Inform us extra… I spent a fast 5 days exploring the Tien Shan Mountains in Kyrgyzstan on a horse trek. Kyrgyzstan is an especially mountainous nation, and has simply accomplished an initiative to mark and map a community of trekking trails. And as I’m a little bit of a horse nut, and Kyrgyzstan is likely one of the most horse-crazy international locations on the planet, it appeared proper to do my exploring from the again of a hardy steed.
In a nutshell… This was a totally off-the-grid journey involving a five-and-a-half-hour four-wheel-drive trip into the mountains alongside the Chinese language border, totally on unpaved previous Soviet roads and dust tracks, with the odd horse/sheep/goat visitors jam. I stayed at a yurt camp and took horse treks in the course of the day, visiting the otherworldly Köl-Suu lake, watching September snowfall whereas staying heat over a fireplace and consuming Kyrgyz tea sweetened with wild-blackcurrant jam.
Defining second? Standing underneath the starriest sky I’ve ever seen, shivering underneath two coats and sipping Kyrgyz cognac from the bottle to maintain heat. With the closest gentle air pollution a minimum of 5 hours away in any course (if not a lot, rather more), the Milky Approach goes from horizon to horizon right here. I’m fairly educated concerning the night time sky, however there have been so many stars that I fully misplaced all sense of the place acquainted constellations and ‘brilliant stars’ even had been. It was only a large, glimmering mass, so brilliant you possibly can discover your solution to the outhouse with no head torch by starlight alone.
Good grub? Kyrgyz nomad meals is hearty and designed that can assist you face up to frigid, lengthy winters and really excessive altitudes. There’s numerous bread, jam, black tea, soups and noodles. I used to be affected by slightly little bit of altitude illness and the tea, jam and bread was the right consolation meals.
You’d be a muppet to overlook… Köl-Suu. It’s the form of lake that solely exists in your desires, or in some bygone adventurer’s travelogue. After a two-hour horse trip to get there, it began snowing, which solely made the shards of gray peaks rising up out of milky turquoise water that rather more otherworldly.
Fridge magnet or higher? My nomad hostess gifted me with a large jar of her selfmade jam, produced from blackcurrants she harvested within the mountains. It was a dangerous recreation placing it into my baggage however fortunately it arrived house in tact (and my garments unscathed from jam residue).
Fave exercise? Simply being on horseback out within the wild, so removed from wherever. It’s a magical expertise that’s powerful to explain. You change into very conscious of matters just like the sound of the wind and the sensation of letting your horse take his personal sure-footed strides over typically rocky and typically marshy landscapes and thru frigid rivers. We additionally took a ship trip out into the center of Köl-Suu, however the motor was damaged so we needed to row. That undoubtedly made it extra memorable.
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Megan travelled to Kyrgyzstan with assist from USAID Enterprise Development Initiative Venture and #DiscoverKyrgyzstan. Lonely Planet contributors don’t settle for freebies in alternate for optimistic protection.
Need extra behind-the-scenes adventures? Discover out what Vacation spot Editor Trisha Ping received as much as on her latest journey on the Trans-Mongolian Railway.