, arcs de chasse, etc). Des tapis fait mains son exposés sur l'herbe. Une scène avec chants et danses est montée pour l'occasion. 🎤 Plusieurs personnes portent des habits traditionnels.Read more

    • Day 185

      Ala-Kul Trek - Day 3

      August 20, 2023 in Kyrgyzstan ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

      We woke up on day 3 feeling very sore from yesterday's trek, and more sick (peak cold). We again set off straight after breakfast knowing that we wouldn't be walking very fast with both of us feeling under the weather, some large blisters forming and that we still had 14-15km ahead of us. Day 3 was a relatively boring, but easy, walk along a dirt road from Altyn-Arashan to Ak-Suu, with the only challenges being sore muscles from the past two days of hiking and sections of very bumpy 4x4 road conditions. We were joined for a large part of the walk by a stray dog, who we watched roll around in a goat carcass, then rip a leg off the carcass which it carried with it for a few kilometers. After another encounter with some friendly goats, we eventually made it to Ak-Suu where we would catch our marshrutka back to Karakol. We were feeling particularly unwell on day 3, and it was a very nice feeling to check back into our hostel knowing we wouldn't need to walk very far for the next few days. We had some very busy days planned for our 3 weeks in Kyrgyzstan. However, with being sick and tired from the hike, and our hostel in Karakol being one of the nicest and home-liest places we've stayed on this trip so far, we've decided to change our plans and extend our stay in Karakol to rest (and hopefully fully recover from our colds). We've already ticked off a lot of bucket list items for Kyrgyzstan in just one week (kok-boru, Ala-Kul Trek, sleep in a yurt), and hopefully resting will mean we're healthy enough to tick off the last few.Read more

    • Day 183


      August 18, 2023 in Kyrgyzstan ⋅ ☁️ 21 °C

      On Friday, we took a marshrutka from Cholpon-Ata to Karakol, where we would start our 3 day Ala-Kul Trek. We were both feeling a bit under the weather, which, combined with the worst marshrutka ride we've taken so far (hot and crowded, multiple crying babies and basically no sealed road between Cholpon-Ata and Karakol), did not make for a good start to Karakol. Once we arrived in Karakol, we checked into our hostel (much nicer than expected), ran around town picking up supplies for our hike and met up with Dav for dinner.Read more

    • Day 38

      Widerspenstiges Karakol

      August 10, 2023 in Kyrgyzstan ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

      Heute machen wir langsam. Einen Aussichtspunkt in der Nähe finden wir nicht, also fahren wir zu einer viel gepriesen Felsformation, den seven bulls.
      Eine tiefsandsteinrot leuchtende Reihe von steil aufragenden Felsen inmitten grün bewaldeter Hügel. Nach Pause dort fahren wir weiter an den (Salz)see Yssykköl, wo wir für umgerechnet 1€ Einlass in ein zu einem Hotel gehörenden Strandbad finden. Das ist wie Bodensee in Kirgisien. Erstaunlich (Nachtrag nach Benutzung der Toilette: Es ist nicht alles, wie am Bodensee. Details erspare ich dem/der geneigten LeserIn).
      Nebenher buchen wie noch unsere Reittour, einen Flug nach Dushanbe in Tadschikistan und fragen eine Pamir highway tour an.
      Gerne hätten wir heute Abend auch einen sunset cruise auf dem Yssykköl gemacht, aber wir scheitern daran, den Veranstalter ausfindig zu machen (später im Hotel bemüht sich der Portier - auch wieder mehrere Handys einsetzend - sehr um einen Kontakt).
      Im Auto sitzend und das Büro suchend werden wir aus einem anderen Wagen kontaktiert: ich sähe aus wie ein Filmstar (ich vermute wegen meines Pferdeschwanzes denken die beiden Männer, dass Steven Seagal mir ähnlich sieht - weiß nicht ob mir das schmeicheln sollte, vielleicht haben sie aber auch an jemand anderes gedacht). Sie wollen uns helfen, den sunset cruise Veranstalter zu finden, aber auch dieser Versuch verläuft letztlich im Nichts (Davon gibt's hier in Kirgisien ja bisschen was).
      Die wollen uns wohl nix zeigen, die Karakolteken, hoffentlich kriegen wir noch was zu essen.
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    • Day 49


      August 28, 2022 in Kyrgyzstan ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

      Après 5 jours de trek, nous nous ressourçons à Karakol, petite ville agréable et ensoleillée de l’est du Kirghizistan. Nous mangeons des tonnes pour enlever le goût des nouilles instantanées ingurgitées durant notre randonnée et qui nous reste dans la bouche.

      Nous en profitons aussi pour aller visiter le marché au bétail qui a lieu tous les dimanches. Un gros moment de stress pour ces bêtes avant de retrouver leurs magnifiques alpages d’altitude…
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    • Day 27

      Marché aux bestiaux de Karakol

      July 3, 2022 in Kyrgyzstan ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

      Tous les dimanches se tient le marché aux bestiaux de Karakol, l'un des plus grand du pays. Des centaines d'animaux sont vendus ici. Il faut se lever tôt si l'on veut marchander et conclure par une poignée de main 🤝 l'achat d'un mouton, d'une vache, d'un taureau ou encore d'un cheval. 🐑🐎🐂Read more

    • Day 23

      Stop jusqu'à Karakol

      June 29, 2022 in Kyrgyzstan ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

      560 kilomètres nous séparent de Karakol. Nous déciderons d'atteindre la ville en stop 👍. La route passe par le col de Too Ashu à travers de majestueuses montagnes.
      Ce ne sont pas moins de 9 véhicules 🚗 qui nous prendront avec des rencontres plus ou moins brèves. On se souviendra surtout de Jacob, papa de quatre enfants et le coeur sur la main qui nous prendra sur 200 kilomètres et qui nous offrira même de quoi grignoter ! 🌽
      Après 12h de route nous arriverons à destination.
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Karakol, Горад Каракол, Каракол, Karàkol, قاراقۆل, قراکول، قرقیزستان, Karakul, קארקול, काराकोल, カラコル, Қарақол, 카라콜, Karakolas, Karakola, Харгол, Karakoł, คาราคอล, Qoraqoʻl, 卡拉科尔

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