Crossing the border by train from Tashkent to Shymkent was much easier than I’d expected! Besides being asked about 15 times to show my passport from the very entrance of the train station to the actual Uzbek-Kazakh border, everything went smoothly.
A caravanserai was a sort of inn with rooms, stables and food, not far from modern-day guesthouses, where traders and merchants could rest for a few days with their animals, usually for free.
Our chai master near Song Kol lake wore traditional Kyrgyz clothes of bright kök (blue) and kara (black), worked the fresh sheep fleece with her bare hands to make saddle cushions and sewed pillows and tapestry in her free time. She welcomed us in her yurt to learn and live with the Kyrgyz shepherds in the wild plains of central Kyrgyzstan. Rahmat chai master!
Kyrgyzstan is that little country landlocked between Russia, China and its other Central Asian sisters had for a while now caught my attention with its mysterious culture, a mixed heritage of the old Soviet Union, Asia and the Middle East, that I wanted to discover.