around the lake

We stop in a few places on our way to the capital.
On the last August we take a bus to Karakol where there is supposed to be a national game. A bunch of people on horses chase a headless goat. Instead there is a festivity with a lot of balloons, flags and loud music and speeches.
We have a look at the Chinese mosque that looks like a Buddhist temple and the orthodox church that looks deserted outside but is renovated inside. Visiting a public toilet is an adventure. People-watching in the evening.
Karakol is a very Russian-speaking town. It was founded as a garrison town in 1886. A relict of Russian colonialism.
One day we visit Prževalski museum, orthodox cemetery, a local park and restaurant Kalinka.

Next stop is Cholpon Ata, a once famous resort town. The beach is there, water is nice. Before sitting down it is necessary to clean the area of cigarette buts. There's also a 'museum of stones' where we learn to distinguish ancient petroglyphs from 20th century art.
Besides that Cholpon Ata surprises us with an enormous amount of civilization. There's running hot water, internet, many eateries, a cow in the park and beer with a straw. Celine Dion is almost as popular as Modern Talking.
12 days on a horse
four days in Bishkek

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