Kyrgyzstan ( 2 months)
I have always been attracted the most by Scotland. Now this country in central Asia came across and I do I have a hard opponent to be called my favorite. Kyrgyzstan with its soft, blank hills, with its running horses in the sunset, with a sky that’s always blue and with mountains that promise pure freedom, cached my heart in an almost painful way.
Thanks to author Djingis Aitmatov (Djamilia) I new about Kyrgyzstan. He had made me want to see the country already years ago. Now time and place were right so we decided to visit this fascinating independent country of nomad-russian flair. On bicycles! We bought and prepared everything in Kashgar, Uigurien (China), near the border to Kyrgyzstan (including bikes and equipment) and started like we always did without much of a plan and preparation.
Here’s the trailer (of the soon following longer version) of how two month in Kyrgyzstan by bike felt like:
From Kashgar we cycled across the border Irkeshtam and up the breathtaking (literally!) pass with the same name to the small village called Nura. It was freezing cold next to the Pamir glaciers. From there we went on to Sary Tasch and over the highest pass (3615 m) via Gulcha to the big town Osh where we had the first proper rest and shower after the first exhausting 8 days of cycling. From Osh we went via Ozgon and a little detour to Jalalabad and cached a lift to Dimitrov. After an enormous canyon we got another lift on a truck to Baetov. We cycled to the small village Kurtka – the last civilisation before the Song Kul lake – where we stayed and relaxed for three days with a family and finally learned some of our basic necessary vocabulary in Kyrgyzs and Russian (horse: Kyrgyzs: At, Russian: Loschad. Bread: Kyrgyzs: Naan, Russian: Chleb. Sun: Kyrgyzs: Gyn. And many other important things like hot water, husband, tomorrow, good, cold etc.)
Then we went up to Song Kul lake. 60 km steep serpentine. Exhausted to the bones. But up there is one of the most beautiful places. We spent three days, met the great adventurous Helen on her horse and two cool French world cyclists Sara & Matthieu again and went down because of lack of food and freezing cold (beginning of Octobre: all nomads were pulling down their yurts and moving down to the valleys with their herds for winter these days) to Kochkor town. We spent some days but went back to the beautiful valley we’d come from to relax in the nature. My axe broke and some days later we went to Kochkor again where it could get repaired. We went on to Balukchu, Issyk Kul lake and further to Bokonbaev. There we had a day on horses before we went all the way back via Balukchu and Tokmok to Bishkek. In the capital we spent our one last week, selled our bikes, celebrated our birthdays, drank way too much beer and vodka before we ended our trip and Philipp flew to Australia and I flew back to Germany.