A Hymn to Kyrgyzstan
This 3 week trip cycling in Kyrgyzstan was one of the nicest i ever did. Super nice people, stunning scenery, high altitude passes, beautiful natural treasures. This country has it all for the outdoor minded people. I dont really know what was the nicest.
It was just awesome every single day. One thing will be always in my memory. Cycling 35 km at Son Kul Lake with that dog guarding me was just fantastic. Buddy you were awesome.
This was my 1st real solo trip and i enjoyed every single minute.
The most important the bike was perfect (thanks to the bugoy bikers technicians), i had perfect gear (thanks to Schwalbe tires), no flats and i had perfect weather.
Here is my summary for other cyclists or outdoor people.
(This is a personal view … if some ody sees it different feel free to comment)
Overall rating (10 out of 10)
A perfect country for outdoor lovers with spectacular scenery and great people
Scenery 10 out of 10
Well lets start with the main reason. The scenery is just stunning and breathtaking.
The mountain ranges, snow caped mountains, beautiful lakes … spectacular valleys… this country has it all
People 8 out of 10
Super friendly people everywhere. I pitched my tent beside a farmers place and got invited for breakfast. The 2 friendly farmers who stopped and gave me a lift. All the smiles and hellos on the road – great. Unfortunately alcohol is a big issue. I also met a lot of drunk people but never any problem. Smile and be polite and the smiles and politeness comes back.
9 out of 10 in the mountains
2 out of 10 around Bishkek and north of Lake Issyk Kul (till Cholpon Ata)
If you are in the country side – perfect no traffic and great cycling. Around Bishkek and the 1st stretch of the northern part of the Lake is quite heavy traffic. 90% of the drivers are respectful and keep distance. Unfortunately 10% of the drivers are stupid and insist of the right of way and dont accept cyclists … for the mentioned areas its good to have a mirror.
Food (8 out of 10)
The food is great. I am a meat eater and everywhere i got food it was just great and delicious. I had no stomach problems at all.
Remoteness (9 out of 10)
Well being out in nature you are out and alone. Its really remote and selfsustainabily is a must. At least one or 2 days you will be out before you reach the next bigger town but thats what we all want … 😉
Difficulty (9 out 10)
Because of its remoteness and the alpine environment this is not a country for beginners. You need the right equipment and be prepared for bad roads (wash board, lose gravel) and for cold nights.
Roads (7 out of 10)
The roads are quite good. Main roads are paved and 2ndary roads are mostly paved. Sure enough if you go in the mountains don’t expect paved roads and be prepared for some wash board roads.
Restock (7 out of 10) for alcoholics (10/10)
There are a lot of “magazins” on the road. All well stocked with soft drinks chocolate bars and other stuff. As more remote it gets dont expect the softdrinks to be cold.
And if there is no softdrinks you guaranteed get vodka.
Climate/weather (10 out of 10)
I went the whole September and it turned out to be perfect. I had sun every day and only 3h rain in the whole 3 1/2weeks.
In the mountains it got quite cold but all managable. Put your tent up that you have sun in the morning and all no problem
Stray dogs (2 out of 10)
Stray dogs is no issue at all except you come close to yurts. All yurts have dogs and they are teritorial. If you come to close you have a problem.
Internet/wifi (6 out of 10)
In the bigger cities you find widi and internet cafes. Its still lacking but it will surely improve.