Local boy running his horses up the alpine meadow
High up in the mountains of southern Kyrgyzstan, not far from the mountain pass that leads into China, lies Tash Rabat. Precisely the kind of place I really love, it is an old stone fortified “caravanserai“, standing cold in the high, remote mountains, full of ghosts. Not all ghosts are bad, as I would discover. On a cold night, this place takes you back to the Silk Road five or ten centuries ago.
Storm blows in towards Lake Son-kul
A breeze can turn to a blast in seconds. We lazed at the door of our yurt in the last light of day, and the wind did just that. “Ai!” yelled the matron of the camp, if that’s the way to describe a tough as nails Kyrgyz mother. Seeing her start tying down the other yurts, we clued in quickly and did the same to ours. Moments later the storm hit, sending dust flying and causing the horses to whinny in complaint, their high pitched wail rising high over the thumping flap of woolen yurt doors cutting loose from their ties. Rain splashed down, brief but hard, and then, almost before it had come, it was gone. The sun put in one last effort, the air was soft again, and the cold night fell.
If you’re a vegan, look away now. If you love fluffy bunnies, look away now. If you don’t like blood and guts, look away now.
Because out on the steppes, it’s survival of the fittest. You hunt and eat, or you die.
Out there, eagles eat well, and live long. And if you’re an Eagle Man, you get to share.