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Day 8 (15.05.2007)


Today in the morning I went to the Karakul Lake and so to the mountain ranges Pamir, Kunlun Shan and Karakorum - which belong to the highest mountains in the world. I was very excited. The Uyghur, I met on the train, introduced the driver to me and then we started (of course he did not go with us, but only the driver). The driver was also Uyghur, but I was lucky that his Chinese was so good and so we had not got big communicational problems. Kashgar is located on an elevation of about 1300 m, but from Kashgar one does not see any mountains, because the whole region is one such a high altitude. One has to drive for a certain while until one sees the first mountains. Sometime one finally sees snow-covered summits. From Kashgar to the Karakul Lake it is about 180 km and 180 km in the mountains are a long distance. Thanks to the Karakorum Highway, which is really in top condition, it is quite easy to go to the Karakul Lake. Not far from the Karakul Lake there is the border with Tajikistan. When we finally arrived at the Karakul Lake the view was fascinating. The Karakul Lake is on an elevation of 3600 m and some people can get symptoms of altitude sickness here. Fortunately I had only the lightest symptom and it was shortness of breath. The view is great, because one sees the Karakul Lake and behind it the mountain Muztagh Ata, which is 7546 m high. Even if there are more than 30 higher mountains in Asia, on no other continent there is a higher mountain then this one. North of the Muztagh Ata one can see the Kongur Shan, but not as clearly as the Muztagh Ata. With 7719 m the Kongur Shan is the highest mountain I have ever seen. After I admired the Karakul Lake and the Muztagh Ata I got a yurt (with a lock) and afterwards I went to another yurt to eat something. The yurts are not there for tourists only, because around the Karakul Lake there live many Kyrgyz and they live in yurts. The Kyrgyz, like the Uyghurs, are a Turkic people. After lunch my driver went back to Kashgar and he told me that he will come back the next day around noon. Later I rode a camel for a short period of time. Afterwards I took a walk alone and often one has to climb small hills and due to the thin air it is not so easy. When I came back to the yurt camp it looked quite empty there. Before there were some tourists, but maybe they visited the Karakul Lake only for a short period of time and then they left. Because the tourists were gone, the camel owners were gone, too. Only the camel of the boss was still there and so I decided to ride this camel. A Kyrgyz led me on the camel around the Karakul Lake. It took about 3 hours. I was surprised that the Kyrgyz speaks English, but he told me that he learned it at school and from the tourists. It is really recommendable to ride around the Karakul Lake, because one can see much more - great! On the way one often sees sheeps and yaks. I think I was never somewhere where it is as quiet as at the Karakul Lake, especially when the air is calm. When we were back at the yurts I ate for dinner. I was a little bit frightened when I thought that at night it will be absolutely dark. The boss gave me a flashlight and many batteries. At night there were very strong winds and inside the yurt it was quite cold. I used an undershirt, several pullovers, a jacket and several blankets not to be too cold while I slept.

Karakul Lake (3600 m high) with Muztagh Ata (7546 m high) in the background
Karakul Lake (3600 m high) with Muztagh Ata (7546 m high) in the background

Karakul Lake (3600 m high) with Muztagh Ata (7546 m high) in the background
Karakul Lake (3600 m high) with Muztagh Ata (7546 m high) in the background

Me on a camel (in the background Karakul Lake and Muztagh Ata)
Me on a camel (in the background Karakul Lake and Muztagh Ata)

view from the camel
view from the camel


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Last Update: 30.01.2009