We didn’t get to travel around Kyrgyzstan nearly as much as we had originally hoped when moving there. Part of that was because of our lovely but neurotic dog, Roxie, who doesn’t like other animals at all – making village life a bit rough for her – and is also pretty picky in terms of who stays at home with her. Part of that was also because I spent the entire second year of our lives in Kyrgyzstan with pregnancy-related puking (more on that later). But we did manage to make it a few places, and one we returned to several times was Chon-Kemin valley (see our earlier trip to Ashu Guesthouse)
We took this trip in Spring 2016 with some friends over a long holiday weekend. Really, we just drove up to an empty field and set up camp there. A man on horseback came to collect a fee from us late into the first evening. We were mostly sure that was because Chon Kemin is a national park, but it’s also possible that this guy just wanted some money. It was a pretty small fee – maybe $5 at most – and we stayed two nights.
We took a nice hike on day one but spent a lot of time just hanging out in the field enjoying the scenery. Car camping is a little weird like that – what do you do all day? Even in May it got pretty hot by mid-day so I practiced some yoga in the shade and read a lot. There are so many adventurous things to do in Kyrgyzstan – horseback riding, trekking, rafting… but sometimes you just have to sit in a hammock and stare at the mountains.