We left Usbekistan in the morning after having crossed villages and agricultural fields. We bid goodbye to our dynamic guide Otabek at the border in Osh and walked quickly through the customs. On the Kirgisistan side we were welcomed by Arnara, our new guide. She explained a lot about her country, while we were waiting for the drivers with the cars in the shade of a fuel station. For lunch we had soup and rice in a refreshing garden with a creek.
Then we took the legendary Pamir highway M41 to Sary-Tash. We drove up to the Taldyk pass which is at the altitude of 3615 m. It was overwhelming! Juicy wide green grass fields with large herds of horses, yurts, cows, goats, sheep and chicken enjoying their liberty. Impressive mountains, running rivers and creeks with a lot of water. The nomads spend the summer here and we were impressed how fertile the land is at this altitude. They have large flocks of horses and sheep, some cows. Beautiful changing colours greens, reds, browns and greys. When we reached our hostel in the small village of Sary-Tash, we could see parts of the Pamir in the clouds.
We enjoyed the food made by our landlord in the yurt and Arnara explained the making and usage of these nomad tents. The different materials used are sticks from poplar trees to make the structure, leather to make the strings that hold the structure together, sheep wool and straw to make the walls, to cover the floor and for isolation. Women used to sit on the right hand side, men on the left. When someone died in the family, they removed one stick in order that every guest could see and present his condolences and pray for the dead. Nowadays yurts are only used for ceremonies like weddings. Containers have replaced them.
During our short stay in Kirgisistan we met friendly and welcoming people. The country would be worth a longer stay.