Journey Through Eastern Kazakhstan, Part I
Trip Start Mar 13, 2007
92Trip End Aug 10, 2007
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We stopped for lunch and for cook groups to go marketing in a small city with crumbly Soviet-era concrete buildings named Ayagoz. The town had a big mosque and an apparently rather religious population with many women in long robes and covered heads and men wearing skullcaps, something we hadn't seen much of yet in Kazakhstan. We also stopped to watch a traditional Kazakh horse race going on outside of town, quite a wild event with bareback riders doing five laps around grassy track that must have been at least a mile in diameter, a real test of endurance. Kazakhs had been nomadic horsemen on the steppes before most were forced into sedentary lives on collective farms during the Stalinist era.