Kyrgyzstan between mountains, lakes and horses

Enter in Kyrgyzstan from Tourgat pass 3752m gives you a simple entrance procedures, with fast and smiley soldiers and 60 days free visa on arrival, and a scenic beginning, no documents need for the car. Road conditions are still very poor. The first night the camping spot is situated in Tash Rabat, last night with Tim, Jeff and Ania but, even if nobody of us know yet, is the first night of 2 months adventure with Jens and Helen. Next day we visit the ruins where the ancient caravans of traders and explorers were resting with their animals, maybe also Marco Polo spent few night here…

A thick and fast “snow” start to follow and in a few minutes everything turns white, is time to leave to Son Kul lake 3016m.

Once again the treet is steep and difficult but finally was worth to drive until this paradise surrounded by horses and with some yurt far away that looks like white cotton spots on the green landscape. After sunset we are reached by a car of overlanders from Poland who shared their interesting and funny experiences.

The next day after saying good bye to Dominika, Marcin and Kristopher we visit a family living in a Yurt.

Arrived in Bishkek we feel like home, the public buses are the same model of Polenta, mix of etnies between Russian and Asian, finally cheeses and dry meet at the supermarket.

In the capital we have to obtain 3 visas, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Iran, and find a good mechanic and a painter for Polenta.

The establish the base camp at Almaz‘s house and start to work with Jens and Helen, they also need Tajikistan and Iran visa.

The Uzbek visa is easy but not fast, takes one week after feeling the application form, you can keep your passport with you, good for us to apply at the same time for the Iran visa.

The Iranian visa take one day if you first apply trough an agency, they usually take 10 days to send to the embassy the authorization number to the embassy, we used Uppersia, they work good and plus you pay 35€ once you get in Iran. Helen because of her British passport need one month, Than became two after, and an organized tour for the whole Iran trip, that’s why they canceled the travel to Iran at the end. For the Tajik visa we were first told that no visas were issued before 15 September due to a central Asia president’s summit, so this mean no time for the Pamir Highway, no Tajikistan, but after re-planning our route several time we get to the final decision with Jens and Helen, WE WILL DRIVE THE PAMIR TOGETHER, so we apply to get the visa and enter in Tajikistan after 15 of sept.
Now search for the mechanic. It was frustrating see all this Polentas around and no good mechanic able to be professional with this model. The mechanic research became an odyssey.

After 15 days we are happy to leave the city to meet with at Issuk Kul with Jens and Helen. They are also tring to manage some paperwork about Iran that will not work even if they went back to bishkek for the second time…and there will be a tird one, but they don’t know yet.
The food here is basically Lagman, a soup with long and gummy noodles, some dishes with Muslim influence, with mutton and others from Russia. Issik Kul the second largest salty lake in the world look like Mallorca if you ignore the mountain on the background. Here in Karakol we did paragliding with Sergey and a horse excursion for 3 days to visit the Ala Kol Lake at 3529 m.

The excursion consisted to reach the base camp with the horses caring our luggage, food ant tend, camp all of us in one tend, the second day trek from 2500m to the lake and get lost under the rain on the way back and the tird day go back to Karakol by horse.

The last days on the lake we saw the first world nomads games especially the nomad rugby that consist in a king of rugby with horse riding and with a sheep without head as ball. On the way to te boarder we camped in a field full of wild canapa before get to Saritash where we were scared to see the big wall of snowed mountains, including peak Lenin around 7000m, that we will cross the next day. To forget te fear, after dinner we celebrate with wine and gin the wedding anniversary of Jens and Helen. Julian and Heike were right when they told us that Kyrgyzstan will be one of our favorite countries.

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