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Today was a long travel day, and we were up and packed and on the road early in order to ensure we had enough time to get over the mountains. Our drive took us away from the lush pastures of the center of the country and further south, into a much more air region. We were drawing closer to the border with Uzbekistan , and our rout would take us within 200 miles of Afghanistan with just a thin strip of Tajikistan in between.

We stopped at a small village for lunch, foraging for ourselves among sparsely stocked stores. I believe I had a nutritious meal of a Snickers bar, bottle of coke and a pastry. As we drove through another village we saw what would have to be on my top five list of most unbelievable things I’ve seen in my life. Along side of the road was a Lada, and on its roof was welded a giant bird cage, at least three feet tall, which housed a Golden Eagle. It went by so quickly not a single one of use managed a photograph, sadly, but I will never rid the image burned in my mind of an eagle traveling along the road in a cage on top of a car.





The last half of our travel day took us along the incredible Naryn River, which cut through a narrow gorge of dry, rocky mountains. This river is the most unbelievable shade of blue-green you can imagine. Our route was down a narrow, twisty road and I counted 6 overturned vehicles within the first few miles alone.









Yes, the water really was this color, though it got less intense the wider the river became.


We made camp that evening by the river. It was again my turn to cook and we made a gigantic pot of spaghetti for the group and stayed up late into the evening around the campfire.






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