Northern Kyrgyzstan is dominated by the Ala Too Mountains and I’ve been nowhere here so far that hasn’t had a view of the dramatic range and it’s snow capped peaks. Every morning and evening leaves them in a different and spectacular light. In fact, that these kinds of mountains could exist anywhere in the world and that I didn’t know about it definitely confirms, to me, the need to travel more. If I hadn’t been here I may never have heard the name Ala Too and if I had missed an entire mountain range, what else have I missed so far?
From Kengesh the mountains are a little far off to get to easily, but one of the other nearby training villages, International, is situated right in the foothills. For the past few weekends groups of volunteers have met up in International to hike, but until this weekend I’ve missed out (mostly because I was going to historical sites).
It was a scorcher of a day, but otherwise a great day for hiking. We dodged herds of sheep and cows and had our shins scratched up by thorn bushes. There was also (another) herder with his horse watching us from the top of the hill probably wondering what the hell all these bumbling Americans were doing. The view was totally worth the effort though, with the whole Chui River Valley laid out below us. On the way back we got to soak our sore, sweaty feet in a creek and stopped for some victory beverages in town before heading home.
I’m definitely glad we got a chance to hike here in Chui, because once I take off for Talas, I may not get another one for a while.
Hiking back down into the valley