The Issyk-Lake House

Lake Issyk-Köl, Kyrgyzstan, on Wednesday, October 15, 2014.

Accommodations for the night: another local homestay arranged by CBT, where your money goes directly to the community. This one isn’t in a village; it’s more like a standalone shelter in the middle of nowhere, near the lake. There is no electricity and the only way to get cell reception is to hike up the hill behind it and walk a few dozen meters with your phone in the air.


A video posted by Erik (@theglobaltrip) on

No one lives at the shelter by the lake; my host Marco who’s just there to attend to us for the night has to go get provisions — after he gets money via Baha via me. (Money you pay CBT goes directly to the community in a very direct cash way.)

As I’m atop the hill behind the house to get cell reception, I see him come back in his green vintage Soviet car.

Baha jokingly calls it a “Ruskie Hummer.”

The provisions my homestay host Marco gets becomes a simple home-cooked stew of mutton, potatoes, and vegetables, along with some Kyrgyz pastries. There is no electricity, so when the sun goes down, he hangs a solar-powered flashlight on a rope from the ceiling.

I don’t mind sleeping on a floor mattress in the shelter; I’ve done it many times before as it’s what the locals do. However, in the middle of the night I noticed some movement by the jacket hood I was wearing (it’s freezing at night). I move and it goes away. Then I hear rustling near my bag and shine a light by it and see that there’s a mouse. And then suddenly I did very much mind sleeping on a floor mattress. — #roughingit

The night was cold and eventually nothing was stirring, not even a mouse. I wake up at sunrise for my usual “morning appointment,” only to find out there is no toilet paper. I use sheets of my notepad instead.

After breakfast, Marco packs up all the mattresses and extra food and departs in his vintage Moskviya car. Baha and I get back on the horses and make our way back towards the mountains via a dry river bed.

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This dispatch is one of over 70 travel dispatches from the trip grouped and titled, "The Global Trip: 'Stan By Me." It's an archived compilation of Instagram and Facebook posts which chronicled a trip through three countries in Central Asia: Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan.

Next entry:
Horsing Around

Previous entry:
Along Lake Issyk-Köl


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