Kyrgyzstan: from fermented horse milk to fresh camel milk

Kyrgyzstan: from fermented horse milk to fresh camel milk

Welcome to the land of nomads and mountains. No less than 94% of Kyrgyzstan is mountainous landscape with peaks reaching above 7000m and eternally covered with snow! We feast our eyes and no day is the same. Just before winter, nomads migrate from the mountains to the lowlands, cattle are brought on foot or on horseback to lower plains. We arrive in October, just before winter sets in and because of this we often end up in large herds of sheep, cows or horses. Meat is the basis of all dishes and this is supplemented by potatoes, onions, carrots, and bread. A meal without bread is not a meal ;). Historically, the Stan countries have much in common, yet we also notice differences. Kyrgyz are more reluctant to make contact, but once they get to know you a little, at least as enthusiastic as the Uzbeks. The friendly smile is also abundant here and many older men proudly wear a Kalpak, a felt hat. Eloy leaves Kyrgyzstan with no less than 3 hats in his panniers. In that respect, Kyrgyzstan is one of the highlights for us (literally and figuratively)….

We cross the pedestrian border from Uzbekistan. No cars are allowed to cross the border here, but bicycles are fortunately allowed. We quickly exchange the last of the Uzbek money with one of the street traders who shouts the loudest. Meanwhile, the group of moneychangers engages an English helpline by phone, who also speaks very limited English. It is not recommended, but there are no official exchange offices here, so we have to play the game. On the Uzbek side, all the panniers go through the scanner, then we join the line on the Kyrgyz side. Suddenly we are pulled over by one of the customs officers. Again we feel a little embarrassed, because we can just wait like the rest, but we don’t resist.

On our way to the first real village, we cycle along the border. What a change in scenery already! The mountains are already coming into view. Suddenly there is a car along the road and the man stops us. He asks if he can take a picture. Of us, but also of himself on the bicycle. ‘Here we go again’, we think. Is Kyrgyzstan as much of a “selfie country” as Uzbekistan? However, it turns out to be a lost Russian and he even wants to give us some “lunch money” for the photo. Later we discover that the Kyrgyz are more subdued and rarely ask for a photo. It is sometimes confusing (and dangerous) on the road, especially in the mountains. Some cars have the steering wheel on the left, others on the right.

The first days in a new country are always a bit exciting. New language, customs, money, food, traffic rules, different culture, more mountains, weather, etc. As in Iran, it is not without a struggle. Eloy has a fever of 40 degrees and says he is cold. Again, it turns out to be food poisoning. We postpone our further trip for a while and 2 days later our strength has largely recovered and we can still get into the mountains before it gets too cold. Every day the temperature drops a few degrees. We sense that winter is on the horizon!

We leave for the Ala-Bel mountain pass, which we will reach in 5-6 days. The highest mountain pass we have cycled so far. It is still hot in the lowlands (32°C) and the slopes are tough. However, the views make up for this, the mountains and the turquoise waters of the Naryn River are enchanting! After 65 kilometers we come across a gravel path to the water on the last slope where there are some trees. We descend and it looks like a good camping spot, out of sight of the road. There is only a car without a driver. Will there be other people there? Our theory is that it is probably the car of someone who lives across the water. There are some lights on there. Hopefully no one will come tonight. We take a almost-splash in the clear water, wash clothes and pitch the tent. Then we feast on noodles with beans and a chocolate chip cookie for dessert. It gets dark quickly around 6 p.m. Audrey shoots some more pictures of the starry sky and sees a shooting star. She makes a wish and then we go to bed. Eloy hopes she wishes for no intruders, because every sound puts our senses on edge. Fortunately, we are tired and still fall asleep fairly quickly.

Waking up to the river and mountains as a view is one of the best things on this trip. We make coffee, have breakfast and pack up again. Today we will cycle only 25 kilometers, so it will be a relaxing day. Until we find out at a break spot that we are not cycling a single straight section and the biggest mountain pass is still to come. With blood, sweat and tears we get over that too and take a hotel room. We make plans for the next few days.

