Calendar Home
Previous Day

October 12, 2002

Next Day
Kyrgyzstan retains its nomadic roots better than any other Central Asian country; many Kyrgyz live in yurts, which are round tents, during the summer and use horses as their main transportation. In the spirit of being Kyrgyz we met our horses at dawn's break. Horses have a way of identifying inexperienced riders and galloping at the first opportunity. We mounted our horses and they ran off before we could adjust the stirrups. At full gallop they carried us through a rock strewn canyon. What was our guide doing? He was having a good time whooping on his horse and following along. No helmets, no safety lesson, not even a question, "Are you ready?" In Kyrgyzstan people believe that 'in-the-saddle' training is the best way for newcomers to learn about horses. Our ride lasted all day, we covered forty kilometers, and our horses challenged us with rocks, scree, and river crossings.
Jill prefers the Bactrian camel to a horse, more cushions.
On a horse with no-name; the Kyrgyz don't name their horses. In old age, a horse finishes its life on the dinner table of its owner.
Yes, we sampled horse meat at this dinner. At the end of our ride we arrived in Timor Kanat, a small village where we stayed with a family of farmers. When our tour group set up its operation, they asked for volunteers in the village to provide homestays for visiting tourists. These farmers were the only ones who believed anyone would want to visit their small village.