WRITTEN BY ERIC TWACHTMAN As promised, we got up at 3:30 AM. Balkien drove us to the Airport and went in with us. Altyn was going to be there to see us off (and to bring me my hat that I had foolishly left at Amondyk’s house – along with my gold Kazakh pin.) It […]Read more "And now for our digestive tracts to recover"
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"
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"
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!"
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"
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"
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"
WRITTEN BY ERIC TWACHTMAN Breakfast at 8:00 or so – which is rather informal, consisting of cake and pastry served with coffee or chai (their word for tea). The tea is served in a special manner, however. The tea itself is brewed very strong in a pot. When your tea is poured, the server puts […]Read more "Sheep soup… nutricious and not delicious"
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"
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"