Here are a last few photos from Kyrgyzstan ….

Our Homestay on the border of Krygystan and Tajikistan.

Has views that feel almost sureal.

It uses Yak dung for fuel.

And is home to this little firebrand.

With loads of attitude we think he will go places one day.

His grandmother in the kitchen churns out delicous meals. Goat milk in the hanging blue bucket is cheese in the making.

We have not slept this warm and well in ages. See all the duvets running up the walls.

The roads take us up.

And up …

… with scenery that at times looks more like a painting …

The roads do let one down every now and then …

… leaving you to find your own way…

The road has surprises. Old shipping containers are put to good use here as a home …

… and as markets.

We love markets.

For us it is a way to really get a feel for how  local folk live on a daily basis.

… those layers are fat …

Markets never fail in providing the freshest produce.

The ones at the back intrigue me. A door slides down to trap the mouse. What happens after that is anyone’s guess.

Motor parts galore, all from containers.

It is not only at markets that we find interesting meals. Along the road we find …

… smoked and dried salted fish …

The sweetest apricots grow wild.

And are fed from pure mountain streams.

As are the melons.

Fresh honey and mare’s milk by the truck load.

Produce being harvested in a timeless way.

Apricots drying for the coming winter.

Sausages are hand made from the remaining entrials and actually taste pretty good.

Every now and then we get to share a meal …

… if only I could have taken this stray fellow home with me …

Religion was supressed in Soviet times. Churches and mosques were either destroyed or converted into factories and warehouses.

This wooden Russian orthodox church in Karakol was one of the lucky ones to survive.

Even after 70 years of concerted Soviet repression so much faith still remains intact.

What looks like a Mongolian buddhist temple is actually a mosque. It too survived.


Built without nails, it took 3 years to complete by Chinese artisians in 1910.Today it is again a mosque for the local Dungun (Muslim Chinese) communtiy.

Wherever we go we are reminded of the Soviet past. This is a memorial to fallen comrades.

… as is this …

… and this …

The Soviets we felt were masters at creating stirring, art deco type memorials. This is huge, see how it dwarfs Linda.

Then they seemed to loose the plot.

These are some of the more insipring apartment blocks from Soviet times. This architect tried to add some life to the facades of their drab modular forms.

Services were utiliterian at best. These are above the ground water pipes. They are to be found everywhere.

Throughout the old Soviet states we travel parks are trees which create the impression of a forest in a city.

Some things stay the same though.

Under the watchful eye of Lenin. He seems to still be revered as we encounter staues of him often.

Things are changing slowly. These are post communisim memorials.

And then again some things appear to remain the same.This is what “remains” of the Soviet Polygon (military research unit) on lake Issyk-Kol.

Remaining fortified, it was used by the Soviets to test high precision torpedoes. In 1991 Yeltsin requested it be continued but the Kyrgyz president ordered it shut down.

Yet strangely the Russian flag still flies today within the compound …

On the north shore of lake Issyk-Kol we get to swim in the middle of the Kyrgyz summer.

There must be something in the lake’s mud.

Linda gets to enjoy some smoked fish from the lake.


While she gets to play.

There is always the poser in the crowd.

Even the most unlikely of 4 legged posers …

The sun goes down …

And its time to party with beach Karaoke.