For some reason, I once really wanted to spend a night in a yurt.
When I found out that this was a possibility on a trip to Kazakhstan, I made it a priority to make sure this strange dream of mine would come true.
After spending our first night in Almaty, we made our way to the outskirts of town by bus and later on a cab – no one knew of the existence of this place and we were lost for quite some time.
Finally we arrived at our destination. It was a beautiful place surrounded by the mountains and the highlight was of course were the yurts.
We were the only guests.
No one spoke English. Our Russian was almost inexistent.
There were lots of gestures involved with them trying to explain to us about the toilets (the strongest smell of chemicals), asking us what we wanted to eat for lunch and dinner, and later inviting us to do the different activities on offer at the grounds.
Lunch was some delicious manty.
We had fun watching the men practising their amazing horseback riding skills.
While we had a short nap, we heard a knock on the door. They were urging us to follow them somewhere. Soon we entered a big yurt which looked like the backstage of a theatre.
There were costumes which they made us try on.
We looked hilarious but had a lot of fun posing around different places and taking pictures.
They then told us to try out the different games on offer like archery
and the big swing.
Why not a horse ride?
We had asked the cab driver who took us there to pick us up the next morning. Alas he never appeared. As this place was quite isolated we were doomed.
What happened next was nothing short of a miracle. The caretaker’s husband cleared things out from his ancient beaten up car (which looked like it had seen better days before World War 1) so we could sit in it and he drove us into town.
He refused to accept any money from us and we soon found our way back to Almaty before leaving for Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
The best part about all this is I recently found out I could spend a night in a yurt in Switzerland, 1.5 hours away from where I live. 😓