Karakol. This small Kyrgyz country town eventually made a name for itself among travelers who, in their haste to venture into the mountains and hike to Lake Ala-Kul, missed out on all that Karakol has to offer. Perfectly integrated into the local life, we stayed more than two months in Karakol – without ever getting tired of its charm, its heritage, its local bazaar and the peaceful atmosphere that reigns in this welcoming land…
Kyrgyzstan, or the flagship country of Central Asia, did not disappoint us at all: in the midst of its magnificent mountainous landscapes, where horses and sheep graze in harmony, we discovered generous people with strong and well-established traditions, borrowed from the nomadic culture and the Soviet Empire. A great breath of fresh air and unique experiences, to enjoy as much as you like!
If there is one Uzbek ancient city that we are not ready to forget, it’s indeed Bukhara! Mythical city, located on the Silk Road, Bukhara with its hundred-year-old monuments and intriguing Madrasa has enchanted us as much as a tale of a thousand and one nights…
Central Asia cuisine consists of simple and tasty, often hearty dishes – the kind of dishes that help you get through a harsh winter in the heart of the steppes. A mixture of Turkish-Asian-Russian influence and nomadic traditions, there is a lot of grilled meat (mutton, horse) but also vegetarian dishes made of fresh vegetables and herbs that colour the stalls of street bazaars. We took pleasure in watching these foods being meticulously prepared and then cooked in steam, in a wok or tandoor (traditional oven used in Uzbekistan). But most of all, we enjoyed eating them by hand – the traditional way of tasting food in Central Asia!
Traveling through Central Asia, we had some time ahead of us (two to three weeks) before entering China. We then decided to visit Uzbekistan in the middle of October to take advantage of the last sunny days, discover the Uzbek culture, admire the splendor of the Great Silk Road Ancient cities… If this short period of time seemed enough according to many travelers feedbacks; for us, it quickly appeared that it would not be enough to fully enjoy Uzbekistan!
Bonjour, Hello, Ciao, Dober dan, Dobar dan, Mirëdita, Geai sou, Merhaba, Barev, Gamarjoba, Salam, Salom! Welcome to our series of newletters which retraces, chapter by chapter, our great hitchhiking jouney. Here is the chapter 13 of our travel stories: “Silk and Doppas” – Roadtrip in Uzbekistan & Kyrgyz Pamir.
Bonjour, Hello, Ciao, Dober dan, Dobar dan, Mirëdita, Geai sou, Merhaba, Barev, Gamarjoba, Salam! Welcome to our series of newletters which retraces, chapter by chapter, our great hitchhiking jouney. Here is the chapter 12 of our travel stories: “Getting higher” – Roadtrip in Kyrgyzstan.
After a restful stay in Almaty, we were sure that we would not be disappointed at the end of our stay in Kazakhstan: the southern mountains and the green meadows of this region were the best thing to come for nature lovers like us. On our notebook, Charyn canyon came first…
Before entering Kazakhstan, we thought this country was a very vast and semi-desert land, with steppes as far as the eye can see. We even had gotten used to “Move along, there is nothing to see here”. We were, to tell the truth, far from suspecting that Kazakhstan actually had several sides… Of which we took pleasure to discover each of them!
In 2012, Kyrgyzstan embarked on a major project to establish World Nomad Games, an sports event similar to the Olympic Games, in order to preserve and promote sports that are part of all around the world nomadic people cultures. These include horse-riding, hunting, wrestling, archery, tug-of-war and intellectual games (ossicles, marble games). For the third edition this year, the World Nomad Games brought together more than 2,000 athletes from 77 different countries, including France. And we were there!
Bonjour, Hello, Ciao, Dober dan, Dobar dan, Mirëdita, Geai sou, Merhaba, Barev, Gamarjoba, Salam! Welcome to our series of newletters which retraces, chapter by chapter, our great hitchhiking jouney. Here is the chapter 11 of our travel stories: “Steppes conquest” – Roadtrip in Kazakhstan.
Planning a trip to Kyrgyzstan? You’ve probably heard about the famous Ala Kul trekking and Altyn Arashan hotsprings – and maybe you’re even planning to go there!… We understand you: having the opportunity to hike in the green Kyrgyz mountains, walking on a ridge, somewhere at 3900m above sea level; picnicking on the shores of a high altitude lake and meeting Kyrgyz nomads doesn’t happen every day!… On the other hand, you may not know that it’s possible to make this trek without a guide and in complete autonomy? The exact location of the free hotsprings in Altyn Arashan? Nor how to prepare this trek, in how many days, with what equipment? All the answers to your questions can be found in this trek guide!