A night in a yurt at Ayuz Kala

We heard about this while in Nukus, the manager at the hotel there helped us make a rather un-firm booking (as we weren’t sure of our travel speed). In the end it was a fairly easy ride, and we got there in plenty of time to ramble around the ancient fortress of Ayuz Kala (or Ayuz Qala or  Ayuz Kale), next to the camp. We also met there a party of French (d’un certain age…) on a tour organised with coach transport and daily rides on a fleet of hire bikes – seemed a nice easy-going option. They were the first of many French tourists we met in Uzbekistan, there seems to be something of an affinity.

The ancient fortress itself was lovely, especially in the evening light. The main Ayuz Kala looked down upon two others, called Ayuz Kala 2 and 3.

After returning from the fort, and a rather splendid supper – this being an altogether more civilised form of touring than cycletouring – we were treated to a concert of Karalkakpakstan music. We’re not sure if this is a standard part of the package, or only because of the presence of a film crew.

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