We sense that our legs are heavy and we crawl forward over the mountains, but even now the views remain spectacular! Every angle, every turn is different and we seem to be cycling in an almost unimaginable landscape. Suddenly we overlook a gigantic reservoir surrounded by mountains: Toktogul Reservoir. We roll down and see the lake getting bigger and bigger in the distance. Once down, we have a couple of sleeping options. A hotel, but it appears to be in rather dilapidated condition we read. Further down there would be a hostel, but the gate there is closed. We call the number our navigation indicates and the man asks to communicate via WhatsApp because he doesn’t speak English. We don’t hear anything back, so we continue a bit further to our last option. Camping doesn’t really seem like an option here, there is no good road to the water and otherwise there are not many sheltered spots. Then we hear back from the “hostel” that they accept us as guests and we cycle back with relief. When we enter the spacious yard, we are treated to cherry juice, eggs and cakes in a rather primitive cottage by a warm-hearted young woman. Later we find out that this is their summer home and that they plan to make a hostel with it. The husband keeps himself busy fishing and maintaining the huge plot of fruit trees. So we were a little early in knocking on the door, but they just loved it. After all, they are travelers themselves and we chatted a lot with the help of Google Translate. However, there is no running water so we use a bucket to wash ourselves with a fantastic sunset and view of the lake. Yep, no bathroom either! Then we enjoy the trout caught. Again from an unexpected angle a great experience.

Toktogul Reservoir

After a breakfast of French fries, egg and scones, we set out again a little late. Sometimes we stop to capture the beautiful mountains by the lake, other times to drink or eat. After all, we sweat gallons. In the village of Toktogul we take a rest day. In the middle of the night we are awakened by one of the guests singing in the aisle! At least we think so. When Audrey wants to kindly ask him to do so elsewhere, she sees that the man is praying and quickly turns back to our room. Different habits…

After breakfast we are well on our way and ride at a nice pace towards the Ala-Bel Pass, which is 3175m high and means cycling a whopping 63 km uphill. We already get nervous at the thought, but there are no detours. It will cool considerably over the next few days from 26°C (3°C at night) today to 4°C (-4°C) three days later at the summit. But for this we have been dragging our winter gear for months. Once we get to the start, another cycling couple comes riding down with a big smile. We know it will be a task and we have our eye on a wild camping spot that is at 2440m, after 53 km. We take it easy and take short breaks every 5 km between the beautiful mountains and the river. Some drivers stick out bread and apples from their windows to us. Although it still remains sweaty today, we fare better than expected. After passing 3 herds of animals on the street, greeting hundreds of truck drivers, meeting a packed cyclist from Kyrgyzstan and fending off 5 dogs, we arrive at our destination around 6 p.m. We’re on our way. The last 5 km is grueling to the max, and the sun is already sinking behind the mountains, so it gets cold very quickly. A plateau just behind a small hill, sheltered enough from the street, is the remnant of a yurt. The nomads leave the mountains with their animals in the winter, so the yurts are torn down as well. The toilets remain, so we find a beautiful one just for us. By the way, there is no shortage of toilet cubicles in the mountains here, scattered here and there in the otherwise desolate landscape. Some shepherds have not yet left the mountains and come to check up on us. We get dressed up, pitch the tent in a hurry, skip the shower, make dinner with frozen hands and then dive into the tent to eat. The wind makes it freezing cold. We have no coverage with our phones, so they quickly go out again and we decide to dive into the cold one more time to watch the stars and the Milky Way.

We wake up, not knowing if we are sweating or if it is the cold we are feeling. With some reluctance we crawl out of our sleeping bags. Audrey has had all sorts of absurd dreams, perhaps an effect of the altitude, but all in all we have otherwise slept well. We enjoy the hot coffee all the more because it is still cold until the sun rises above the mountains. We fill our drinking bottles with ice cold water at a stream. Today we still have 12 km to go to the summit, the last heavy lifting! By chance we find out that we forgot some of our tools for the bikes in one of the earlier villages. Let’s hope we don’t get a flat tire in the middle of the mountains, because there are no bicycle stores in the area.

We plod further up the mountain. Five kilometers before the top, a truck stops in the middle of the road; at first we don’t quite understand why, but he points to his empty cargo box. He gestures that the mountain is too steep uphill and asks if we want to ride in the back. After a doubt from Audrey and an obvious yes nod from Eloy, we load the bikes. The man passes along some more crumbs from a cake and makes it clear that he has taken a bike couple before. From the cargo box, the first snow on the surrounding mountain peaks becomes visible. Five minutes later we are standing on the summit thinking that it would probably have taken us over an hour to do the last 3 km ourselves! The wind is super strong and we put on all the jackets we have.

