Duration: 14 days/10 days horseback riding
Level of difficulty: Difficult (two passes over 3000 m)
Highest points: Kashka-Suu Pass – 3390m, Ashuu-Tör Pass – 3368m.
Destinations: Song Kol, Kara- Suu Village, Aflatun Gorge, Chatkal Valley, Kara-Suu Lake, Sary-Chelek Reserve, Arkyt v.
Best season: end of June to mid-September
Requirement: Trekking boots, weatherproof warm clothes, sunscreen, sunglass, pocket torch, sleeping bag, carry mat!Requirement: Trekking boots, weatherproof warm clothes, sunscreen, sunglass, pocket torch, sleeping bag, carry mat.
Day 1 – Bishkek to Tuz Ashuu (Song Kol)
Meeting at the airport. Transfer to Bishkek. After the breakfast, we take the direction to the Kochkor village. Arriving to Kochkor, we visit the Handicraft museum and have a felt show. Before leaving the village, we take our supper in the yurt. In the evening, we arrive near by the lake Song Kol (3016m) via Kalmak Ashu Pass at 3446 m. Overnight in with nomads. (320 km/6h).
Day 2 – Tuz Ashuu to Tash Dobo
Breakfast at 8 o’clock. Meeting with our team and take our horses. Today, we change real nomad’s yurt to Joloman’s yurt camp for the tourists in Tash Tobo. Supper with nomads in our guide yurt. Arriving at 16 o’clock to yurt camp. Time to take a hot shower. Dinner and night in yurt camp. (Horse time – 6-7h).
Day 3 – Tash Dobo to Kizil Oi
After the breakfast, we take our time for a few hours horse trek. After we take the direction to the Kyzyl Oi village via Karakeche pass. Picnic on the mine road. In afternoon, walking and fishing. Dinner and night in Kyrgyz home stay. (2-3h of horse time; 140 km on bus/3h).
Day 4 – Kyzyl Oi to Kara Suu
We take our breakfast early morning, and begin our long trip to Kara Suu village by great canyon Chuchkan. Lunch stop in a little town Kara Kul. We arrive in Kara Suu village at seven o'clock in the evening. Preparation for the horseback trekking. Dinner and night in homestay zith local people. (350 km/6-7 hours).
Day 5 – Begin of Horse trek
After breakfast, we go to Aflatun village to meet our team and horse. After the lunch with a shepherd family and horseback riding instruction, we begin our trek on horseback into the forest. Today’s ride is short, merely a warm-up, as far as the last yurt at the top of the valley. Set up camp at 2200 m by the headwaters of the Aflatun River and eat a delicious dinner prepared by the guides. Riding time: 2.5 hours.
After breakfast, head uphill to the Ashuu-Tör Pass (3368m) . The path is steep, but views from the top are spectacular,3 both back down the Aflatun Valley and forward over the afternoon’s route. Descend into the Chatkal Gorge and eat lunch at the far end of the valley. After lunch, follow the stream as it flows between spectacular granite walls and dives beneath a house-sized boulder, emerging into Kara -Teke Lake, a small, deep, and perfectly clear pool. Continue onwards through a rocky valley and, after another delicious dinner, camp by the Terek- Sai River at 2400m. Riding time: 6 hours.
After breakfast, leave the giant granite jumble of Day 3 behind and turn eastward into a landscape of mostlyDay4 -treeless rolling hills, broken by juniper bushes and small rocks but by little else. Rivers plunge underground repeatedly, only to spring up again further downhill; the resulting isolated patches of bright green plant life stand out in odd relief against the hills. Continue alongside Chatkal Gorge and into Chatkal Valley, then cross the Goluboi Pass (‘Blue’ in Russian, called the “Khamza” in Kyrgyz, 2940m). Stop and camp on the banks of the Kara-Teke River at 2600m. Riding time: 6 hours