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Fear and Loathing with Pegasus Airlines

By |March 1st, 2017|

Since I flew for the first time in 1999, a lot has changed. Flying is nothing special anymore, pure routine like riding a bus. You can eat at home, check-in online, stewards and stewardesses no longer need to smile and no one cares about safety instructions. It is understood that the pilot lands the [...]

Horse’n Ski in Kyrgyzstan

By |March 1st, 2016|

The small wood stove has heated the yurt quickly. Finally, having reached the camp in the valley of Ak Suu, we can relax, take off our jackets and warm our hands on a hot cup of chai. Our butts are sore from riding on horse back for four hours straight but in Kyrgyzstan it’s a [...]

Drag Lift from Hell

By |May 13th, 2015|

If you are into pain and looking to be beaten up, I advise you to use an old soviet drag lift. For this to work, you need be prone to dumbness and having a snowboard helps, too, but is not mandatory. […]

Faces of Osh Bazaar

By |March 27th, 2015|

I'm reluctant to bazaars, first because I find shopping in general stressful and secondly, because being in crowds drives me to the brink of insanity. In Kyrgyzstan, thirdly, police has found an additional source of income, by searching tourists, more precisely, their purses. But where, if not at a marketplace, you can experience a country's [...]

Road Trip in Karakalpakstan

By |September 5th, 2014|

"Where the f** is Karakalpakstan?" I wonder when I hear about it the first time. It doesn't have anything to do with Pakistan, the country. Wikipedia explains: "Karakalpakstan is an autonomous republic at the northwestern end of Uzbekistan. It has an area of 160,000 square kilometres (62,000 sq mi)  and a population of about 1.7 Million. The [...]

Dry-Tooling in Chunkurchak

By |April 13th, 2014|

As I understand it, "dry tooling" is ice climbing without ice, using ice axes and crampons on the rock. They say, it was originally developed to bridge rocky passages in order to reach free hanging, frozen waterfalls. I had not heard about it, and when my Russian friend Katya suggested to visit the competition at [...]

No Sport for the Faint-Hearted

By |March 22nd, 2014|

Kok Boru is a real men's sport. This we notice as soon as we get to the grandstands of the Bishkek Hippodrome. Being a woman, you stick out like a sore thumb. If you continue to look around, you cannot help but wonder if the security forces are outnumbering the spectators. So we take our [...]

Sahid’s Farm

By |March 12th, 2014|

Actually Lisa was just looking for a horse sharing set-up, now she is a farmhand. How it happened? - She took the Mashrutka to the village and asked her way around. Speaking Russian clearly is an advantage. A woman from a shop introduces Lisa to Sahid. He owns a farm near Kashka Suu, about half [...]

Fox Hunting with an Eagle

By |March 9th, 2014|

The two horsemen came all the way from their small village to the canyons. There, at the foot of the mountains, the hunt starts. Anvarbek moves along the hills, his 14-year-old son Azamat rides with his horse along the valley. They patrol one canyon after another. This is a hunting trip: The young Azamat is [...]

Couchsurfing in Almaty

By |January 8th, 2014|

The taxi driver asks: "What was your first impression of Almaty?" I answer: "A nasty rip off by a taxi driver." In the morning, I took the Mashrutka from Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan) to Almaty (Kazakhstan):      Cost: 500 Som (10 USD) one-way      Driving time: approximately five hours      Border post: Korday      Reason: visa extension [...]