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The former Soviet Republics of Uzbekistan & Kyrgyzstan are in the heart of Central Asia. The area is a vast inaccessible wilderness, surrounded by harsh deserts and high mountains. It was once the site of the ancient caravan routes and its towns were oases on the Great Silk Road of the East. Traveller Ian Wright's journey begins in the smallest of these oasis towns, Khiva. Ian drives to Bukhara and swims in the sacred pool in the centre of town called Lyab-i-Haus. He visits a holy Imam at the tomb of Sheikh Bakhautdin just outside Bukhara and joins some old men discussing Islamic and Soviet history. Tashkent is Ian's next destination, arriving in time for the Independence Day celebrations. From Tashkent he flies to Bishkek, the capital of the republic of Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyzstan is a mountain paradise surrounded by deserts and populated mostly by nomads who were never quite tamed by the Soviet regime. Ian makes his way into the Tian Shan Mountains, where he meets an eagle trainer and watches his eagle hunt a badger. He climbs to a higher plateau where some local villagers have gathered to celebrate the festival for åÕåÔåÕÌªManas', a mythical folk hero. Karakol serves as a base for horse trekking, climbing and skiing expeditions to the Tian Shan mountain range. Impossibly remote, they are seldom visited, with jagged peaks stretching to 7000 metres. From Karakol, Ian hitches a ride in an old Red Army helicopter and goes heliskiing with them. Ian travels to the remote and stunning Arshane Valley in a bumpy wagon. He goes on a horse trek and meets nomadic shepherds who live in an oval-shaped tent called a åÕåÔåÕÌªyurt'. On special occasion they prepare a feast called a beshparmak, where they kill and cook a sheep. They have so few Western visitors that they prepare a feast especially for Ian. Ian has to plait the intestines and cook the sheep's head in the fire. He then shares a meal with the nomads and has to eat the sheep's eye, which is offered only to the honoured guest and to refuse is an insult.
Runtime: 52 minutes per show
FORMAT: H.264 MP4 *Plays on Roku, AppleTV, Playstation, Xbox, Chromecast, Firestick, Mac, PC, Cell Phone, or Tablet
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