Close Encounters with Eagles

A week of camping out at the lake has spoiled us- beautiful sandy beaches, clear turquoise water with no-one and not even any buildings in sight. We collected driftwood for camp fires at night, I must admit we were also spoilt as Leon and his trusty van and sidekick Iwan were with us and so we had lots of freshwater available from the gerry cans in the van and had done a lot of food shopping in preparation for camping.

We visited a a very salty small lake - like a mini version of the Dead Sea - so saline that we were floating without having to tread water. The lake is also home to sulphurous mud- thick, viscous black stuff which is good for the skin allegedly- we coated ourselves with it and really stank. No one could get close enough to see if there was any improvements in our complexions so maybe that is the way it works.

We got close to a young female Golden Eagle which is being trained by a hunter to help him hunt wolves, foxes and other animals- incredible to be close enough to touch it and see its massive talons, apparently they kill wolves by swoooping down on them and breaking their backs.

We have now left the lake and are in Bishkek- the Kyrgyrz capital with its bright lights and big city atmosphere along with Internet access and a hostel full of interesting multi-national travellers.