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Kyrgyzstan

Torugart Pass


Torugart Pass - Kyrgyzstan


Buddhist Temple from the 2nd Century CE.

The Torugart Pass is at 3900 meters and forms a bridge between Central Asia and China. It was the favorite crossing for the caravans along the Silk Road and marauding armies of Ghengis Khan.

* * *
Ce col de plus de 3900 metres dĄŻaltitude constitue un pont entre lĄŻAsie Centrale et la Chine. Une route populaire parmi les marchants de la route de la soie ainsi que les soldats de lĄŻarmee de Jhengis Khan.




The Chinese side of the pass is still classified as a sensitive military zone, a remnant of Sino-Soviet tensions. For the tourists, this means cameras need to be hidden and that registered agencies must provide the transport through the various checkpoints and border posts.

* * *
Le cote chinois de ce col continue de porter le statut de zone militaire instable, un reste des tensions qui existaient entre la Chine et lĄŻEx-URSS. Pour passer cette frontiere, les touristes doivent garder leur appareil photo dans le fond de leur sac. On doit egalement sĄŻassurer de traverser a bord de vehicules enregistres pour passer les nombreux barrages policiers et finalement les frontieres elles-memes.



Tash Rabat

An agency in Bishkek made all the arrangements for us, so we could spend our last few days in Kyrgyzstan hiking in the nearby mountains, drinking kymys and sleeping in a yurt at 3500 meters.

* * *
Une agence de Bishkek sĄŻest occupe des details concernant notre entree en Chine. Ce qui nous a permis de passer nos derniers jours au Kyrgyzstan dans les bras de belles montagnes, a dormir dans une yurt situee a plus de 3500 metres et a boire du Kymys.



Main Hallway

Nearby was an ancient caravanserai, Tash Rabat. A main hall led back to an interior mosque. Off the main hall were the individual rooms, each with a domed ceiling and a skylight at the top.

* * *
Tout pres, se trouvait un caravanserai du 15eme siecle: Tash Rabat.




As we climbed up the valley, the green hills gave way to rock and ice.

* * *
Alors quĄŻon se balladait pres des sommets, le vert des montagnes disparaissait pour laisser place aux rochers et glaciers.



This cloud bank was moving at 40 miles an hour.

The weather became wild and cycled through warm sun, cold wind, fog, and snow every few hours. At mid-summer winter was already on its way.

* * *
Le soleil a laisse place a de petites tempetes, de neige, de grele et de pluie. A la mi-aout, on sentait deja lĄŻhiver arriver.




High snow covered peaks surrounded us on all sides. The valleys are broad and flat. Near the pass were two lakes, the smaller of which never freezes due to thermal water.

* * *
De hauts sommets enneiges nous entouraient de partout. Les vallees etaient plutot grandes et plates. Pres du col, il y avait de petits lacs qui ne gelent jamais du a la presence dĄŻactivite thermique.



Our fearless driver, Oleg.

We stopped at a cold spring that tasted strongly of iron. I thought about the other travelers who had stopped at this juncture of continents and drank of the same medicinal waters.

* * *
Nous nous sommes arretes a cette source dĄŻeau gazeuse qui goutait le fer. Nous avons pense a tous les voyageurs qui sĄŻy arretaient sur la route de la soie et y buvaient afin de beneficier de ses qualites medicinales.



Friendship Gate

The Friendship Gate on the pass marks the border between China and Kyrgyzstan. After several more hours of waiting in line and cajoling officials we were finally free to drop down from the mountains into the warm desert around Kashgar.

* * *
Ce portail dĄŻamitie constitue la frontiere entre la Chine et le Kyrgyzstan. Apres plusieurs heures dĄŻattente en ligne a cajoler les officiers, nous etions finalement libre de descendre des montagnes vers le chaud desert de Kashgar.




The valleys became wide gravel filled flood plains. Further down the countryside was filled with adobe houses, cultivated fields and amazing poplar tree plantations.

* * *
Les paysages ont perdu les yurts toutes charmantes pour laisser place a des villages dont les maisons sont construites avec des briques de boue sechee.




Kashgar was teaming with people of many ethnic roots. Both the modern and ancient co-exist here. Donkey carts and shiny new cars jostle along the streets, while graybeards sip tea and watch the world go by.

* * *
Kashgar fourmille d'ethnies diverses. LĄŻancien et le moderne co-existent un peu partout. Des charrues tirees par des anes cotoient les derniers modeles automobiles, alors que plusieurs barbes grises boivent leur the en regardant le monde passe.


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In Memory of The Cold War
Next
Kingdom Come
  Wylie and Helene - List of Journals
  Kyrgyzstan - Intro Average Rating of 29 Viewers
Chapters of Kyrgyzstan
  Tosh Bulak
  Goat's Head Soup
  Shepherd's Life
  Kol-Ukuk
  Hikes around Kol-Ukuk
  Yurt Erection - Part 1
  Yurt Erection - Part 2
  The Story of Kymys
  Vitaly Gergert
  In Memory of The Cold War
  Torugart Pass
  Kingdom Come
  Closing Thoughts

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