Then it’s downhill and it promises to be cold. As if we were on scooters, we roll down the mountain almost silently and only have to brake. Along both sides we see snow-covered peaks. During the day we get a little nervous about the dark clouds getting blacker and blacker and the fact that our intended sleeping place is closed. Our phones now have coverage again so we search the map for an alternative. There is a yurt camp 10 kilometers away and we decide to make a call. Although they are not open (the season is over, winter is beginning) they have a small room where we can spend the night with our sleeping bag. We wash ourselves with a tub of cold water and drink tea in a yurt. The hostess offers us a traditional drink called kumis. It turns out to be fermented horse milk and is said to cleanse the stomach. Some Kyrgyz even drink it 3 times a day! Taking a cautious sip, we leave it anyway. It smells like stale wine and we estimate that our stomach cannot digest it. Never mind the literal cleansing…. The woman still points out that fresh kumis might be tastier because it is not as strong then. The later in the season, the stronger the drink becomes.

Fermented horsemilk tasting
Dark clouds taking over the sky

New day, new challenge: mountain pass Too-Ashuu, again above 3000m and with a tunnel with a rather bad reputation. At the bottom of the pass live some families with many children in colored caravans. They all sell dried cheese balls, which unfortunately we do not like (turned out in Iran). Then follows one steep hairpin turn after another and basically our legs are empty from the days before. At the summit there is a 3 km long tunnel from the 1960s. It is forbidden to cycle through it because of the exhaust fumes that accumulate, insufficient ventilation, poor road condition and poor visibility. It is therefore known as the “Tunnel of Death”! In 2001, several drivers died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning after getting stuck in the tunnel due to an accident.

So we hope for an elevator from a pickup truck, these normally drive around everywhere. Just today we don’t encounter one. At least, not in the right direction. With stomachs growling, we stop for lunch. As we are preparing our bread, a pickup truck suddenly stops and three men get out to take pictures of the road. Eloy sees his chance and sprints toward them. He is lucky because we are allowed to come along and they help load the bikes. One of the men hands over his phone; it is his son on the line. He speaks better English and tells us they are road engineers and they have to stop every five minutes to take a picture of the road condition. No problem for us, we are already happy to avoid the tunnel and reach the top. Once we get back down, we see a completely different landscape emerge. Lots of greenery, lots of animals on the road and beautifully colorful rocks. Gorgeous!

We bike to an old Soviet hotel where the prices are modern though. For the first time in several days we have a shower again, do laundry and go out to dinner. That feels like luxury! However, the restaurant turns out to be half a disco, because between the courses of the other guests, the lights go out, a DJ plays loud music and people go wild. Where have we ended up now! We are not used to this anymore. Almost deaf but entertained by the phenomenon (which later turns out to be very common in Kyrgyzstan), we return to our bunk bed 🙂

The next day we cycle on flat roads towards Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. Just before Bishkek, we stop at an orphanage run by an American couple. We read about it on iOverlander (an app for camping sites) where they invite anyone to stop by. Upon arriving, we are greeted by some children in fluent English. Inside, tacos are being prepared. The American couple and their children give us a warm welcome and over dinner we share many stories. We spend the whole evening playing games, movies and talking. The children are orphans or their parents are often unable to care for them due to various problems. Right now there are around 20 children of all ages.

There are also a number of people from Russia who want to move to the US through Mexico, including a whole family with young children. We meet an awful lot of Russians in Kyrgyzstan. They have fled Russia because of the recent call for Russian men to report to the front for the war with Ukraine. As we engage in conversation, you notice how much the country is controlled by false reporting and propaganda. Part of the population wants to break away from this but also knows there is no turning back.

The following days we try to figure out how to get to Southeast Asia, given that China still keeps its borders closed. We plan a rough route and decide to cycle through Kazakhstan. In between, the children ask us to join them in games or just to talk. We eat together and where possible we try to lend a hand. Audrey joins the cooking crew and the kids teach her how to make delicious pizzas. We make about 20 in all. Eloy looks for bicycle tools in the garage, considering we lost them along the way. We play basketball, teach the kids the card game “Crazy Eights” and listen to the extraordinary stories of Allen, the owner of the orphanage. They were intense but beautiful days that made us pause but also grow. We thank Allen and leave for Bishkek after 3 days. One of the young men bikes with us for another stretch. We share some more snacks, drink the best energy drink in Kyrgyzstan on his advice and then we really say goodbye. We roll on to Bishkek.

