Karakol is the eastern-most stop on my cycling tour and at the same time my turning point of the tour around Lake Issyk Kul. I had to cycle a total of 132 km today to reach the unspectacular city at the foot of the Tian Shan Mountains. Due to some problems with my bicycle on the way, I reached the city later than planned, but still at a decent hour to go out for dinner in one of the tourist-oriented restaurants.
Issyk Kul’s south coast – Part 2
As reported yesterday already, the south coast of Issyk Kul is not very spectacular because it is very dry. I had big hopes today that towards the east that will change. And up to a certain degree, the landscape along the lake got more beautiful, with nice bays, and towards the end of the lake also green fields. On the other hand, the visibility was today even worse than yesterday, so the northern coast could not be seen at all and also the mountains in the south were only visible through a layer of mist. Starting tomorrow however the weather and especially the visibility should get better, so maybe when cycling back on the north coast I finally get to discover the promised beauty of the lake.
Loose chain on the way
After more than 4000 km of cycling, the chain of my bicycle extended quite a bit from all the climbs. The consequence was that today it got too loose to function properly and it jammed the rear wheel roughly every 10 turns of the pedals. At that point, I still had to cycle 90 km, so it was definitely not an option to continue like this.
At first I thought it’s a problem with my Pinion transmission, but I was wrong luckily, because if the Pinion transmission had a problem, I could have stopped my trip as replacement parts would have been needed from Germany.
Fixing the problem with the chain was luckily less difficult. All I had to do is to open the chain, remove two elements and close it again. After that, the chain was tight again. It is of course not the perfect solution, but I hope that’s enough until the end of my trip, which means it should last another 400 km.
The whole incident cost me about an hour, but because I left again very early in the morning, this was not such a big deal.
The city Karakol does not have anything attractive. It is basically a gateway for tourists. Some plan and start trekking tours in the Tian Shan Mountains from here, others travel onward to Kazakhstan, and others again like me go back to Bishkek from here. Nevertheless, the city is well prepared for a large number of tourists with plenty of restaurants and guesthouses. And since it is not main season yet, it was no problem at all to find a guesthouse and a decent restaurant for dinner.
Tomorrow I will start cycling back on the north coast. This coast is supposed to have nice beaches. If I find a nice spot, I will camp directly at the beach and maybe even have a swim in the not so warm waters.
Max elevation: 1908 m
Min elevation: 1714 m
Total climbing: 1408 m
Total descent: -1411 m
Total time: 09:26:33