You need your Lonely Planet only as a backup source of information in Central Asia. The guesthouses are full with long-term travellers sharing info on destinations, visa processes and the like. One tip I got was for this remote mountain lake and although it was somewhat difficult to get to it didn’t dissappoint!

Finally, after 2 months of clear blue skies and temperatures around 40 degrees every day I enjoyed a big thunderstorm with hail the size of marbles! I think the family of my homestay found it a bit weird though that I ran out into the rain with a big smile on my face...
The 'bad' weather stayed for the next day, but the lake was pretty nonetheless and when you go swimming you get wet anyway.

Getting from the lake to Bishkek was less difficult, with a early morning bus and marshrutka. At first I was afraid they would shove the goat in the back, but when we drove off the animal was put in the normal passenger part of the minibus (actually with it's head resting on/bumping against my knee).