In Bishkek we stay with a family with three very energetic little boys. We are asked upon arrival to join them within an hour for a niece’s birthday party, because the more the merrier! The whole family is present and one by one each gives a speech for the birthday boy. We too have to attend and we get one fried dish after another. There are those days when you are really overloaded with food….

The next day we get word that a man has taken the bike tools left behind from a guesthouse in Toktogul to Bishkek, so we go pick that up and we visit Bishkek. Fortunately, we haven’t had any flat tires in the meantime :). Bishkek has a rather short history, lots of big green parks, 2 giant bazaars and many buildings and statues reminding of the Soviet era. At Victory Square, we visit the monument with the “eternal flame”. The monument depicts a woman waiting for the return of her partner. She is standing under a “tynduk,” the roof of a yurt. The tynduk is also the symbol on the flag of Kyrgyzstan, an important reference to the nomadic culture.

Victory monument with eternal flame and tynduk

At the family home, the boys are thrilled with the bubble blower we give them. A few minutes later there is suds everywhere…. At the end of the day, Nargiza, the mother of the three, gives Eloy a traditional gift: a Kalpak. It is a traditional hat for Kyrgyz men and literally means “felt hat”. It is mostly worn on special occasions, but you also see it in everyday life. It is full of symbolism. The shape recalls the country’s snowy mountains. The 4 sides represent the elements of air, water, fire and earth. Also, a Kalpak is often decorated with different designs representing the owner’s personality and the heritage of Kyrgyzstan. There are more than 80 different variations AND there are even bus stops shaped like a Kalpak (see the photo at the top of the blog). The Kalpak is also on the UNESCO list of intangible heritage. Just so you know!

The bike route from Bishkek is not the prettiest in the country and there is a lot of traffic on the road (this is true of all routes from capital cities, by the way). In the next larger town, Tokmok, the Soviet past is evident. Several airplanes (including one on a traffic circle) and other objects of past glory seem to have been placed randomly. Aidin, a young man just starting out as a Software Engineer and still living with his parents, welcomes us in fluent English. His three-year-old sister is shy but soon all she wants to do is play, play and play. Aidin’s parents don’t speak English but are eager to know all kinds of things anyway. On their advice, the next day we visit the Burana Tower which is 10 km away.

The Burana Tower is an 11th-century minaret that was part of a mosque. One of the oldest of its kind in all of Central Asia and surrounded by the gigantic Tian-Shan Mountains. This mountain range is more than 2,500 km long, crosses several countries and many fruits originate there. Both, both the Burana Tower and the Tian-Shan Mountains are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. As we cycle back to Tokmok, we pass numerous strawberry fields. A truck drives by and holds out a cone bag to Eloy. The man smiles and drives on. Turns out he just gave us the sweetest strawberries ever!

Tonight we are cooking for Aidin’s family. And what could be more original than hotchpotch with apple sauce? And let potatoes, carrots and onion be exactly what you get everywhere, and often the only thing, in Kyrgyzstan. Audrey gets lost in the oversized supermarket, buys something that looks like smoked sausage, but they don’t have applesauce. So we make it ourselves. After about an hour she’s back outside while Eloy explains the trip to passersby. At home, Aidin’s mother helps with the slicing, looking odd when she sees the sweet applesauce on the plate with the savory hotchpotch. The family agrees that it is a strange but delicious combination. The excess even ends up as stuffing in the fried dough eaten for breakfast here!

The next morning we leave very early, together with Aidin and a few friends, for a hike to mountain lake Köl-Tör. The route is steep and along the way we gather lumber for a campfire to prepare lunch. Our muscles are obviously only used to cycling…. The lake is beautiful, located at 2700m altitude and has unimaginable color. Along the way we encounter yurts, wild horses and beautiful views. Audrey has been looking forward to snow since the beginning of the trip and now we are getting pretty close. Fulfilled and exhausted, we return to Aidin’s house. We are incredibly grateful to him for taking us on this hike, it was unforgettable!

