Justin slept well, but Crystal did not. She was thinking about Unesco and Karina, and worrying for both of those. Breakfast was empty, with only one other group. After seeing us eat relatively little for the second day in a row, Jalil asked if we ate breakfast, and we told him normally not much. He told us he didn't usually eat very much for breakfast either, just yogurt. We were on the road at 9, this time continuing our clockwise route around Issyk-Kul lake. Karakol was about at 3 o'clock on the "clock face", and we were slated to go from 3 to 9 today. A little outside of Karakol we turned south to Jeti Oguz, an area that gets tourists both during the summer (for hiking) and winter (for skiing). We stopped at "Broken Heart" mountain, and Jalil told us the legend related to the mountain. Legend says two suitors spilled their blood in a fight for a beautiful woman; both died, and this rock is her broken heart. The broken heart is the view from the west; from the east the mountains look completely different. We drove into town, then hiked up a short way to a nice panorama to view the same mountains from the east, plus got a view of all the surrounding mountains.

It was warm in the sun, but chilly in the shade. We walked around a bit and got some more photos and videos, then headed back to the car. As we were outside, the clouds started to come in, and the shade was more prevalent. Once we got back along the south shore of the lake, the sun was back out, with the clouds above the mountains to the south. We drove west for awhile, just listening to podcasts and taking in the scenery. Around noon we stopped at a nice sunny beach on the south shore in Bokonbaevo. After about 5 minutes a 1980s hatchback showed up, with an Eagle hunter driving the car and a giant eagle in the rear of the hatchback. This is not something you see every day.

Once out of the vehicle, the eagle was super loud. It was "barking" constantly, in a shrill voice that was grating on the ears. We have no idea how the eagle hunter stays sane around this. Along with the eagle and its master was the master's protege, and a giant white rabbit. The first demonstration of the eagle hunting was by having it swoop down from the surrounding hill to get the rabbit, who didn't seem to know what was going on (i.e., that it was being hunted) until about 1 second before the eagle caught it. We felt awful for the rabbit, but we know the eagle has to practice this. We also knew that the eagle hunter couldn't have the eagle let go of the rabbit before it died - as it would potentially lead to the eagle letting other animals out of its grip - but the last moments for the rabbit went far too long for our taste. We really didn't need to see that, but appreciated the skill of the eagle.

The next demonstration was fox hunting, but this time it was a fox skin, and not a live fox. The last demonstration was the eagle swooping down to land right on the glove of the hunter's hand, which the eagle did admirably. Afterwards, there was a long Q&A session. We really would not have had a clue what to ask, but just before leaving for this trip we watched a recent documentary called the Eagle Huntress about a teenage girl from Mongolia that was trained to be an eagle hunter. From watching this, we were able to ask about a dozen semi-intelligent questions regarding timing of getting eagles, how to know a good eagle from a bad one, what the main difficulties in a hunt are, and more.

Like last night, we got lunch at a local house. Once more, there was way way too much food. The hostess told us that her son is a tour guide in his spare time, going to school for finance classes. In her living room she had a map with pushpins for where the guests lived, and we may have marked two farthest places from Kyrgyzstan (Pahoa and San Diego). Everything was good, but there was no way we could finish everything, so we hoped we hadn't offended her. In the backyard, they had a couple of yurts, including a really large one that was set up for a large group coming in about an hour. We looked inside of the yurts, and also at the snowcapped mountains to the south of town.

As we were putting our shoes back on to leave, Jalil told us that we needed to get a move on. Apparently, as part of the lead up to the election, the current Kyrgyz president had called out Kazakh president, and the Kazakh president had retaliated by enacting long lines at the land borders, which would have made our plans for tomorrow (driving from Bishkek to Almaty) near impossible. So while we were checking out eagles and eating lunch, the folks at MIR had been hard at work re-arranging our itinerary. The new plan was for us to hoof it back to Bishkek and make the last flight from Bishkek to Almaty tonight. At first we thought Jalil and Rames would be joining us (as they were supposed to be with us in Almaty), but then we heard it would be just us, and we'd have a different guide and driver tomorrow. The drive was fine - and Rames did a great job - but there was way too much smoke for our taste, and really hampered the view of everything, not to mention our eyes and throats.

We got into the outskirts of town around 5, and got to airport about two hours before our flight. With everything being last minute, there were hardly any seats, and Crystal got booked in first class. Because of this, we both got to use the first class line to check in. There were thankfully no issues at check-in, immigration, or customs. Once in the terminal, we both went to the bar, even though Crystal could have gone to lounge and left Justin with the masses. At the bar we caught up on the diary and finished off our Kyrgyz money. On the plane, we sat there with a full plane for a good amount of time. We weren't sure what exactly happened, except maybe it was slow to get all the bags on. For such a short flight, this was a big plane - with a 3, 3, 3 formation in economy. Once in the air, the flight was over in less than an hour. Justin was near the back of the plane, with dozens of Americans - part of a big group, maybe a MIR group - around him, being very annoying. While waiting to de-plane, a lady got up, worked her way in front of Justin, and then started slowly backing up, inch by inch. He wasn't sure what the heck she was doing, as it was completely unnecessary. Then she accused Justin of pushing her, even though she was backing into him. He had no desire for an international incident. Whilst traveling, we try to avoid Americans, and this is one reason why.

The line to get into Kazakhstan was not too bad, but a little long. It didn't really matter, as the bags weren't ready yet. We waited a few minutes for bags, then headed out for the waiting area. We met Pasha, who drove us to our hotel. It was clear he didn't know much English, so we just did some pointing and gesturing, which did the trick. We got to the hotel (Kazzhol Hotel) sometime around 10, we don't remember exactly. The check-in was easy, but the room was 85 degrees and stuffy. The AC didn't work, it was heating only. So we opened the window and spent some time trying to get the AC to work, and then yelling at the AC for not working. We at least knew we were tired and hot and irritable, and the best option was to go to sleep, which is exactly what we did.

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