Hiking up the mountains in Karakol

So, I went hiking up to the mountains yesterday.  I feel great by the way, I even put an 11 pounds backpack  on my shoulders. As usual, I put lots of random things into it and took off hiking. First 2-3 miles I was walking easily as the ascent wasn’t so steep. The heart rate was no higher than 140 beats per minute. But then, the actual mountain began and walking became more intense. I walked straight up the hill, disregarding numerous horse pathways which were there and were a lot easier. I wanted to climb it fast and see all the beauty, I was very impatient 🙂

At first, I was climbing on a long grass field with lots of thorns, spines and others things trying to either prick me or stick to my socks/pants or both, but the higher I was getting the less grass was there. The hill was very steep; I felt that work my legs and my feet were doing, it was an enjoyable work. I tried not to look back until I reach the very top, so to enjoy all the beauty at the top. I failed to do so however, – I kept looking back all the time. Patience – is not one of my best qualities 😊

I climbed like that for about 3 hours. There is almost no grass on the top of the hill, and there is snow on the ground there. 

When I almost reached the top I meet a sheep flock and their shepherd:

-Where are keeping your way?

-Sallamu Aaleykum!

-Aleykum Assalaam! Where are you going?

-I am a tourist, I am just hiking. I want to reach that very top of the hill and then go back down.

-Are you from Karakol?

-Yes, now I am coming from Karakol, but I came from Russia, from Krasnodar… It is beautiful around here…  very beautiful

-You should had come in the summer. In the summer it is beautiful indeed…

We talked a little more and then I took off further. After about 40 minutes, I finally reached the very top. It was very sunny, but the wind was very cold. Silence. Beauty. I stood moveless and silent for some time and felt that feeling of eternity and unity with the Nature. Lots of things were on my mind and nothing was on it at the same time. The mountains make you feel something special in your heart.


I did some pictures on my phone and started walking back down taking a different way and reached the town in about an hour.

I was walking in downtown Karakol when I saw those two Chinese people. They looked very Chinese, I wouldn’t confuse them with any other Asians. The lady led her husband, who was following her wearing a Kyrgyz national Kalpak on his head. They began crossing the same road I was crossing and we met the half way, when out of a certain, the lady stopped on the middle of the road and began asking me directions to somewhere. I said, sure, I will help you, let us just get off the road first though 🙂 We walked to the sidewalk and I asked how can I help them?

When the lady heard a good command of English she said:

-Oh, you are not local!… or are you?… are you a foreigner?  Let’s go Huy Syan, this guy knows nothing himself! – talking to her husband and speaking Chinese…

I am asking  a little boy standing here nearby for help, he is knocking about, saying that he is not sure. Here, a young lady and two young men come and are trying to help…

They are talking Kyrgyz to each other, trying to remember where is that hostel the Chinese people are trying to go to… the lady and her husband talk Chinese to each other, trying to remember how did they make it here and which way they need to go…

-This is the University right there, isn’t ? – the lady is asking me in English.

-Yes, it is.  – I respond.

Then the young lady had figured out where the hostel is, but assuming I was an English speaking tour-guide for these Chinese people, she is trying to remember all the English she learned in high school and say something to me in English…

At this moment I began talking Russian to her…

She is confused. We are all a little confused 🙂

All lost… confusing the languages… we stand for a minute and look at each other in a distraction like we all had just fallen from top of the Tower of Babel 🙂

Finally, we pull ourselves together. The young lady is explaining to me which way the tourists need to go to reach their hostel, I translate this all into English for the Chinese couple. Everybody is happy 🙂

-Thank you!

-You are welcome!

-Eraqmat!  (“Thank you” in Kyrgyz)

-Ne za shto!  (“You are welcome” in Russian)

Such an international hub that city – Karakol 🙂

The silk road indeed 🙂

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