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Lake Merzbacher — day 2 — At-djailoo

July 6th, my birthday.
I’m going to celebrate on the road, with people from different countries, which I don’t nearly know.

The morning in the camp started with a breakfast. It was a classic breakfast that I used to have every time coming to Issyk-kul for vacation, since childhood – eggs, tea, bread, cheese, butter, jam. No porridge, luckily))
I liked the decoration of the cafe. Apparently people from different parts of the world, alpinists, travelers had theirs breakfasts here.
A board with money from different countries, like a small museum
After the breakfast we visited a company Ecotrek , offering touristic stuff for rent. I decided to take another backpack (150 soms \ day), because mine didn’t seem reliable. Despite it was new. Also I took a warmer sleeping bag (170 сомов \ сутки) as I was worrying that mine (+5 C) is not warm enough to sleep on the glacier
Then we met our porters. They were 2 local guys, 25-30 years old.
Porters – are people who carry your stuff in mountains. Each of them can carry up to 15kg.
They did not look very big. I was wondered how ther’re going to carry our stuff during the week in high mountains
Finally, we are packed and ready to go. … Yahooo!))
We’re going up to the Chon Ashuu mountain 3800m. Almost on the top of the mountain we’ve met a velotourist from Belgium.  He looked very happy, not tired for a human cycling in high mountains .
Unfortunately it was not the case with my teammates. One of our drivers and his family felt very bad in the altitude. He and his family, they’ve came to us from Caspian region, and they just were not used to the mountain air. So they made a hard decision to turn back(((.
I think it was a wise decision however because it turned out that all the difficulties lies ahead.
So now we were just 7 and  2 porters.
Driving ahead, admiring beautiful nature. the places are so far and wild. Cars are so rare here that the grass has grown through the road.
We’ve passed an abandonned city Enylchek. During USSR people have built a big city with a developped infrastructure here for miners. The governement planned to exploit copper and some other metals here. Everything was ready here – huoses, shools, kindergardens, hotel and even an airport. But because of the USSR collapse the city wasn’t populated. The USSR empire broke up and noone was interested in these places anymore. The new city, never populated  started to destroy. Now it’s a gost city, around 50 families are iving here.
We decided to discover the city more carefully on the way back and passed further.
In general the road from Karakol to Inylchek was not bad, covered with asphalt, broken in some places. But after Inylchek the good road and civilisation end.
The last sign of Civilisation that we met was the Moido-Adyr border control.
We found closed gates and a friendly dog, guarding them.
We were waiting around 20 minutes for a soldier who checked our passports and access permissions (Inylchek is a regio  close the State border with China, so you need a permission to enter here).
So the last barrier is behind, and we are now under the power of Nature.
On the left side we can see the river, having a beautiful name – Sary Djaz. It means “yellow spring” in kyrgyz.
It welcomed us with a small tornado.
Further we were going from civilisation, the road  becomes worse and worse. Then it just dissapeared. We were driving over stones, grasses bushes, under high rocks with falling stones. It was a hard way for Toyota Highlander,  stones were hitting the bottom of the car and its tyres will probably need a repair after the trip. Apparently you need a real off-road car here.
Finally we reached  the At-djailoo camp.
After At-djailoo we have to cross the river. We decided to do it by Suzuki in the morning when the water level will decrease and it will be safer to cross the river by car.
Highlander will stay at At-djailoo.
We installed our tents on the meadow with the green grass. Looks like a lawn next to White House.
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