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In the morning we filled ourselves with the hotel's buffet breakfast and laded back into the vans. The exciting new of the day was that we were to be reunited with our truck in the afternoon.

First we made a stop by the gorgeous church we'd seen the day before. This 19th century Russian Orthodox Church is constructed entirely out of wood, no nails were used, just wooden pegs and joints hold it together. During soviet times it was used as a dance hall.

Just a few blocks away stands the Dungan Mosque, built by Chinese muslims in 1910, also without the use of nails. This unique building really brings together the confluence of cultures that make up this corner of the world, here you can see the Chinese architectural influences blended with that of traditional muslim buildings.

We left Karakol and headed north along the northern shore of Lake Issy Kul, taking in the scenery and enjoying the mellow pace of small towns and farmland. Remnants of Soviet influence are still to be found everywhere, and each town is marked with soaring sculptures and tributes to Soviet era power.

At the far western side of the lake we broke for lunch at a small town and were finally re-united with our truck. We were to be camping the next two nights in a row, so it was time to shop for the next few day's food.

We made camp again by the side of the lake, pitching our tent in the sand and making a huge fire. I had plenty of time to hike around the area, looking for birds, plants and wildlife and taking in the stunning sunset.

strange desert plants

Date: 2009-07-25 11:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Love the pictures of the church. Just beautiful. And to think that they built it with no nails. *boggle*

Date: 2009-07-26 12:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The shots of the surrounding mountains floor me every time. Thanks for posting all these, I've enjoyed them immensely.

Date: 2009-07-26 03:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I love the style of Russian Orthodox churches. I took a lot of pictures of those the last time I was in Toronto.

And once again- amazing pictures.

Date: 2009-07-26 03:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
its probably because i grew up and live in the great plains states, but i just love shots of snow capped mountains like you've captured.

also, i love how in the photo with the boys and the horse drawn cart, you can just faintly see the mountains in the background.

Date: 2009-08-12 12:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
One of the things that amazes me throughout your photo series is how familiar the images are - one would expect things to be exotic since you are in another country, but some elements like produce, the woman on the cell phone, and a dragon fly perched on a reed could very well have been taken here in the states without knowing the difference.


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