Sunday, July 16, 2006

Toktogul Reservoir

It was warm today. It felt like a real summer's day should. The sun was hot, the was a loud chorus of the insects in the fields & trees & there was little cool air for a beleaguered cyclist to take in on the climbs. Still it was wonderful cycling. There was an occasional breeze. None of the road was terribly challenging.

I continued along the dam-made near which I'd camped for much of the morning. The road constantly climbing & dipping back down. At Karakol, the only town of significant size that I passed through, there was a small road-side market. I'd had the brainwave to cook pancakes for lunch. So I picked up some flour, eggs, instant yeast (I had no idea how to explain baking powder so that seemed a good second best) & some sweetened condensed milk (it was impossible to find fresh milk in shops anywhere). I found a nice spot by the Karasuu river & made myself a nice pile of pancakes. This will certainly not be my last such lunch.

Shortly after lunch the road left the Karasuu river & climbed over a ridge rejoining the Naryn river valley. As earlier the river itself couldn't be seen due to the series of dams. The dam-created lake was called the Toktogul reservoir with the town of Toktogul being on the other side. The valley was much wider than downstream & the lake quite large. Impressive mountains rose from its Northern shore (I arrived from the South). Somewhere amongst them was a long climb to the first of the high passes that needed to be crossed in order to get to Bishkek, my intermediate destination.

I met up with the 2 French guys, Sebastien & Roman with whom I'd intermittently been cycling & we all camped beside the lake. It had been such a warm afternoon that even the murky lake looked inviting. Though the water wasn't clear I wasn't too clean myself & in a frank exchange of dirt the lake got dirtier & I got cleaner.

I cycled 95 km in 7 hours & 11 minutes
Total so far 8917 km in 130 days
GPS Coordinates of end point - N 41°46.054, E 73°14.566

No comments:

Post a Comment