With a whole day free in Jeti-oghuz, most of us decided to go for a hike. The hardcore trekkers left at 5am to try and reach the glacier, the more sane, left at 8:30am and then those who were enjoying the free day left later or didn’t hike. The trail headed along the valley floor with a nice climb in the middle to test you out, but it was a mostly pleasant undulating walk following the river towards the glacier.
On the way I was offered “kumis” by a local. It’s a fermented horse milk, which is mildly alcoholic also. I politely declined, only due to the fact we were told we were going to try some authentic stuff in Song-kul and some of the stuff offered is not great and likely to make me sick. I also had to walk a fair bit further and being slightly drunk on fermented cows milk probably was going to make things more difficult. After a whiIe I think we had crossed 3 streams and crossed 3 bridges and eventually got to another yurt camp. From here there was no trail and muddy fields, but we eventually got a great view of the mountains through the valley.
On the way back I found a lovely little grotto by the river cascading over mossy rocks and old trees trunks. While I didn’t see any unicorns it was easy to see why you’d think they would live in Jeti-oghuz.