Kyrgyzstan 2017


by JoMarie Fecci

NEW YORK, USA — I arrived home to New York today. The return journey has been long, but the flights were generally on time, and mostly I slept. I had pushed myself to keep going to a maximum while I was in Kyrgyzstan so that I could make the most of my limited time there and I began to feel the exhaustion once I was on the first plane. The transition back to modernity occurred in a fog of sleep and time zone changes. And though I am still reeling from the culture shock of “re-entering” the fast-paced 24-7 world in New York, I am already looking back in reflection on all I’ve learned during my visit to the nomads of Kyrgyzstan. This trip was short but intense and gave me a lot of reasons to return to explore further. Looking forward to a longer journey next time, and already setting sights on potential routes. Tentative return dates should be sometime in summer 2018.

Now begins the bigger part of the project — going through all the imagery, maps and notes and sorting it into a trip report to share …



JoMarie Fecci sets off for a solo scouting mission into a new region of exploration for USnomads — the famed Silk Road across Central Asia. This initial recce in Kyrgyzstan will lay the groundwork for a longer and more ambitious journey tentatively scheduled for the summer of 2018. Using this first trip in the region to get an introduction to some different nomadic cultures and to adventurous terrain that will pose new challenges, she will travel south from Bishkek to an ancient caravanserai at Tash Rabat near the border with China before looping back along the shores of lake Issy Kul…



The Kyrgyz Republic is a landlocked country in Central Asia, bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west and southwest, Tajikistan to the southwest and China to the east. Its capital and largest city is Bishkek. Characterized by mountainous terrain, Kyrgyzstan has been at the crossroads of several great civilizations, most notably as part of the Silk Road caravan routes. Though long inhabited by a succession of independent tribes and clans, Kyrgyzstan has periodically fallen under foreign domination and attained sovereignty as a nation-state only after the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. Ethnic Kyrgyz make up the majority of the country’s 5.7 million people, followed by significant minorities of Uzbeks and Russians. Kyrgyz is closely related to other Turkic languages, although Russian remains widely spoken and is an official language, a legacy of a century of Russification. The majority of the population are non-denominational Muslims. In addition to its Turkic origins, Kyrgyz culture bears elements of Persian, Mongolian and Russian influence. However, many aspects of ancient Kyrgyz culture have been preserved due in part to the geographical isolation provided by its high mountain terrain.

broken clouds
humidity: 33%
wind: 7mph NNE
H 75 • L 70
Weather from OpenWeatherMap

Bishkek | Naryn | Karakol

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