Days 169-170 – Kuray to Inya - Sun 11 and Mon 12 AugLeft at 10am so had time to wash hair! Oh, life can be soooo good... Farewelled our camping neighbours exchanging addresses. Aktash Village has a small military base, and we walked into a local graduation ceremony. Bought good chicken and beef pasties at market (wife bent over laughing at her husband’s antics to let us know which animal/meat was in each pastry!) Took pasties for lunch 7km into mountains to Red Gate rock formation, beautiful streams with icy cold water, wildflowers.
The Altai region is so beautiful, towering mountains, pine forests (supposedly bears at top), fast running rivers, edelweiss flowers, cows on road known as "freelance cops” (everybody stops for them!) Stopped at truck monument telling tragic love story two truckies servicing road, he in the displayed truck, she in a Ford, used to stop along road when met. One day she didn't see him as he waved frantically and he drove off side of mountain to his death in river below... (and because we were following the Chuysky Trakt, the old drug runners trail, we thought such a splendid monument had to do with trafficking activities!!)
Drove toward riverbank, turn on edge of hill going down was too tight so each truck had to back down. Saunas at bottom and barricades over all tracks – “no go through” unless paid $15 for two nights! We paid. Drinks at Marina and Miles vehicle - Georgian wine with blackcurrant aftertaste. Told us about battle they saw between vulture, marmot and crows. BoyRob’s been teasing Marina about her very Russian habit of wearing socks with thongs - today we see she has bought Mongolian felt slippers instead! Rain rain rain. So nice to just have to heat up our hearty stew. Next day rained on and off, a very welcome rest and maintenance day after our bolt from Moron. Met with Guy and decided we’d both do a ‘taste’ of Kazakhstan after all. Yay!!