Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan is a beautiful country with lots and lots of mountains, leading to long car journeys. It doesn’t help speed of travel that the roads are usually in bad condition but it does add to a real sense of adventure and heading off into the unknown.

The local people are very hospitable and friendly. It seems like 90% of the tourists are cyclists and their suffering faces as they struggled up steep hills always made me sympathetic. However, if you meet them at guesthouses and the like – a word of warning – the conversation can get repetitive, with most cyclists facing the same problems of exhaustion and food poisoning.

Song Kul was very nice, with a beautiful night sky (the highlight) but was one of those places where you quickly feel restless. Arslanbob was really relaxing and a great place to chill out and go walking. The cities – Bishkek, Osh and Jalal Abad – are not very interesting and for us were mostly a place to have a hot shower and connect to the internet. The real highlight of Kyrgyrstan is the scenery along the way, which is amazing and varies a lot from one region to another.

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