Day 168. 83km. Valley camp – Just before the 2nd big pass

Posted: October 18, 2015 in Cycling, Kyrgyzstan
Tags: , , ,

Cycling down yurt valley – wide rolling, grassy hills between two distant ridges of snowy mountains. Horses as far as the eye can see. And kymys (fermented mare milk) sales direct from the yurt. And inside the yurt I look up and see the Kyrgyzstan flag – the arches at the top adorning every roof.

Yurt roof

Yurt roof

There was nothing else to eat. In Kyrgyzstan I have grown used to shops selling Snickers. Invited into several different yurts, I got offered kymys (which I can barely drink out of politeness), bread and cream (that is good), and cubes of lamb fat (which is not bad either). I passed on the little lamb foot poking up at me from the plate. Grandma was dismembering an animal (a lamb, I think), removing different organs when I entered. Later I saw it all hanging out in the sun in a big netting (to protect it from the flies) on what looked like a clothes-line.

Meat hanging out to dry

Meat hanging out to dry

Central to every yurt is its kymys container. One was in the form of a big barrel with a long-handled ladle. Another was a big pouch made from leather. Poking out the top was a wooden stick, which was to be pumped up and down to make the kymys fizzy before serving.

Kymys holder

Kymys holder

All the people are lovely, very welcoming, and very happy. They are all here in Yurt Valley for the summer before returning to their village of Talas for the winter.

Yurt friends

Yurt friends

Yurt school

Yurt school

Kymys sales

Kymys sales

And then I reached it. A service station. With everything a service station has in the west. Cold drinks. Chocolates. Chips. A comfortable modern chair and table. I blush as I breathe a sigh of relief and sink into the seat. I binge on things I maybe shouldn’t. Sometimes it’s all just too foreign.

Service station

Service station

I’m camped behind a little ridge, not visible from the road. This place is well known for bikes being stolen. All cyclists camp near here at the base of the road that climbs 1100m in 10km. I hope my spot is hidden enough.

Comments
  1. Juliet says:

    Haha, I like the bit about the relief of familiar things ‘sometimes it’s all just too foreign’ So true. I hear that from Grum a bit too (Grum goes global). Happy peddling.

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