Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Through the Torugart Pass

A trip through the 3,752 meter Torugart Pass was arranged for us by Novinomad Tour Agency in Bishkek. We started off from Tash Rabat caravanserai, opting to spend the night closer to the border. (The other option was to stay in Naryn - a one-street town, though the one street is endless. The town had fallen into a state of disrepair and neglect: even the public bath house was out-of-service in Naryn.)
Here is a view from the back seat, soon after we started off in the morning. Note the Kyrgyz flag deodorizer handing from the rear view mirror.

The road to the Chinese border passes through the Tien Shan Range - it had snowed the night before.

This is a land of yaks and yak herders only.

One of the last few rises.

At the midpoint of the pass! Our semi-heroic driver did a fine job, and deserved to be 'immortalized' through this portrait. Here, at the pass itself, we had to wait for hours while our driver from China came to pick us up.

Unfortunately it was not possible to photograph the wild Kyrgyz border militia (they were all garbed in jungle fatigues; the boss reeked of vodka fumes), nor the ultra-uptight Chinese border contingent.

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