Posts Tagged ‘Sarytash’


Today was sheep migration day. Herded by shepherds on horses, the wall of sheep advanced up the valley. And we advanced down the valley. Down and down several climate zones into a different temperate – and green – world.

The road to Osh

The road to Osh

Kyrgyzstan is a different world. Green, steep slopes with horses grazing. The mountains, with rocky outcrops, reminded me of the Dolomites in Italy rather than the barren, windswept plains of the Pamir Plateau. Everywhere there were yurts, and people with horses and sheep. On the side of the road were little boys selling fermented mare’s milk. For the record, it is not my taste..

Fermented mare's milk

Fermented mare’s milk

Krygyzstan feels wealthier and more western. There are more (modern) cars and the road surface is immaculate. We saw road signs indicating where roads go, including distances. This is a rare thing in central Asia. There were marked picnic spots on the side of the road, and accurate ascent and descent signs. Unfortunately, the headwind has been imported over from Tajikistan which slowed an otherwise fabulous descent from the cold, windswept high mountain plateau (over 4000m) to our end destination (tomorrow) of Osh (around 1000m).

Nice road surface

Nice road surface

We have a lovely little camp spot next to the raging river. Tomorrow on to Osh.


The weather threw everything at us as we left the roof of the world. Our headwind remained. It snowed over the pass on the border with Kyrgyzstan, and pissed down as we descended. Then the sun broke, the tailwind was rolled out, and we crossed the most spectacular valley flanked with massive snowy peaks. Welcome to Kyrgyzstan.

Looking back at the Pamirs

Looking back at the Pamirs

One of my favourite videos is ‘The Road to Karakol’. A mountaineer cycles around Kyrgyzstan, climbing peaks, and nearly dying as he has to cross a raging river. The video is funny, the scenery is spectacular, and it gets me emotional whenever I see it. In one scene, the cyclist has a race with a little boy on a horse. Today I saw that little boy on a horse, shepherding his sheep. Cycling down across a wide valley with spectacular mountains as a backdrop, I couldn’t help but think about the film. I am here in Kyrgyzstan, in the ‘Switzerland of Central Asia’.

Horseboy

Horseboy

The descent was muddy and wet.

Precarious dunny

Precarious dunny

Mixing of colours

Mixing of colours

The little town of Sarytash felt like a small step back to civilization. There were shops with things to buy, and it all felt a bit wealthier. Still no showers, though.

Sarytash

Sarytash