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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars


Kyrgyzstan - 14 August, 2002



Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Osh (Intourist Hotel Osh) N40º31.320' E072º48.025' 990 meters .
Finish Bush camp, Kürp-Say Reservoir N41º35.142' E072º33.427' 736 meters 307 km


878 km


Weather: Cloudy cool with a brief rain shower.



We have breakfast in the hotel at 7 AM.  The lady is the usual friendly Intourist Hotel staff and serves us pancakes and fried eggs with a smile (not really).  But it is filling.  We load up the truck and head off at 8 AM.  This is mostly a driving day to make our way to Song Kul Lake.  But the driving is half the fun as we get to see so much.


The road is a bit rough.  It is an old secondary road that is being upgraded.  The problem in Central Asia is that in the old Soviet days, they could build roads without worrying about the borders between the old republics, but now with the international borders breaking up the roads, it makes getting around much more difficult.  The, the government is upgrading the road to replace the old road.  It takes time through this mountainous country.


At one point on our drive, we mistakenly pass through one of the many police check points (the police man raised his red baton too late, so we did not see it).  We therefore get chased by a policeman that has commandeered a private car to go after us.  He lets us go after we explain who we are (they do not have many foreign vehicles in this country).


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We have lunch by the side of the road next to a small irrigation canal and for the new joiners to the trip, we have a tour of the exterior of the truck.  Pretty much the same as all the other Dragoman trucks - just a few small variations.  We drive for the rest of the afternoon and then start to look for a bush camp site.  It is not easy - we are driving through a steep canyon with a river/reservoir at the bottom.  But just before 6 PM we are lucky and spot what may be a good place.


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But the drive is down a steep dirt road that winds down the cliff face.  All passengers are ordered off the truck and we walk down as the truck slowly makes it way down the dirt path.  It turns out to be a great spot.  We are far below the road the weaves it way above us, on the shores of the reservoir.  There is a shepard with his sheep and we ask his permission to camp there - he is happy for us to do so.


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We set up camp and enjoy the evening on the water's edge.  Some people go for a swim in the relatively warm water of the lake.  Others just enjoy the few as the sun sets and lights up the canyon walls.  We have a pasta dinner and then just hang around the truck and chat.  Fred models for us some of the many purchases he has made on the trip (including how to drink vodka from the horn of a bull).  This is the type of trip we like - bush camps in the middle of no-where in a beautiful country.


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We have set up our tent right on the water's edge and head off to bed to enjoy the view of canyon walls through the tent door.


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