In September 2008 I was working in Turkmenistan but rather than go home for my time off I met up with a friend, Anne, in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. We did an eight day circuit on horseback in the mountains to the south of Lake Issyk Kul. The scenery was beautiful and horseback was the best way of travelling through this remote country. We met incredibly hospitable and friendly local shepherds and horse people who would invite us into their yurts for freshly baked bread, curd and the best blackcurrant jam I have ever tasted. I can't say I'll be rushing back for the foul-tasting kumis which is fermented mare's milk.