Here we go, 15 adventurers from Dubai heading to Kyrgyzstan. Majority of us are not really expecting much. Me myself, is already prepared for another ex-Soviet experience. But how wrong we were.
This country is definitely underestimated as a travel destination. Which is nice, as it is not yet overrun by tourists. This country is filled with beautiful nature, friendly people and delicious food. One color is very dominant in my pictures... GREEN. Green mountains which are overlooked by snow capped mountains further away. Herds of horses everywhere. Fresh strawberries, cherries and apricots. People relatively open and friendly towards foreigners. The air is fresh and crisp, chilly at night and rains here and there, even a few snowflakes on top of 3,800 meters.
We arrived early in Bishkek and started with a typical breakfast before taking our seat in our four 4x4cars. Three of us had the pleasure of driving on Kyrgyzstan's roads (or something you wouldn't name it this way actually), while the rest of us just made themselves comfortable in our seats enjoying the beauty around us.
We started heading to Issyk Kul Lake, stopping for lunch at the river. That night we slept in a Yurt just like the nomads. And enjoyed the calmness... no construction, no AC just the air. The next day we continued around the lake, stopping for a hike to the waterfalls. Unfortunately also (rain)water was falling on us, which made some parts of the path a little muddy for us to continue. As soon as we sat back in the cars, the sky opened and the sunshine was back. Oh well, hiking in sunshine is for amateurs. *hiiihiii*
We then spent 2 nights in Karakol. One morning we got picked up by an old military truck, to bring us up to the mountains of Altyn-Arashan. Our cars were not capable to do this route and therefore we changed into a six-wheeler. Once all shaken through we reached the top, where we collected all 16 horses of the highland for our group to continue for another 3 hours in the best weather on the back of Kyrgyz horses. Just to get back on time to be hit by rain. After a yummy lunch and hot tea, we took our truck back down on a nerve-wrecking drive - now that the road was muddy and slippery.
Next morning we explored a little Karakol, but the Orthodox Church, Mosque and Market are easily done in one morning. Then we drove to Bishkek, through more beautiful plains, offroad tracks, stops at lakes, surrounded by wild roaming horses. Once here and there we met guys who hunt with their eagles. Well, they don't hunt prey anymore, but rather the money in your pockets.
After some more shopping at Bishkek market, haggling for fruits and nuts and having some fun with the local vendors it was unfortunately time to head back home. But Kyrgyzstan is a country to come back to and discover more.
The next trip is already in planning.