Category Archives: Season 1

Pegman also did the trek with me, but he decided to stay...

Kyrgyzstan Trekking to Lake Alakul and Altynarashan

I arrived in Karakol with the idea of trekking for just a few days. Not being properly equipped, I had to find a tent, and be able to leave a baggage somewhere to leave with only the minimum necessary. But most importantly, I needed to know WHAT to do, and HOW, and was hoping to find people to do it with… this means: information, a map, a trail, and company! Continue reading

Kyrgyzstan The Gay Situation in Central Asia Today

My trip took me to Georgia, Azerbaijan, and to central Asia: Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and I’m now in Kyrgyzstan.

Homosexuality was legalized in 1998 in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, then followed Georgia and Azerbaijan in 2000, but is still illegal in Uzbekistan. To be more specific, what the law from the former Soviet Union mentions is anal sexual act between men. Women are not concerned. Today, Only Georgia has a law specificaly banning discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation. Continue reading

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Uzbekistan Kites in Nurata

Just before sunset, we climbed up the fortress build by Alexander the Great, or what’s left of it, just outside Nurata. Indeed the mud bricks have all melted back to dust, and it’s hard to tell the eroded mounds and heaps that people have been running on for centuries were once a fortress.

On top of the predominant mound, kids were flying their makeshift kites: a piece of corrugated cardboard with a fabric tail, and a string!

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Uzbekistan Uzbekistrain

The locomotive was new, but the cars… not so new. They were in acceptable condition (legroom ok, and rather comfy seats), but the ageing air conditionning was struggling with the outside furnace. The train manager obliged us to shut all windows and blinds (on the sunny side) to save the energy, but air circulation with openened window would have probably been more refreshing.

So we were wet for three long hours, with the loud and saturated sound of a TV series in russian.

There is one fun fact about those trains, but I want to make it a little game. In those pictures, find one very unsual thing for us westerners. The winners gets a free ticket from Tashkent to Samarkand, worth 21 000 sums! :)