And an afterparty

WRITTEN BY ERIC TWACHTMAN Today is the day of the ‘Koudalouk’ – or party to mark the joining of the 2 families. It will be at Amondyk and Shamshat’s house. Because it is being held there, Balkien and her side of the family (the ones we have been staying with) are not invited. That includes […]

Read more "And an afterparty"

Wedding number two

WRITTEN BY ERIC TWACHTMAN Up at 7:30 – Altyn as well – she had things to get done. The table was set for breakfast, and our bedrolls were folded and stacked. The family has many bed pads: the stack was a good five feet high. We sat about waiting for Altyn. She finally made it […]

Read more "Wedding number two"

Shubat … also yuck!

WRITTEN BY ERIC TWACHTMAN Up at 4:30 AM – on the road by 5:39 and out of town by 5:50. At about ½ hour out of the city, the terrain became flat and arid – just a few hills and then nothing as far as the eye can see. And this describes the landscape for […]

Read more "Shubat … also yuck!"

Koumiss … yuck

WRITTEN BY ERIC TWACHTMAN Owing to our late arrival, we got a late start. At 10:00 or so, Beck, Wes, Sterling, Buribay and I went for a walk to a rock tower nestled in a fir forest. Sterlie and I went to the top and were treated to a great view of a city clinging […]

Read more "Koumiss … yuck"

Decompression at the lake

WRITTEN BY ERIC TWACHTMAN Today is my 30th wedding anniversary (and my first separate from Barb). I was able to call Barb briefly. Since last night was late, everyone slept late. We all finally started getting a move on at about 10:30. Beck said that she needed a few items, so we thought that a trip […]

Read more "Decompression at the lake"

Wedding number one

WRITTEN BY ERIC TWACHTMAN Breakfast today consisted of omelets – huge 5-egg omelets served up by Aigul… who would not take ‘No’ for an answer. (Beck managed to share one through much protesting.) After breakfast it was off for a tour of Astana. The capital city is only 12 years old and has grown at […]

Read more "Wedding number one"

Charyn Canyon

We headed back to Almaty to attend Alty’s prom. It lasted till sunrise. Alty and her friend Ainura then took me to the Charyn Canyon. This Canyon seems as large as the grand canyon except there are few tourists. The drive out was long and bumpy (with no toilet, nor would i see one again […]

Read more "Charyn Canyon"

Magical land of Borovoye

We decided to take a trip up to the resort area of Borovoye. It is a wooded area with some lakes. Kazakhs flock here to go on vacation. There are several monuments honoring great Khans of the past. We also took a row boat out to a rock in the middle of the lake and climbed up. Many […]

Read more "Magical land of Borovoye"