Eagle Hunters, wide landscapes, no one there … Not even Genghis Khan but a strong trace in the nation.
Extreme temperatures for sure, in September in Altai on that year we went from 30° C to – 35°C… Frozen cheeks and but when it was time to use the (only) toilets, open-air and wild-wide !
Such an adventure. met the wild sheep hunters and had to accept a vodka session that ended up out of the geer/yurt to dance and sing in the immensity of the steppes, assisted to a wedding outside under snow flakes. Collected water to make the salty milk tea, picked up the Yak shits to cook and get warm, milking the animals, did not shower (and had access to internet) for almost 20 days. Been eagle hunting and butchering foxes, riding horses in the Altai mountains but also during one of the two Eagle hunting festivals I went. Believe me or not, I got invited to participate to the best traditional costume competition and won a medal. This was my last day reward and pride after spending a month with the Kazakh eagle hunters, almost finished married, it was definitively a great immersion ! The sole non-kazakh person to ever participate and win a medal (bronze but still), this was Olgi Golden Eagle Festival 2017!
They have a huge sense of hospitality and courtesy but also a strong explosive temper, things kind of always end up said and it is pretty normal to see a fight arise during a festival or celebration, no good celebration with a little nerve stroke in the Kazakh area ! Funny when you know but bit worrying if you don’t know five minutes after they will hug again!
Best destination ever!