After we eat in the evening, the host family begins mashing, cooking and pickling a hundred (!) pounds of tomatoes with garlic, pepper, bell pepper, carrot and more. We lend a hand and Audrey gets to use Aidin’s father’s Soviet tools for mashing the tomatoes. All by hand and it’s a pleasantly busy affair in the tiny kitchen! Then Aidin’s mother starts chopping (not even cooking yet!) peppers and everyone starts coughing like crazy. Windows and doors are opened, but the sharpness lingers for a long time. Meanwhile, Russian thought flows into the dining room via television. Aidin indicates that he thinks his parents should not watch this channel. But they are part of the older generation, so they often think differently about this.

On a giant pan outside on a wood fire the tomato sauce is cooked. After it is cooked, of course it must be tasted, but it is so spicy that we share a bowl and thank for the second. The rest is saved for winter, when there are far fewer vegetables. Then we can sleep peacefully on the couch in the living room, but not before being handed a parting gift. A second Kalpak for Eloy and a cloth for Audrey.

The next day we can’t walk normally from the muscle pain, but when we’re on the bike it’s not too bad. Stopping at traffic lights or dismounting is another story…. After several days at families and some Soviet-style hotels, we go wild camping again! The first day at the bottom of a mountain, with a warm campfire, because it’s cold. The weather forecast says it won’t freeze tonight, but our nose says it’s colder. In the morning, when all our water bottles are frozen and the tent has a layer of ice, we know enough. We wait for everything to defrost and dry and then begin the climb up. At the top a family is having lunch and before we have even reached the top one of them comes up to us and invites us to grab a bite to eat. They are from Kazakhstan and say that, like in Kyrgyzstan, they love guests. So that sounds promising. When we have told them about our trip, had a glass of cola (we have politely refused the vodka three times) and speeched at the toast, they give us water, bread and cookies. Then we roll down the mountain in search of a new camping spot. And as we do so, a wild camel has caught sight of us and we of him! We pitch our tent in record time as it gets dark even faster in the mountains. In the night we are awakened by the strong wind that has come up. We had read about how strong winds can come from nowhere. Fortunately, we are sheltered between a few trees.

After a long but incredibly beautiful drive back to civilization, we stop along the road to ask about the local supermarket. Another passerby joins us and shows us the way. As we stand at the little store, which is nothing more than a counter with some goodies on it, he tells us to come to his house to be his guest. Eloy immediately gets a third Kalpak and we are also expected to spend the night. Yesterday there was a wedding in the family and there is so much food left that we have to eat right away. Then he asks if we want to see the garden and their animals and if we have drunk camel milk before. We walk along and there are 3 camels in the stable. We see how Zohra the camel is lovingly, milked and have to taste the warm milk immediately. With (great) fear of the taste of fermented horse milk, Eloy begins his sip. It tastes delicious too and resembles creamy cow’s milk. People from various villages come here to get the milk. As we start dinner we see the whole family passing by. We communicate with hands and feet and are served “Kuurdak”. That dish is one of the oldest dishes in Kyrgyz cuisine. It is made from mutton, fat/oil and onion. When Eloy takes a picture with the father of the family, he says the following through Google Translate:

Our Kyrgyz habit is a Kalpak, it just suits you, you will become a good handsome man. You have to take good pictures of good things.

Over the next few days we will drive along Issyk-Kul (or Ysyk-Köl, literally “warm lake”). There is a lot of work on the road and the big clouds of dust from truck traffic will fly around our ears for several days. The salt lake is the second largest mountain lake in the world and is no less than 180 km long and 60 km wide. At first sight, therefore, it seems as if we are cycling along the sea and if it is clear you can see the mountains on the other side.

We slow down and sleep in unusual places along the lake. Once in a yurt, which is heated on a fire of dried horse dung. Another time we camp on the lake beach. As beautiful as the beach is, it is still exciting to camp out of sight, but what a view! At 7:30 p.m. it is already dark and cold and we lie in the tent, with no internet, just each other.

And then suddenly we are six months (!) on the road and have 7000 km in our legs. What a bizarre adventure. When we think back to every encounter, place and everything that happened, we can be incredibly grateful. Only the terribly gross “toilets” (photo below at your own risk…) we could do without, but even those we survived. There is gold hidden in every day and we are motivated to keep going.

