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Before leaving Jyrgalan, we have the opportunity to visit a high pasture area.
After we cross the little creek that flows through Jyrgalan, we come to a steeply rutted uphill sand road. Our driver Sergej has to concentrate to not sit-up the car somewhere. We drive through a small piece of woodland and arrive on a plateau.
A large green meadow serves a herd of cows as a food source. Some cattle look a little reproachful at us when they have to clear the way for us.
Suddenly we see Tulpar Tash, which means horse rock, in front of us. It is a huge boulder in the middle of the meadow at the foot of the Chunkur Gate Mountains. Numerous legends entwine around the 8 m high solid granite chunk.
The legend says, when Manas went to war, his horse jumped off this rock. You still might see the imprints of the hooves in the rock. Others see the face of a man gazing up towards the sky. In any case, it is an impressive rock that rises out of the meadow here.
It continues on the bumpy path. A rider who has caught a few scattered cows approaches us.
We must cross rivulets with bigger lumps of rock. Sergej is close to despair since he must get out more than once to check the ground clearance of the car. After that, it fairly often shoves itself centimeters for centimeters forward to be not tricked.
Again and again, we have to cross rivulets with big lumps of rock in their bed. Sergej is close to despair as he has to get out more than once to estimate the ground clearance of the car. Then he often pushes himself forward centimeter by centimeter to avoid sitting up.
Here we see free-running horses again. Sergej and Dasha are not sure if we are on the right track. So Dasha goes to a nearby yurt and asks for the way to the yurt camp.
When finally the view opens to a larger pasture with a large flock of sheep and some yurts, Sergej can breathe deeply again that his car has survived this torment.
After about 9 km from Jyrgalan, we are in the picturesque Eki Chat valley. Sergej stops at a yurt, where some cattle run around. We have reached the Eki Chat Yurt Camp. The owner Danik welcomes us and shows us the second yurt which he rents to guests.
His sons and his wife Yryskul watch us from the background. Then he leads us to his yurt and we get a Kumys, the fermented mare’s milk typical in Kyrgyzstan. The taste resembles sour milk and is very refreshing.
In a shed, we see a small calf, probably too young to run free on the pasture. Several dogs guard the yurt camp.
Danik tells us that he and his family spend the whole summer here. For Danik and Yryskul, this is the most beautiful place on earth. They are always happy to welcome and host guests from all over the world and to hear their stories about the world outside Kyrgyzstan.
What a beautiful life in the middle of this unspoiled nature. The Eki Chat Yurt Camp is the perfect starting point for hiking or tracking tours to the nearby valleys, lakes, and mountains.
We take the opportunity to make a short drone flight over the Eki Chat Valley. From the air, you can see the vast extent of the valleys, surrounded by 3500 m high mountains. The rocky mountains in the background are about 4000 m high.
Here, one can walk for hours in green nature without meeting any human being. Only isolated flocks of sheep enliven the landscape.
But after the sightseeing flight, we quickly set off again, as we still want to reach Bishkek on this day. But first, we have to drive back on the stony road to Jyrgalan. At the latest now it is clear to us why the Kyrgyz prefer riding instead of driving.
Reaching Jyrgalan took a load off Sergej’s mind. His car survived this road without any damages.
You like to visit Eki Chat Yurt Camp?
Please check Destination Jyrgalan Valley for further information or assistance when planning your trip
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Soundtracks in the video of our trip to Eki Chat:
- never get out by tone_group (c) copyright 2007
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/seb_grenning/8920
- Never Get Out by yates (c) copyright 2008
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/yates/14421
Disclosure: Our trip was organized in cooperation with Discover Kyrgyzstan, and made possible by the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). All opinions are our own.
Text, photos and video: Copyright © myVideoMedia