We drove out of the valley of the unicorns to drive the southern side of Issyk-kul and head to our homestay in the town of Kochkor. Before that we had a fun day involving eagles and felt.
We stopped on the side of the road to meet up with a guy standing there with a massive friggin eagle on his arm. We then followed him down some dirt lanes to a secret eagle hunting spot. To transport ones golden eagle, you need a volkswagon polo or similar and some straps to keep the eagle down in the boot. I imagine using the front seat of the car would shock too many motorists at traffic lights when they look over to see If a hot man or woman is driving the car next to them and find a gigantic golden eagle stare back at them.
Also located on the floor of the passengers seat was a rabbit, aka eagle food. After some photo opportunities with eagle hunter and eagle, plus ourselves with the eagle it was time for the hunt. The eagle hunter retrieved the rabbit and sat it in the middle of nowhere. The rabbit didn’t move despite the fact the eagle hunter started to climb the hill with the golden eagle. The eagle was released and it promptly did a U-turn and sat on the side of the hill. The hunter tried again and the same result. So third times a charm with the rabbit happy to not be in a car rather than fleeing for its life. The eagle swooped down towards the poor bunny and landed about 5 meters away. The rabbit froze. The eagle sat there, no fireworks ensued and the eagle went hungry and the bunny survived for another day.
After lunch we went to see a Kyrgyz cultural demonstration of assembling yurts, making felt and weaving. They are clearly proud people and have a rich and intense culture, which involved feeding us afterwards and some tea at around 5:30pm. We have yet to have a small Kyrgyz feast.
We followed that up with showers in the homestay, and another feast at 7:30 pm. Aaah we were well fed and entertained today. Oh the bed and hosts were wonderful too.