16 Jun 2009

Camping trip

Last weekend we went camping in our mountains. David, Gina and Burnie headed up earlier in the afternoon, while Rebekah and I still hit Altyn Orda for food. Our packs were rather heavy and I crawled up the mountain at snail pace.

We didn't have tents or sleeping bags. David had gotten some tarps, so we taped one side together and made little shelters to sleep in. In our packs we carried up blankets that we then curled into. They were better than nothing, but didn't exactly keep us warm either. The first night I think I got about 2h of sleep.
On Friday evening we set up camp and had supper. Soon after 8 pm it started raining, so we got into our "tents" and went to bed.

I woke up somewhere around 4 am to the sound of voices outside. The other three had woken up and had the fire going. At 4 am!! The sky was barely getting light. But we got up too as there was nothing else to do.

I had thought to climb up to Furmanov peak during the night. But when I woke up during the night, it was still raining, so I decided to postpone it to the next morning.
Breakfast of roasted leposhka. Not bad at all.

Most of the morning was cloudy, but for a little while some sun rays escaped through and lit up the mountains on the other side.

We were finished with breakfast at about 5.30, so David and I headed down the trail to find the nearest water source. The little streams were dried up, so we had to go a ways to find water. Then we filtered the water into our water containers and hauled them back up the hill. The whole trip took just over 2 hours. I now appreciate more the distances people have to travel in places like Africa to get their water...

On the way back up the hill I picked some posies. There were so many wild flowers around! It was pretty.

Lunch we had a bit before 11. As we were finishing up it started raining, so again we found shelter in our tents and had a 30 min nap. Then Gina and Burnie packed up and headed down the hill. Gina was sick and Burnie wasn't really enjoying himself either. The remainder of us let our things dry out and then headed up the trail towards Furmanov peak.

The rest of our weekend was perfectly sunny and warm and beautiful!

Along the way we ran into a creepy guy. He was sitting at the table where we had had lunch with Sanzhar and Dimash. He had big headphones on and was saying random sentences loudly with weird grunts in between. We passed by quickly. Soon after we heard him burst into loud laughter that echoed off the mountainsides. It wasn't regular laughter either. It sounded posessed. We were creeped out. For the next few hours we could hear his laughter in the distance, sometimes quiter, sometimes louder...

We found a camping spot right near to where the grass ends and the rocks begin. This time we found shelter in the forest, away from wind and rain. The only problem was that the ground was sloped everywhere and there was no flat place to sleep. Or make a fire either. So made a fire on the hill (after about 15 matches - the wind was rather strong) and cooked noodles. I tested our new knife and found it sufficiently sharp to cut my finger, so for a while I dripped blood everywhere. It was pretty cool.
After supper we walked around a bit and then laid down in the grass to enjoy the sun. It was so peaceful and pretty! So different from the city...

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