Author Archives: awtytravels

Harvest Moon.

I once met an elderly lady who lived in a minuscule Alpine village of which she was the only permanent inhabitant. Well into her seventies when we crossed paths, she was busy chopping down a young spruce tree, manoeuvring an … Continue reading

Posted in Italy, Piemonte | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

There and away – Driving through the ‘Stans.

As I sat scribbling this post on my notepad, on the plane back home, it occurred to me that the past two car journeys had been the first ones, in Central Asia, where we hadn’t been serenaded non-stop by some … Continue reading

Posted in Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

The devil’s horsemen.

For the Parthians shot as they fled, being, indeed, more adept at this than anyone except the Scythians, and it is certainly a very clever manoeuvre – to fight and to look after one’s own safety at the same time.   … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Genghis’ Camp.

This didn’t feel like Central Asia. The road was smooth, the ride quiet, the old Mercedes van that did the honours as our marshrutka, or collective taxi, wasn’t packed to the gunwales. Our driver, a faded Denver Broncos hat planted on … Continue reading

Posted in Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Throwing wolves by the lake shore.

Generalisations are often prone to error and misrepresentation, but – sometimes – they do hit the mark. I, for instance, always attached an aura of upper class, or in other words a certain whiff of snobbery, with all activities performed … Continue reading

Posted in Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Be Right Back.

I’ve been in a place where Hungarians dress up like they used to do a millenium ago, speed to a full gallop and then throw arrows into a padded target, whilst Kyrgyz flags flutter in the wind, yurts are everywhere … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

The 5.29 train to Aktobe.

This post dates from over a year ago. It wasn’t meant for publication on this blog; a book was going to be its destiny, a book on travels in Central Asia. Alas, this wasn’t to be; yet, I liked this … Continue reading

Posted in Central Asia, Kazakhstan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

“My War Gone By, I Miss It So”, by Anthony Loyd, Anchor.

My edition has been printed in 2000 and, as all cheap paperbacks, isn’t ageing very well. The pages are yellowing with the characteristic celerity of poor quality pulp; its spine is bent, but in fairness it was already in this … Continue reading

Posted in Books review | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Confessions of a graphomaniac.

Doctor, dear doctor, help me for I’m a graphomaniac. Yes doctor, I love paper. I adore the smell of the thing, the muffled noise of a pencil running on a smooth sheet. In a nutshell, doctor, I love writing. I … Continue reading

Posted in Odd ones out, Random memories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

The sublime art of panning, or how to fail in Chicago and succeed in London.

Panning, excitable teenagers on Youtube will tell you, is a technique used in photography where the camera rotates on its Y axis in order to keep a moving object in focus. If done well, the result will be a striking … Continue reading

Posted in Americas, Europe, UK, USA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments