Day 34 - Fri 18 Apr 08
A disturbed night but things have settled down by 08:00. I have some Pocari Sweat and some blockers just in case! The drive started out in snow but soon brightened up. The road is pretty straight and tree lined, with the usual blue bungalows and small holdings. This gives way to a road running down a wide valley between two large mountain ranges. There aren't many apple orchards here, I'm told that tobacco is the cash crop now.
We take a pass across the mountains and near the top we branch off onto a dirt track which is covered in snow. Drive close up to the edge of the canyon, park up and walk over to a view point. It's a pretty picture. Then we walk down a steep slope into the bottom of the canyon.
The wind was howling at the top but a the bottom it's quite calm. The canyon slopes downward to the river and when I get there 'joy' a toilet block!
Retraced out steps with the guys taking photos of every bird as we go. Back to the 4x4 and off to another view point which shows the whole of the river filled canyon. The drive back to Almaty was uneventful and I note that most people actually stick to the speed limit.
We stop off at the bus station to checkout buses to Bishkek - it's 21:00 before I'm back in the hotel.
They have a rip off McD's here called 'West Burger' whose logo is an upside down golden arches. They also have King Burger!