Around Issyk Kul吉爾吉斯坦|伊塞克湖繞一圈 part1

中文在下方還有很多圖唷

Issyk Kul is the second highest and biggest salty lake in the world and means “warm lake”, which water wasn’t that warm. It’s a huge capacity of water surrounded by high mountains with a lot of rivers flowing into the lake, including many hot springs, and snow melt. but none of them flowing out. In the soviet era, it was a popular place for vacation with a lot of spa resorts, hot springs and mud pots, in present mostly tourists from Russia coming here.

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We stayed with Akyl and his friends for few days. Midnight, we arrived at a village in the northern Issyk Kul. It was so cold that I had to put on my coat and socks. This is my first time of staying at a local Kyrgyz house. Although previously staying in Tatiana’s apartment, it was more like a youth hostel. This is a traditional house in the countryside, I felt very different. There was a room dedicated to bedding. All mattresses, sheets, pillows were neatly stacked. Before we went to sleep, they helped us made the bed layer by layer. It reminded me a story I read in my childhood “The Princess and the pea". But, to me, I only needed a place to sleep. A sweet breakfast came to me in the morning, fried dough, bread, eggs, cookies, chocolate, apricot jam, candies, and tea. They all looked tasty in the glass bowls. After meals, we went to brush teeth in the backyard, I saw a cow had been eating grasses there, a closer look at the grass, they had a lot of wild cannabis, I hope it would be fine to the cow.

On the way to Akyl’s grandma’s house, I saw many houses were under construction. Akyl said people go herding in the spring and summer. During this time they have their houses repaired so that they will spend winter time in the house. There were not many villagers on the road, few goats eating grasses and 3 kids playing something, I was too curious to ask what they are playing? they said it’s goat’s bones! That surprised me.

We had more tea, apricot jam, and butter in grandma’s home.

Hot spring

The hot spring’s close to the lakeside. We paid very little to relax here. There were 2~3 mixed pool outdoor,  I took the hot spring first then jumped into the cold one, it was such a joy at the moment. Just walked through the meadow about 100 meters we arrived lakeside. Akyl pointed at the mountains at the other side and said,"See there’s still some snow cover on the mountain. In my childhood, we know it’s time to swim in the lake when they start melting." then, I walked into the water, it’s too cold to swim!

Hitchhiking in Kyrgyzstan is fun and many people tell us some amazing stories. Like the poet, Li Po was a Kyrgyz. It’s a tradition for two men eat a whole goat. They are proud of eating-goat-lover tradition. We skipped the east of Issyk Kul to the south. On a car, we mentioned that “I wish we could come to Kyrgyzstan earlier to see mack bloom." A guy replied, “You should visit here in September to see wild marijuana bloom everywhere." I couldn’t help to laugh. It was windy in the afternoon. Too bad to camp at the beach, so we went to an empty building to cook and smoke some “herbs" from that guy.

There are villages spread around the Issyk Kul, also you can arrange sightseeing in many places, hot spring, waterfall, national forest or camping site by the lake. We decided to travel along the road by lakeside, there’s a lake at southwest which called Tuz Kol, it’s a dead salt lake, just like the one at Israel. Tuz Kol located 500 meters away from Issyk Kul, but they are not connected. Finally, we reached the sign of salty lake. Nothing around here only 3 buildings. We looked up the map and checked the road, we must walk 13 kilometers to get to there. In the meantime, we didn’t see any cars coming, not even mentioning a car lead to the mountain. Then we walked to a convenience store, the boss suggested we pay for a taxi, but it’s not an ideal plan for us. It had been two days already no shower, we went to another house for sauna, no signs no village, but there’s a sauna!


伊塞克湖是全世界第二大的高山鹽水湖泊,中國古代又稱之為熱海,Issyk就有溫熱的意涵,但那湖水在春季時其實是冰涼的,它是由高山環繞的大片水域,許多河流流進了這座湖,包含溫泉與雪融水,但它們沒有出口。在蘇聯時期曾經是極受歡迎的旅遊勝地,有許多的三溫暖渡假村,溫泉、與泥漿溫泉,現在仍有許多俄羅斯遊客來這裡。

我們跟Arkyl和他的朋友同行,深夜抵達伊塞克湖北邊的一小村時,天氣冷得我必須穿上外套和襪子,這是我們第一次在吉爾吉斯坦的當地人家過夜,先前雖然住在Tatiana的公寓,那更像個青年旅館吧,這次是鄉下小村的傳統屋子感覺特別不同。一個小房間裡專門堆疊寢具,床單與棉被疊得整整齊齊高高的,睡覺鋪床時也是舖了一層又一層,讓我想到碗豆公主的故事或許是真的吧,但對我來說有得睡就很好了。早上迎來了甜甜的第一餐,炸麵糊、麵包、荷包蛋、餅乾、巧克力、杏醬、糖果與茶,用玻璃碗缽裝著看著很有胃口,用餐後到屋後庭院刷牙時看到一隻牛輕輕鬆鬆吃著草,仔細一看草地裡有很多的野生大麻,應該沒問題吧。

散步去奶奶家的路上,看到了許多房子正在整修建蓋,Arkyl說很多人家在春夏時去遠方放牧,這時家裡會好好整頓,這樣結束放牧回來時好好過秋冬。路上沒什麼人,幾隻羊在吃草、一群小朋友在玩耍,我靠近好奇地問他們玩的東西是什麼時,竟然是羊的骨頭呢,真是物盡其用。拜訪奶奶時我們喝了更多茶吃了更多杏醬與奶油,下午去了溫泉。

溫泉非常地靠近湖邊,只要付一點點錢就可以在這裡放鬆身心靈,在溫水池泡一泡還可以跳進旁邊冰冷水池,那種心理的刺激感與生理的酥麻感特別的爽。走個一百公尺會經過草地到湖邊,Arkyl指著遠邊的山,還有一點點雪覆蓋著,他說小時候只要看到雪融了就是可以來湖泊游泳的時候,我踏進去水裡,那冰冷感讓我一點也不想游泳。

在吉爾吉斯坦搭便車很有趣,很多人會告訴我們一些神奇的故事,像是李白是來自他們的國家,或是兩個人可以吃掉一整頭羊的傳統,他們很得意愛吃羊的文化,還有大自然的事,我們繞過了伊塞克湖的東邊往南走時,在一台車上提到了「真希望我們能夠早一點來吉爾吉斯看滿山遍野的紅花綻放」一位男子說「你應該在九月秋季來看遍地的野大麻開花。」逗得我合不攏嘴。傍晚的風很大,我們無法在沙灘上露營,只好躲在沙灘旁的空建築物裡煮飯、抽那位男子送的菸草。

伊塞克湖四周圍繞著許多的小村,其實也有很多景點可以去看看,有溫泉有瀑布有森林公園有湖邊露營地,我們決定沿著湖邊公路旅行,隨意選了西南邊的鹹水湖Tuz Kol,堪稱與死海相比有著相當高的鹽分,他與伊塞克湖只有500公尺遠,卻沒有相通。終於來到鹹水湖的標誌地,這裡四周只有兩三棟房子,觀察了路況又看了地圖,除非走13公里路才可以抵達啊,這條路也很少車子經過,更何況是往山區的路走,走到公路邊的雜貨店,老闆娘提出了搭車付費載我們到鹹水湖,但這好像不符合我們理想,兩天沒洗澡的我們最後去對面洗桑拿,沒有招牌沒有村落,竟然一戶人家可以洗桑拿,這也是我的第一次。

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