Farrell and I spent Christmas weekend in Chon-Kemin again, this time in a different guesthouse located in a similarly quiet and small village next to the one we stayed in last year. The crowd was different and activities were (slightly) different. We still wandered around snow-covered mountains until sunset, I still gushed over all of the horses and cows. Instead of losing a hat (like I did last year, never to be found!), I gained (a nicer) one through a gift exchange.
I dutifully documented as much as I could, taking into consideration that yes, these are technically the same rippling mountains (the Kazakh border) on the north side and more jagged peaks to the south that I photographed exactly one year ago. It’s a different perspective, I say.
It seems that with the installation of a panoramic restaurant and wifi, the guesthouse from last year has increased its prices to appeal to a more posh crowd (that doesn’t include me). We made reservations at the CBT guesthouse nearby, which was run by Ainura and her family. She kept the house warm and overloaded us with homemade borscht, pelmini, lagman and kasha, never letting our teacups stay empty or cool for long.
There weren’t many expectations for the weekend except to relax in an environment different than Bishkek with good company, which was definitely achieved.