Yurts and Yaks

Apologies for the lack of posts but we have not been in any towns for nearly two weeks and so have not been able to access the internet.

After relaxing in Osh we headed north and are currently in Karakol, western Kyrgyrstan. We've had an eventful time lately

 

Horseriding for a day though the world's largest walnut forest on horses that had wooden saddles, not the most comfortable of rides with my notoriously bony backside.

 

Riding some of the best roads I have been on - steep mountain tracks, challenging enough to be enjoyable and high enough to experience eagles swooping in at 3000 metres for a closer look at the bike

 

Tobi and Claus catching us up having ridden from Germany to Kyrgyrstan in nine days! just the thought of it is enough to make my backside go numb again.

 

Tobi collecting dry cow dung for a local style fire - more smoke than any flames unfortuantely and that was only with a bit of petroleum assistance.

Lunching in a yurt with a family who invited us in when we turned up in their village looking pathetically hungry

 

Trying kymys - fermented mare's milk the nomadic families don't cultivate anything but have lots of horses so they make their alcohol from the milk. Kymys has a poor reputation but to be honest it was OK, tasted a bit like scrumpy (rough cider) but with a yoghurt after-taste. I was ready for seconds but thought I had better not as I still had 100kms of riding to do that day.

 

Camping at 3000 metres and the rain freezing to the outside of the tent.

 

Followed by swimmimg in the lake at the same altitude- a brief but refreshing swim, the others would not believe me when I said it was a similar temperature to the water at Porthcurno.

 

Trying to get close enough to the yaks to get a good picture but getting a bit spooked by the nasty look in their eyes and so retreating.

 

Doing a river crossing very nicely but then dropping Thelma in a big muddy puddle (whilst transporting a dozen eggs)

 

Annie opting out of the river crossing on Thelma, searched for an alternative and ended up on the back of a very small donkey with a young child perched behind her "driving" the donkey through the stream (sorry Annie, through the raging current), this was made all the more comical by the fact that Annie was wearing full bike gear including her helmet. The piece de resistance of the performance was when she fell off on the other side of the river and landed on her backside - a great crowd pleaser as always.