Staying with an Uzbek community in the worlds largest walnut forest in Arslanbob is one of the best things you can do in Kyrgyzstan.
You can meet some very friendly locals while hiking around.
I had found a place that you can relax and enjoy some Kyrgyzstan hiking while tasting some of the delicious wild walnut.
People (thats you!) have many places they enjoy fond memories of, and I have plenty myself after all these years of travel. And still:
And don’t you love it when you find somewhere that just feels right?
Naturally this place has been visited by many over the years, but be honest; How many of you had heard of Arslanbob before?
The Uzbek villagers are what make it special, being extremely friendly.
The fact that they happen to reside amongst a massive walnut forest at the base of towering snow capped mountains, just makes it perfect.
When inside the deep forest, beneath the walnut trees, you could easily lose yourself into a fantasy world. Game of Thrones fans take note!
Being lucky enough to be there during the harvesting of the walnuts, normally around late September and until winter kicks in, makes it even better.
During this time many families move into the forest and live in tents. Everyone joins in, from the young to the old.
Fatima, a young woman who helps collect the walnuts with her family said:
“We harvest the walnuts and store them over winter, after which we can sell for a high price”.
Brave young men climb up the trees to shake the nuts loose, which are then gathered up from the forest floor.
From a local muslim man observing:
“These are fruits from god, they are for everyone, please take what you like”.
Now I am not religious but I do appreciate genuine acts of kindness, and that was a pretty sweet thing he said.
As in many regions of the world the young ones are very curious, coming up and asking for their photo to be taken.
When you travel a lot, many places can tend too blur into one, which in my case I must admit makes me feel a little unexcited sometimes.
I mean that in the sense that it doesn’t seem like I am seeing anything really different to what I have already seen. I am just being honest with you here.
Coming across somewhere like this makes me realise why I love travelling so much. Am I alone in this feeling?
Don’t get me wrong, I can go back to the same place over and over and still find something too enjoy (well maybe not Dushanbe), but I miss that feeling you get when you start exploring, like your first time travelling where everything is exciting and new.
I guess that many travellers feel that way at some point.
I wouldn’t change what I am doing however, so many things still out there to discover.
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