Chon Kemin Valley, Burana & Bishkek

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Silk Road Part 10 of 17. The next morning we took a small walk in the lovely Chon Kemin valley. It was a tease really, as I wanted to go walking here but there was no time. The views were superb and the air clean and fresh. The mountains of this country are most certainly… Read more »

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North Issy Kul Shore

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Silk Road Part 9 of 17. Before leaving Karakol we stopped to visited 2 religious sites, both given new leases of life after being reassigned under Soviet rule. The first was the beautiful Russian Orthodox cathedral of the Holy Trinity, made from pine imported from Siberia, which had been demoted to a dance hall under… Read more »

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Along Lake Issy Kul

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Silk Road Part 8 of 17. We started early and drove north along Lake Issy Kul. Regina told me tales of Kyrgyz history and of their pre-Islamic shamanist ways, many of which still persist beneath a thin veil of Islam. The goddess Umai (Mother Earth) and Khan Tengri (Father Sky) still pervaded the thinking of… Read more »

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Into Kyrgyzstan

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Silk Road Part 7 of 17. “Conor McGregor”, the customs official beamed at me when he learned I was Irish. Conor McGregor is a low brow Ultimate fighter from Ireland who has made it big on the world stage in this sport, including, it seems, in Kyrgyzstan. It wasn’t the last time I heard his… Read more »

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