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Central Asia 2006






Horse Riding in Kyrgyzstan           


The Mountains of Heaven Ride

The journey started with a flight to Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan. After a look around the city we drove out northwards and then eastwards into the Alatau range of mountains and over a pass at 3038m. Dropping down to Song Kul, a lake at 3016m, we camped in tents and yurts. The next day we met our horses and climbed up into the hills behind the camp to reach a pass above the snow line.

Then our horse ride started in earnest. We rode beside the lake and then started our climb into the mountains and down into the valleys. After about seven or eight hours in the saddle we reached our camp for the night. A good meal with vodka toasts and we were ready for our sleeping bags in the tents.

A similar pattern of riding took place over the next four days. The mountains were always in sight and often snow-capped. Sometimes the tracks were narrow and we had to dismount and lead the horses. On the last day we rode alongside a valley with several glaciers visible on the mountainside. A wonderful experience. Then it was time for me to leave my friends and travel down the Shamshy valley to Tokmak. On the way we visited the Burana Tower. The Sogdians founded this Soviet restoration of an 11th century monument


Horse Riding

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Bishkek - State Historical Museum


Statue of Lenin now moved to behind the museum. Many statues of Lenin have been removed completely.

Bishkek - Changing the guard in Ala-Too Square.

Bishkek - near the entrance to the Osh Bazaar

Spice stall in the Osh Bazaar.

Osh Bazaar.

Osh Bazaar.

A view across the river at the Kazakhstan hills.

A donkey by the road side.

Osh Bazaar.

Driving up into the Alatau Mountains.
Reservoir Orto-Tokoyskoe


At our lunch stop beside the Kochkor River.


Climbing up to the Kalmak-Ashuu Pass in the Nara-Natta Range


This was a good streach of road.



Song-Kol yurt camp.


Sunset at Song-Kol.


Sunset at Song-Kul


Near the lake.


Camel grazing.


Riding up behind Song-Kol.


Nearing the Pass.


Looking down from the Pass.


Looking down at the lake.


Lunch stop.


Getting ready for our ride over the Song-Kel Too Range.


On our way.


Lunch time.



Looking back at Song-Kol




View from my tent the next morning.


Fahd and Dom.





At our lunch stop.


A Samovar.







Good night.

Another morning dawns at Kyzyl-Debe.




I think I will just rest my head on Express.




Herd of cattle being moved.



Another camping place.








Glaciers near the Shamsy Valley



Glaciers near the Shamsy Valley

Lower down the valley is tree covered.


View from my tent on the last morning.


The Burana Tower - This Soviet restoration of a 11th century monument is a reminder of the ancient citadel of Balasagun.

Flowers of Kyrgyzstan