|Respect your elders|
|Osh Bazaar, Bishkek|
|Komuz player at Karool-dobo|
|12 Club, atop the tallest building in Bishkek|
|The 10 mile descent from Kol-ukok|
|Soviet salt mines|
|Beer and vodka break|
|Inside a yurt|
Kyrgyzstan, a developing, mineral-rich, predominantly Muslim country, is one of the most spectacular countries I've been to. Its mountains, lakes, flowers and people are unlike any I've known, in a very good way.
The majority of the people I met were intimately connected to the food they ate, whether it was slaughtering goats, sheep and horses themselves or growing their own produce, and their art was bright and symbolic, as you can see in the picture of the interior of the yurt. They were also friendly, efficient, appreciative and generous.
Beyond the beauty, I had a lot of quirky firsts on this trip: winning a live goat in a foot race, watching a Russian boxer eat a big black spider, sleeping in a yurt, eating a milk-soaked sheep's lung, having my fortune told using magic stones, drinking fermented mare's milk and missing a flight.
The trip was a challenge, ripe with rewards.
Som, if you were wondering, isn't a typo, but the name of their currency. Here's a bonus video of a mom feeding a baby a shot of vodka:
|Vodka...he'll learn to like it|
Welcoming the in-laws to a wedding
|On the way up to Song Kol|