We have travelled over 3000km with the colostomy bag set up on Josephine , thankful for every kilometre. But it cannot continue indefinitely and with the tireless help of SW Motech a replacement motor is on its way from Germany to Kyrgyzstan. 

While we wait for this we decide to travel right around Lake Issyk- Kol , the second largest Alpine lake in the world. And it is here, on its south shores that we are fortune to have one of those chance encounters that will stay with us for the rest of our lives. 

We meet Talgar, a horseback hunter who forms a remarkable bond with a Golden eagle named Tamara.  

Raising eagles is a labour of love and a tradition that has been passed down over the generations. 

Their relationship started nine years ago with Tamara,  a young chick, being sung ballads by Talgar. The sound of his voice becomes imprinted on the bird and forms a union between the two.  

Together they hunt not for profit but as a tradition that is underscored by a need to provide food and pelts when required. 

Here are a few pictures of our meeting. 


The local eagle hunter Talgar & his companion, Tumara.

Have a remarkable bond.

That has been nurtured since she was a chick 9 years earlier.

Tumara is released to seek prey.

It is impossible not to feel pity for this hare.

With an eyesight for prey a few kilometeres away, it did not stand a chance.

She holds her  prey and calls Talgar with shrill  tones .

Depending on the prey she must either release it for Talgars use or is allowed to consume it.

Today she is fortunate.

Her powerful beak…

… and talons make short work of this meal. These talons have taken two years to recover after she hunted down a wolf.

Hares are apparently low in cholestrol which is not good for Tamara.

Talgar decides that she has had enough.

… which becomes a battle of wills between the two.

The only way he is going to win this one is to attempt to put her hood back on.

Which is not going to be easy as Tamara hangs on doggedly to her prey.

She simply will not give up, even with her hood on.

Every relationship I guess has these standoff moments.

Talgar finally manages to wrestle away what’s left of the hare.

A peck to make up.

Is returned with Talgar  removing debris  from her beak.

And we are even allowed to get into the act.

At 7 kg she is not light though.

It must be hearbreaking for Talgar to know that…

… when Tamara reaches 20 years old she will be released back into the wild to breed and their bond will be permantely broken.