Mr Same Price returned to yurt bringing a big bowl of polo rice, and that’s supposed to be our lunch. Taste is bad, and I couldnt even finish half plate. We asked him if we can have boiled water for our instant noodles, and after checking that water isn’t enough after making our tea earlier, he went out to take water from the lake! Yes, where else we can get water here? =.= I just hope the lake water is clean. The water was half water-half ice when he brings it to put on fire.
While we’re eating, Mr Same Price offered to bring us on motorbike ride around the lake, it’s going to be around 2 hours, which is all we have until sunset. He asked 50 yuan per person as each has to be passenger of 1 motorbike. It sounds expensive but I guess we have no choice since there’s no other means of transport here!
The ride was very exciting along the lake side and mountains, although we have to bear with cold wind. I ask them to stop everytime I see beautiful view to take some photos. There’s a part in a corner of the lake where we find fresh ice frost, totally untouched. It feels so great stepping on them, it’s soft and powdery.
Continuing the ride, we’re now on the other side of the mountains, much like in the middle of deserted land. We cant stop being amazed on how beautiful the place is, and among all, the emptiness of it.
Muztagh Ata from the other side. This place is called Akto, a small county inside Kizilsu Kyrgyz Autonomous Prefecture located in East Xinjiang. Kyrgyz ethnic people make a large population here, and they actually live in this corner of the world where there’s no sight of buildings and proper road ways (apart from the Karakoram Highway that connects Kashgar to Tashkurgan, and even Pakistan if you go beyond that).
We somehow arrived to a community place that looks like a school, nearby two blocks of houses (which probably lives around 20 families). I was so surprised to see people here. I mean, can you imagine they really make a living in this cold place without much facilities? Those are the Kyrgyz kids we meet there. Look at the chapped cheeks suffering from the extreme cold! I just hope they do actually move to a warmer place when it’s winter.
And we get to see yak! Not one, but quite a number of them, and the locals get milk from yak. I have read earlier in other blogs that you can taste yak milk tea in here, so we ask Mr Same Price we can find it somehere.
Mr Same Price brings us to a village house which I guess one of his relatives, and he asks 10 yuan per person. I believe he’s trying to over charge us.. I mean, a cup of milk tea for 10 yuan? I said we’re not having much, just to try a little. So we agree 10 yuan for two persons.
Inside the house. It has a large hall and there’s the kitchen at the entrance. I guess the burner also is also functioning as heater. The Kyrgyz woman quickly prepares yak milk tea for us
Yak milk tea is ready. We’re given hard, cold naan bread to go with it. The tea is salty! Before I assume that the woman has put in salt by mistake, I see Mr Same Price drinking it just normally. And now I recall having read someone’s blog before that he’s given salty milk tea in Xinjiang. It’s possibly this, no mistake! Finally we pay 10 yuan for something we can’t really consume for the strange taste. But at least we can say we had Yak milk tea in in Kyrgyz house.
It’s nearly sunset and we continue the ride. Mr Same Price says it’s about 13 km to circle the lake. Because we already paid 100 yuan for the ride, I tend to utilize it by making them stop at many places to take photo ;p
We arrived to an extremely bumpy land, and their motorbikes seem to be capable in riding in such condition. It feels like riding a wild horse! Nearby, we saw a few children playing and they seem to know Mr Same Price very well.
There’s a corner of the lake we get to see this pretty reflection of mountains in the lake (I guess the lake isn’t fully frozen here).
The view is so imaginary, dreamy, breathtaking and romantic. I wouldnt mind spending hours in here just to be amazed of how wonderful this place is.
Az with the bike. For photos only. And look, wild camels! I dont know if it’s okay to approach them but apparently Mr Same Price lets us to walk to the camels by ourselves. I dont think they’ll attack us, but yeah.
A view that reminds me to some cigaratte poster. Or was it Harley Davidson?
There’s a small stream with a small waterfall and it’s amusing to see how it looks like when waterfall gets frozen! Right picture is Az with Mr Same Price and his friend, our motorbike buddies! Yes, face is full wrapped coz the wind is too cold!
Traditionally, Kyrgyz people are nomad who set up canvas yurt in places they go. But somehow there are brick yurt too, and they call them “fake yurts”. They’re meant to be permanent there for whatever reason. At this point of time, nobody lives in there though.
We then get back to yurt when it’s alsmot dark. Camera battery is nearly finishing, and thanks to cold weather, we’re afraid it will quickly dry even though not using it. Therefore we decide to snap some final photos at the lake again while watching the sunset.
Mr Same Price and Az inside yurt. When the night comes, the German lady whom mentioned by Mr Same Price earlier returns to yurt. Her name is Inga and she’s traveling alone. Instead of taking bike ride like us, she chose to walk around the lake. We have a real great talk with Inga and learn how she’s been traveling the whole China and ended up in here. After dinner, Mr Same Price prepared the bedding for us, one corner for Az and I and another corner for Inga, three of us are equipped with many thick layers of blanket, but they still dont seem to be enough. He prepared the traditional heater and then leaves to go back to his house, which I regret for not asking him well about setting up the heater, coz apparently the fire dies around 3 am and we’re freezing in -5 degree celcius!