Reina Kench Farm
How fast ideas about traveling arise? A sudden call from a friend of mine with the proposal to organize a family trip to Kyrgyzstan. Maps, calls, search for the best destinations, guide, booking.
The idea of family trip in Kyrgyzstan included mandatory horse riding and a maximum of activity for children of 6-10 years old. We have not seen each other with my friend Alexandra for about 10 years. The children have already grown up and were ready for exciting adventures. My daughter Sophia was glad for the upcoming acquaintance with the new friends and the trip to the mountainous Kyrgyzstan. Together with Sonia we began to think about what should be on the tour and what could have impressed foreign visitors.
So, we started to invent a new tour, which was not yet on our site. My daughter Sophia took an active part in the creation of the program. The main task, that the guest set for us, was the obligatory presence of a day horse riding in the program. Knowing Alexander and her passion for horses, it did not surprise me. Alexandra herself is a great fan of traveling. When she had no children yet, she rode camels through the Takla Makan Desert and then horses through the Gobi Desert. She did the horse riding along the Great Silk Road. For several years she’s been organizing horse tours to Kyrgyzstan. Sasha is a hereditary countess and great-niece of Lev Tolstoy.
Having studied all the wishes of our guests, my daughter and I understood the responsibility for the declared tour and tried to make it extraordinary, so that the trip would surely please our guests. Thanks to the support of the Asia Mountains Company’s managers, we chose overnight places, where both children and adults would have something to do. While working on the route, I fell in love with it so much that I waited with impatience for the first day of our journey.
Hooray! We went to Lake Issyk-Kul by a small bus. For our guests this was the second day of the trip, so the children had time to meet in Bishkek. Despite the fact that Sasha and her children live in London, they speak excellent Russian. There were no communication problems. The children always find mutual occupations. Our guide set the trend. I’ve been choosing the guide for a long time. According to my feelings, he should have been more like an animator rather than a country expert, easily finding a mutual ground with the children. However, at the same time he must be able to communicate with adults and provide information about the country and the tour. This guide was Vasiliy Berezhnoy. The children immediately became friends with him and all the way to the lake they played different games.
We stopped every two hours and went outside. This eased the way greatly. So, before lunch, we stopped at the open air Cholpon-Ata Petroglyphs Museum. There is a stone garden with ancient drawings on them on the territory of 42 hectares. At first, we thought it would be a bit boring for children, but the quest excursion changed everything. The children gladly ran along the route and searched for pictures on the stones, while Vasiliy and I told them about their meaning. Sophia was already here before and, therefore, she also gladly became the guide.
A pleasant surprise expected us in the café, where we stopped for lunch in Cholpon-Ata. There was a children's corner with table football. So, "when food is served" issue disappeared. As we quietly talked over a cup of green tea, anticipating our journey. There was another adult with us, Alexandra’s friend Fred. He had never been to Asia before and therefore agreed to join her. Today we had to get to the farm. I, like my guests, have not yet been at this farm. I understood that there should be nice basing on our managers’ opinion. However, it was difficult to imagine how good. We got to the place at about 5 p.m. The place itself, to be honest, was surprising. I imagined the farm in the classical Soviet style, but we saw the real ranch. The first thing that we noticed was a wooden two-story hotel. One glance at the facade was enough to understand that it was cozy and good. The hosts greeted us cordially. Immediately they served hot tea with honey and jam. Then they advised to do the excursion. Of course, their main focus is not tourism. It is the complete agro-complex, founded in 1996. Today it is the leading cattle breeding plant in the Issyk-Kul Region (angus bulls, breeding horses and sheep). However, in recent years, farms began to attract more tourists and the owners quickly adapted to this and created a whole range of tour services there.
Our children immediately plunged into the environment of farmers' life and went to ride the chaise. After that they were given bows and arrows. They played and improved their sniper skills until darkness. It’s hard to describe the bunch of emotions that were at dinner, which was served to us in a traditional Kyrgyz yurt. I think it is not necessary to say that everything was cooked from farm’s own products. After dinner Vasily read Kyrgyz fairytales to children. Before leaving for the tour, we specifically visited the Rarity bookstore, where we bought several interesting children's books and decided that we would read them with the children every day. That's how our first day went.
The next morning the children woke up early. After eating everything that was served for breakfast we went for horse riding. Of course, everyone was looking forward to it. Each child was chosen a suitable horse. The groom in turn came up and told how to manage it. The children manage to learn everything quite fast. Therefore, having received the first master class, we were ready for a long ride.
We didn't want to leave the farm, but we had a whole adventure ahead.
To be continued...
Full program of a family trip in Kyrgyzstan with dates