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25 September 2011 / leggypeggy

On the shores of Lake Song-Köl

Poor John (standing) chats to Lene and Gary on the shores of Lake Song-Köl.

We thoroughly enjoyed our stop at Lake Song-Köl in Kyrgyzstan. Shepherds use the area around the lake as perfect summer pasture for livestock of all kinds—from horses and cattle, to donkeys and yaks.

There’s a narrow strip of land at the end of the lake where we camped that is chained off to create a reserve for birds. The fact it attaches to the shore at both ends means the water within is stagnant and  a bit green. But 100 metres on there is open water that is crystal clear and a drawcard for all the animals grazing nearby.

The lake is much larger than you expect. Will and the other John thought they’d walk around it in a day, but turned back after four hours, having covered maybe a tenth of the distance.

Poor John and I also took a long walk along the shore. It was fun to see dozens of horses cantering up for a drink, and then hesitate as they approached us. Obviously we weren’t too scary, because they halted for only a moment before carrying on to the shore. A 15-day-old donkey wasn’t at all afraid of us, but the goats kept their distance. After we’d walked for more than an hour we caught up with Gary and Lene.

As I write this, I expect it has begun to snow at the lake, and the yurts have been packed up and moved to a warmer, more sheltered location. Sorry about a few duplicate pics in the slideshow. The connection drops out and I’m not always sure whether something has loaded or not. I can’t figure out how to delete the spares.

NOTE: If you have access to Facebook, please feel free to share this post with others. I can’t get on Facebook in China, so it’s impossible for me to let people know I am adding to the blog now. Thanks.

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