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16 September 2011 / leggypeggy

Tent, sweet tent

Poor John enjoying the hardships of tent life in Kazakhstan.

Poor John and I have spent the last 16 nights in our tent.

We were supposed to have a few nights of hotel/hostel accommodation in both Almaty, Kazakhstan, and Bishkek, Kyrgrzstan, but the driver deemed the options available in these cities to be too expensive, so camping was the answer.

We stayed two nights on the outskirts of Almaty, in the Ile-Alatau National Park. It wasn’t too bad, except that there was quite a bit of litter around, it poured with rain and the cows tramped through in the morning. But we were able to take a rickety old bus into Almaty and see a city that the guide books claim is reminiscent of many large European cities. I don’t think so. It is certainly a leafy place with plenty of European shops (I was even able to buy a replacement electric toothbrush), but it definitely has a Central Asian feel to it.

Bishkek’s accommodation was more of a homestay. Ten people had bunks in a dorm room, and the rest stayed in tents. There were quite a few other campers, too, so garden was filled to overflowing.

Poor John and I opted to put our tent up in the driveway, and crossed our fingers that the car wouldn’t have to go out for the two nights we were there—it didn’t. We actually made the best choice. It rained while we were in Bishkek and the driveway, unlike the garden, was covered. The only disadvantage was the fact that even with sleep mats, concrete is a pretty damn hard surface to sleep on. But our hostess had heaps of thick coverlets, so I borrowed one to put in the base of the tent. I had two of the best sleeps ever there.

NOTE: If you have access to Facebook, please feel free to share this post with others. I can’t get on Facebook in China, so it’s impossible for me to let people know I am adding to the blog now. Thanks.

One Comment

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  1. Sy S. NYC / Sep 18 2011 3:03 pm


    Tents are good and you know they are clean compared to some hotel/hostels people go to. I recall in Tehran that the bed sheets in a cheap hotel was almost black and not washed… so we used our own sheets to put on top of them. Also, when I use a tent I put a plastic tarp/sheet of plastic on the ground first and then the tent on top…to keep the soaked ground and rain from coming into the tent.



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