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  • a purely touristy show, where the hunter's wife brought the rabbit in a bag. an eagle that is a bit retarded to actually hunt (some emotional trauma after a fox fought back). a second attempt that was fatal for the rabbit. strong claws and beak that rip skin and flesh, break small bones.

  • Here's a story about how to get from one ex-communist country to another.
    First, get on a sleeper bus with thirty odd chinese men. Warning: you will be required to squeeze on to a bed the size of a match box (three rows, each two story).
    Drive through beautiful mountainous scenery and arrive at Chinese border. At this point your passport will be taken from you with no indication of when you will be reunited.
    Proceed through customs and immigration; perservere with the argument you will have with chinese immigration that, as a British citizen, you do not require a Kyrgyz visa.
    Drive 150km to Kyrgyz border. Wave at the camels and donkeys on the way.
    Arrive at Kyrgyz border. Wrap up warm as it's cold and there's snow on the ground.
    Enter Kyrgyz immigration hut. Don't be put off by the 7-foot tall Kyrgyz policeman dressed in full army attire with a Russian fur hat. Just smile, and when he smiles back, admire his full set of gold crowns on his upper teeth.
    When asked by immigration (in Russian accent) 'do you speak Rrrrussian?', reply in your best home counties accent, 'I'm so sorry, I don't' and look innocent.
    Hop back on the bus. As the bus climbs higher into the mountains and the depths of the snow drifts exceed 2 metres, don't be alarmed, and hope that snow chains will soon appear.
    Snow chains don't appear and ice and snow cover the road. Panic. Bus swerves a lot. Panic a lot.
    Night falls and the bus goes very slowly. At this point you will stop for dinner in a small conrete building where one man feeds the masses with scrambled eggs and bread. It will be the best scrambled eggs you've had.
    Sleep until your arrival at Osh at 2am. If you have made the mistake of trusting lonely planet and are expecting to arrive in the cold light of day the next morning, feel free to panic again as you figure out what you will do for accomodation.
    Finally, enjoy your stay.
    Disclaimer: all of the above is truthful and factual information based on the experiences of one young traveller who thought she could get across the world with no foreign language skills.
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  • Let's play a game - spot the Lada! They are everywhere and seem to be the automotive brand of choice for the police force. So USSR. Today it started snowing and tomorrow the "high" is -6. I intend to spend the day at the Iranian embassy; I do hope it's centrally heated.
    Staying with a Kyrgyz family. It's a guesthouse and I am the only guest (staying true to the name) and their hospitality is quite unbelievable. They invite me in for dinner, make me tea and Guiliya the grandmother has been sharing her many stories with me. We think she should write a book. I am glad to be staying for a few days here.
    Kyrgyzstan is a fun country. Please take a moment to look at the hat below. No lie, this is what the men wear about the town. It's like something out of Noddy. However, they are made of felt and fur-lined so incredibly warm in this cold weather.
    Ruth - I found a vanilla latte. Unfortunately, you weren't with it.
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  • Miriam - schnee! And lots of it.
    It has been below freezing for two days here in Bishkek, plummeting to a painful -13 yesterday morning.
    The post office is very old fashioned. A giant map of the world adorns the main wall and it even had a sewing machine behind the wooden counter. Parcels are wrapped in brown paper and then tied with string. The address is then written on by hand.
    Iranian visa collected this afternoon. Only took three months to arrange...Read more

  • From Issyk Kul to Karakol. Left the move developed part off Kyrgyzstan today. Love it. Roads aren't paved any more. Traffic rules are absent which I experienced today on a more than kamikaze drive on dirt road. People are really nice here and smile a lot.

  • We had nearly two weeks to discover Kyrgyzstan. Because our flight to Delhi was already booked we've spent the time in canteens, undertook some sightseeing and organised a trip around the lake. I bought a 6kg watermelon for around 1€ and ended up sharing it with the whole hostel, because we had to leave the next day ;)

  • Back in Bishkek we've stayed in a funny hotel, which could be rented by the hour. We've eaten more cheap local food and sent many postcards. Hoped that some will arrive... In the end we had to say good bye to Killian, who will make his way to China. Two days later we took the plane to Dehli.

  • Left Bishkek with no regret. Drive to Burana Tower then to Shabdan with lots of stop. Ashu Guesthouse is very charming and the food is good. Went for a walk after lunch. Then horseback riding.
    LOVELY day with lots I of laughing.
    Cooler weather.
    PS. Did visit Kazakhstan off the record ;-)

  • From Chon Kemin to Issyk Kul today. Beautiful landscapes, high mountains 5000m, blue Issyk Kul. And petroglyphs at Cholpon Ata. Behind schedule and had to drop a museum if lunch and dinner should not be at the same time.
    Now staying at an awful resort with lots of rich Russians.

    Still hanging out in this horrible luxury resort. Russians, pop music from the 1970, no cold beer, only one bottle of red wine in the entire restaurant. Food so so - and the restaurant is called: 'The Four Seasons'. Best thing is we're having fun. And they have vodka stocked. Leaving tomorrow - thanks to a unknown landmark for atheists! Karvan Issyk Kul.Read more