26 year old Canadian, Dutch resident travelling to every country in the world (111 so far) to become the first Canadian female to visit them all. Bestselling travel AUTHOR and founder of popular #TRLT Twitter chat.
My best friend Terri restored my faith by leaving a wonderful comment that momentarily cheered me up.
He had always been a wonderful Dad to us, and we had always been such a tight-knit family that it was hard to imagine we were really talking about the same man.
Chapter #12 “A Rough Night”
The next morning, we hired a driver to take us to a remote horseback-riding camp in the grassy hills of Kyrgyzstan.
We headed southwest for another three hours, driving through jagged silver mountains past brilliant teal lakes and rivers until we reached Lake Songkol’s clear waters.
Arriving at Song Kul, Kyrgystan
Hills of Kyrgystan
We sat on the pebbly shore, aimlessly picking out the flattest stones.
The lake was so crystal clear and still, you would hardly know it was even there, but for the reflective shimmer of light piercing the water and the ripples from our skipping stones.
Loving the baby cows
Though it was comfy within, our yurt was often rented out as a “guest bedroom” as opposed to being someone’s home. Some of its authentic feel was lost, but the structure itself was very traditional and cozy. Lined with red wooden lattice work and insulated with felt, the back wall sported an intricately hand-woven tapestry.
When the daily rains settled in, we could open the wooden door and see the dreamy blue lake from our bed. With nothing blocking the scenery except the occasional grazing horse trotting by, we were often gifted with remarkable views of rainbows.
Chapter #13 “Bucking Bronco”
Horse country Song Kol, Kyrgystan
Bree, our little horse whisperer, promptly swung her leg over and jumped off her horse, saying, “Okay, fine. You obviously don’t know what you’re doing anyway. I’ll handle him.”
At the end of the day, we’d sworn to send them straight to the glue factory.
Mom and I were left behind as Ammon and Bree galloped side by side like warriors riding into battle. It was a beautiful, empowering sight.
“She’ll be fine as long as she can see the lake. There are only a few yurts up here. The worst that could happen is she’d have to walk around the whole lake to find us. We’re certainly not going to get lost,” she said, amused by my constant worrying.
The earth was smooth and seemed to be completely devoid of gopher holes, rocks, protruding roots, or other debris.
With no concerns about tripping or injury, it was pure bliss to be able to gallop so freely. For a while, we even got to canter side by side in the meadows and hills alongside free-roaming horses, imagining we were part of the wild herd.
There wasn’t a single motor or machine to disturb this peaceful setting.
Sunbeams cast streaks of light through the impending darkness.
We sailed on into the pink and violet sunset, fleeing the menacing skies behind us.
Chapter #14 “As The World Turns”
“I still don’t get it,” Bree complained. “None of us actually writes any poetry in real life, so why should we do it here?
Slowly, an error begins…
Are cracks between lives. The slightest indulgence will make them grow wide. Little things start adding, Then exponentially multiply. ’Til one day, eyes finally open And you realize A lifetime of building Can’t bridge the divide. Regrets and self-loathing……..
For life is a circle. But if you are wise, You’ll find all your answers, And then you’ll know why…….
Regrets and self-loathing Bring tears to your eyes, And in your frustration, You wish you could die.
Alone in a new world, Make the most of your side. Beware the temptations In case you decide To relive all the horrors ’n repeat all the lies. Don’t let yourself become What you once despised. I know you have fears, But there’s no need to hide,……..
Although you have lost us, Someday you may fly And reach your potential. So come now, arise……
Quick, get yourself started And waste no more time. Now pick up the pieces Of your shattered pride. The end hasn’t come yet. The pain will subside. For hope lasts as long As there’s day and there’s nigh’…….
And the world turns…..slowly.”
Chapter #15 “Living On The Edge”
The majority of vehicles in the ex-Soviet countries had been rickety, old Russian Ladas, which was what we were travelling in today.
We were headed to Osh, the second largest city in Kyrgyzstan. At more than three thousand years old, Osh is among the oldest settlements in Central Asia, and many considered it the “capital of the south.”
The Silk Road, named by the first Chinese silk traders, was created in the Han Dynasty over two thousand years ago.
“The highest point we’ll be getting to is three thousand, six-hundred and fifty-seven metres (12,000 ft). Then we’ll go down a bit before climbing back up to about three thousand, forty-eight metres (10,000 ft).” He pointed out the window toward the mountains that surrounded us.
“I still think it’s pretty funny that we’re going to Osh.” Ammon said
It didn’t take long for us to determine that our driver was, to put it mildly, seriously unhinged. Winding up and over the rugged mountains, he would pass trucks while racing like an asinine maniac around blind curves.
“She’ll be coming ’round the mountain when she comes. Yee Haw!”
“This guy has more loose screws in his head than he does in his car,” Mom said.
“Plus, with so much distance still to cover and another steep pass to survive, do you really want to jinx yourselves?” Ammon said.
” It was a picturesque drive full of beautiful lakes and rocky peaks, but with that oh-so-sheer drop still hugging our right side and our recent close call, it was impossible to enjoy the scenery.”