Grove

 Arslanbob, Kyrgyzstan

I returned to Kyrgyzstan in a mad dash for the World Nomad Games up in the north of the country, but not without time for a couple of short but worthwhile stopovers: first for Kyrgyzstan’s independence day celebrations in Osh, and then a double-overnight in the walnut-forested hills of Arslanbob.
Continue reading

Ambition

 Hargeisa, Somaliland

Chaos. Guns. Lawlessness. Extremists. Al-Shabaab. Pirates.

None of these words describe Somaliland in any shape or form. On the other hand, those words do describe Somalia, the neighbouring country which Somaliland separated from in 1991 with zero official recognition from the rest of the world. With no one high up willing to differentiate between the two, Somaliland suffers from being grouped in with Somalia’s problems, and is blanketed by myriad travel advisories that really should just cover the latter. Also, many people simply don’t even realise this place exists.

4G. Fibre optic. Cashless society.

These buzzwords, on the other hand, do apply to Somaliland.
Continue reading