Silk Road Tour day one: Part two

Yurt home stay

After our morning’s thrilling ride along the Karakorum highway, we arrived at our Kyrgyz home stay at Karakul Lake in time for a late lunch. The women made us a simple but tasty meal of home-made pasta in a vegetable soup. In the afternoon Roman and I wandered the magnificent landscape around the lake, and even ran into some camels!

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The littlest kids want to help make the noodles

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Simple stove

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Warming and tasty with wonderfully doughy noodles

The family we stayed with are yak farmers. Their yurts at the lake are their seasonal semi-permanent home; although they also have and use traditional yurts, we stayed the night in one of the concrete, non-mobile yurts on Yusef’s advice – the night was a cold one and we could use any extra heat we could get!

There’s lots more I could write but for your sake and mine I’ll just try to capture some of the details and share some pictures. 🙂

Little things I want to remember:

• I was amazed how everything revolves around this one little stove in the middle of the yurt. It’s fueled primarily by dried yak poop and gets wonderfully warm and toasty. The stove is the source of heat, it’s where tea and food are made, it heats water for washing dishes, for washing oneself, it burns scraps of trash, meals are eaten around it.

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Yak poop drying for later use…

• The huge, apple red cheeks of the younger kids were so adorable.

• I loved how the women in the family dressed in bright colors and wore heels even though they live on rugged farmlands.

• I loved how, aside from this family, it seemed like there were no other people around for miles and miles and miles.

• Which was an advantage since the bathroom was basically anywhere you liked outside the yurt! Fine during the day time, definitely an experience in the pitch black night with an icy cold wind rushing round your bum!

• During the late afternoon, after our walk but before dinner, we returned to the yurt to find Driver and one of the younger girls bedded down for a nap. Roman joined them and I sat, enjoying the peace. Gorgeous was the soft sounds of the fire burning in an otherwise silent yurt. Total peace and comfort.

• How incredibly cold it got at night! The beds are formed of multiple layers of thick, narrow, colorful blankets which are stacked along the wall of the yurt during the day; you just wedge yourself somewhere into the pile and wait to warm up!

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Bedding stacked up against the wall of the yurt – a riot of color

Photos of and around Karakul Lake

The yurts were directly by the glimmering, clear waters of Karakul Lake. With snow covered peaks rising on the horizon and a vast, open, dramatic landscape all around, this place was simply beautiful beyond belief. A few photos for your enjoyment:

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