We are on our way to the small town of Karakol in eastern Kyrgyzstan, just 150 km from the Chinese border. This is the last larger town before we cross the border into Kazakhstan. On the way we meet a world cyclist, it turns out to be Dutchman Joris. Together we eat sausages for lunch, with mayonnaise! An hour and a half later we want to get back on the road and 5 minutes later we meet another couple on bikes. They are from Russia and want to cycle to India. We exchange some snacks and then our paths separate again.

We take a few rest days in Karakol and when we open the curtain the second day it has rained for the first time in 2.5 months, but of course in the mountains that means snow! The village has some old wooden houses, a wooden mosque, and a Russian Orthodox church. All of these buildings were built without the use of nails. The mosque can be taken down in less than a day. Impressive! There is also an unusual bazaar: a maze of shipping containers. And a meat market where hearts, livers, intestines, tongues and heads are displayed on tables. Audrey amuses herself considering much is anatomically recognizable. Eloy initially refuses to walk in, because of the smell.

As we walk down the street, a young couple speaks to us. They have just moved to Karakol and are curious as to why we are here. When they hear our story they are surprised. Belief in the goodness of man is the most important thing according to them. They are traveling with friends to hot springs in the mountains and would like to take us for a relaxing afternoon. A little confused, but surprised by the spontaneity we go along. We get our swimsuits and they pick us up at our homestay. The thermal baths are an extraordinary experience. From burning hot to ice-cold river water. And still we are amazed by the kindness of people we spontaneously meet.

When we set out again after 4 rest days, Audrey gets another flat tire after a few kilometers. Either Audrey (4 flat tires) is just driving recklessly through everything on the road or Eloy (1 flat tire) is just lucky. Meanwhile, as a team, we patch the tire and are back on the road after a few minutes. Occasionally we have to watch out for crossing cows. The road to the border is largely unpaved, uphill and dusty. Still, we make it to the 80-km mark and are in a bit of a hurry to find a place to pitch the tent, as it gets dark quickly. There is virtually no traffic here, as very few people live in this inhospitable area. A minivan drives by and turns back a moment later and then drives by again and stays a little further away. Okay, now we are a little nervous. Audrey checks the phone, no coverage, shit! She carefully drives past the van and then one of them makes a sleeping sign and says we can follow him. Behind a hill we see 2 containers and a yurt. They portray that it will be too cold tonight and we can sleep in the container. To our dismay, there are beds in it. There is a fire stove, there are 2 cooking stoves and even the Wi-Fi (?!) is turned on. They will come back tomorrow morning. A little later, when we are making macaroni and have gotten the wood stove working, we hear a car approaching. Since hardly anyone comes here, especially after dark, chills run down our spines. Eloy goes to have a look. The men are back and they are back with a big electric heater for extra heating this night! Ashamed of our scary thoughts, we thank them from the bottom of our hearts and give them a contribution for the night. We video call home and enjoy our last special night in Kyrgyzstan.

The next morning we continue toward the border. Today is another 30 km of struggling over gravel and boulders. The going is tough, especially when suddenly a strong icy headwind comes blowing in out of nowhere and wears us down mentally and physically until the end of the day. The cold stings our faces and the border is no more than 2 huts on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. So no warming up. Before we realize it, because we are mostly distracted by the cold, we are in Kazakhstan! Just after the border a car with Americans overtakes us and the window goes down. Eloy tells the familiar story, while Audrey further on fears hypothermia and wants to keep going. We are invited to Kuala Lumpur and given 2 cans of Red Bull. To our surprise, one of them gets out and wears shorts, while we look like bloated Michelin men in our down jackets. Unfortunately, the Red Bull doesn’t give us wings, but we do go a little faster through the boulders that give way to asphalt. Because of the headwind, we are going only 7 km per hour. Eloy in front, Audrey has already given up. In Kegen we start looking for a hotel as clouds blow through the streets. The building seems uninhabitable and abandoned, but through the back we are pointed to a door. When we get to some rooms, we take the stairs up. A lady is sitting there answering phones. Apparently this is also a taxi-center. We plop down in our room while we hear in the background in Dutch: “Hello…. Is this a hotel?” We roar with laughter and think ‘yes, Dutch are really everywhere, even in this little hole in an old Soviet hotel, welcome to Kazakhstan!’

Now that we have included you in our story through this beautiful and challenging country, perhaps you can understand why this was one of the highlights so far, both literally and figuratively. Beautiful people, inhospitable areas and a nature that can’t be beat.

See you in Kazakhstan!

Love, Audrey and Eloy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.