The Best of September: An Instagram Update
What a month! First snow leopards, then the World Nomad Games, and now all of a sudden I’ve got to get a Magazine together within the next few weeks. Add to that commitments to write aboout the Nomad Games for other sites and a few ongoing writing commitments like at GoMadNomad and, to be quite honest, I don’t have much time at the moment to write more about Vienna and Prague or the mountains of Kyrgyzstan. Luckily, I do have a LOT of pictures from the past few weeks! I also (finally) set up an Instagram account at the end of August, so as you’re looking at these photos make sure to add me on Instagram if you haven’t already.
My most popular photo on Instagram in September was, probably not surprisingly, this picture of hiking in Kyrgyzstan in the mountains above the little sanatoria at Issyk-Ata. This remains one of my favorite hiking spots in the Chuy Valley that surrounds Bishkek, because its accessible and pretty and somehow just grounds me and calms me down when I’m feeling stressed and need to get up into the mountains. This shot was a *bit* of a cheat when it comes to Instagram, because I think it was taken something like 15 months ago! Not to worry, though, I should have more and current epic mountain photos coming soon in late October.
Also quite popular, again as I kind of expected, was this snow leopard that I met at the NABU Wild Animal Rehabilitation Center on the northern shore of Issyk-Kol. You can (and should) read more about the NABU Center at that link, but from a personal and photographer perspective I’ll say only this: it was incredible. Yes, they’re captive and yes, that is sad. But when a snow leopard is standing about five feet away from you purring like an oversized kitten you very quickly lose sight of the negative points. I’m hopeful (and fairly confident) that I can get back over there during winter to take some snow-scattered photos to add to the gallery, so keep an eye on my Instagram and Facebook pages to make sure you don’t miss ’em.
These two both got quite a lot of likes, with the first from Bir-Bulak Canyon and the latter in the rarely-explored Chon Kaindy Valley. The second shot, especially, makes me feel a little bit like I found Jurassic Park every time I look at it. To be honest, hiking there felt a bit the same – when we got done all of us were drenched in water from fording rivers and scratched all up from bumbling through branches and briars.
Finally, to be sure, the World Nomad Games! Despite the number of words I’ve written on my own site and others, I still wonder if I’ve done a good job of accurately capturing just how much was going on and how amazing it all seemed at the time. Not only were there crazy sports – Kok Boru and Horse Wrestling being right at the top of that list. But there were also just a ton of really amazing people, whether actors or spectators or fellow travelers/journalists, who made it not only a picturesque week of nomadic culture but also a really fantastically good time.