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Photographer's Note

After 3 days of hiking me and my Swiss friend arrived in Altyn Arashan, some hot springs in the middle of nowhere. Our guide had suggested we spent the night there, but we wanted to continue. He opposed to that, but said it was ok after we agreed to pay him for that extra day anyway. So note to self: As I suspected, don't hire a guide. He was good at making food though, I'll give him that.

So from the hot springs, my Swiss friend and our guide awaited the old Soviet military car while I started running back towards civilization. For a few minutes, I actually managed to keep up with the pace of the military car. Let me put it like this: No normal car would have made it up there. Then the car disappeared and I found myself all alone between the high altitude mountains with 25 km of dirt road ahead.

After about 20 km I stumbled upon people, and of all, a fellow Scandinavian! I hadn't met Scandinavian people for two weeks, so we had a long chat there before I continued towards the civilization that never seemed to come. Eventually, I made it to a paved road and followed it for another 3 km through neighborhoods. I even had to pass a bunch of cattle on the way and some guys invited me over for vodka, true Soviet style. I don't drink those kinds of drinks, but I was impressed when one of the guys started naming Norwegian biathlon athletes!

When I finally reached the bus stop I found out the only option after 6 pm was the far more expensive taxi. But I had luck when the only English speaking guy in the village suddenly came and said he would drive me 10 times cheaper. We ended up singing and playing ukulele in the car. And as his girlfriend was called "Aicha", the song option was obvious.

jean113, pajaran, ktanska trouve(nt) cette note utile

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Additional Photos by Fredrik Henriksen (Bergenphotos) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 271 W: 53 N: 646] (3310)
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