On my way back down from Song Kul, I found myself alone with my horse on a vast, endless steppe near Kyzart. There was only one thing for us to do: race the winds of the Tian Shan mountains.
Turkistan is a city in the Kazakh Desert. It is home to the Khoja Mausoleum, a pilgrimage destination and national symbol. Throwing in the ancient settlements that were once major cities in the Silk Road, this region is definitely worth a one or two-day trip.
Sauran and Otrar are two abandoned cities, their former glory long forgotten with the decline of the old Silk Road.
Halfway to Turkistan, the highway is alive at night. Dusty engines rest, families settle around, mud ovens are set up, and a busy city is improvised. The smells of beshbarmak, manti, pelmeni, shashlik and every other food in the country dance in Kazakh, Russian and Turkish.