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Prim’s travel blog: On the road in Central Asia with Dragoman

Dragoman guide Prim is now on the road with us in Central Asia, exploring the Mountain Kingdoms of Kyrgyzstan between Tashkent and Bishkek. This is a region famed for its hospitality, and the semi-nomadic people who live here will host the group as they journey through the rugged, mountainous landscape.

Take it away, Prim!


The Latest... Part Three



Sortiri is in fact still living large, ready and loaded for some riverside catering. For a decent feed, jobs are allocated and cook groups crack on. Here's Milo keeping the cook team sweet whilst earning some Kyrgyz pocket money.


On the menu in Jeti-Dough-Nuts is in fact head chef Douglas' very own... Doug-Nuts. Let's see how these truck treats were made!


From the Beginning... Part One

Today we left Tashkent to head over the Kamchik Pass (2270m) into the 'bread and cotton basket of Uzbekistan', the Fergana Valley.


Stopping off en route to Fergana City at the Yodgorlik Silk Factory in Margilan, we saw the silk making process from start to finish! One silkworm produces 1km of silk!


Liz and Tanja mooving cowfully through the traffic out of Arslanbob!


Part Two

Here's all the gang. We are a 3-girl crew: Liz lead the way from Iran, through Turkemenistan and Uzbekistan, with Tanja, driver/mechanic-in-chief of our trusty truck Sortiri. I joined in Tashkent to take out-of-focus pics and make poor puns. Then there's Shahmurat, our local Kyrgyz guide, fountain of knowledge and fun. Half of the gang have been on the truck since Ashgabat, the other half have quickly got to know the ins and outs of the truck. All set for a camping-filled trip through Kyrgyzstan!


Here's Carme, aka 'Bonita', with Sweet Milo as they raise the roofseats on our way to our second bush camp - an impressive spot at the foot of red sandstone cliffs by the Kekemeren River.


Today we make the climb up to Song Köl, an alpine lake at 3,025m. It's always an itinerary changer... there's lots of weather up here and wet ground would mean a bogging. But there was snow way we were going to miss it.


Horse-riding at Song Köl. These fab ponies make Ghengis Khan(t)s out of us. A three hour trek up into the hills and a gallop home along the lake. Best combination goes to second from the right, Paul and Carrot the Horse.


We drop down from Song Köl and get crafty in Kochkor. A women's felt making cooperative, we learn the felt-making process from start to finish. Papped with Fatima is Kyrgyzstan's in-truck DJ, DJ Har-V. He washes wool underfoot whilst breaking it down it down to some traditional Kyrgyz tunes. Perfect.


After a chilly swim we trade in the tents for a cosy yurt. Wood burner and all!


Eagle-y awaiting the falconry display from Talgart (man) and Tumar (bird). A millennia-old nomad tradition, eagles could provide food and furs for up to 20 families in a week. Now it is mainly practiced to collect furs, in competitions and to maintain the tradition.


Mountain Kingdoms of KyrgyzstanBishkek - Tashkent

Through Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan
This route runs in both directions
$1,600 USD+