THE ARDENT ENTHUSIAST

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I first read about the Tamgaly Petroglyphs, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in a book on the Bronze Age archaeology of the Scythian Nomads called Kurgans, ritual sites, and settlements — Edited by Jeannine Davis-Kimball Visiting that site was the main purpose of my trip to Kazakhstan, and it wasn’t easy to reach. No tours or tourists were interested in such a place, so I had to hire my own driver to get… Read More

I visited Kazakhstan during the summer of 2017, basing myself in the old captital of Almaty. I stayed in a dorm at the Almaty Backpacker’s Hostel, and it was about a twenty minute walk to the center of town. One of my first trips was to the Central Museum to see their collection of Scythian gold. Almaty is the cultural center of the country and it looks like a modern overlay on… Read More

I’m off to Central Asia next week and decided that my usual necklace is too valuable for adventure travel. Thus I created a new one specifically for this trip. One of my goals is to buy more ancient beads and I need examples to show the merchants. This necklace has a Bronze Age pendant–thogchag; from the Gobi Desert, approximately 500BC; a 2,500 BC ceramic bead from Balkh; Tibetan coral; Tibetan turquoise; Afghan… Read More

Zamskhang Palace Ruins Tegar, Nubra Valley Ladakh, India Nubra Valley, also called the Valley of Flowers, is situated in the northeast corner of Ladakh, near the Tibetan border. At one time it was located on the southern Silk Road trade route between Yarkhand, in Xinjiang, and Leh, the capital of Ladakh. This obscure corner of the Himalayas is reached from the capital by traversing the Khardung La, at 5,602 meters it is… Read More

This was originally published on BootsnAll Travel Journal #4 THE TRIPLEGEM AFGHAN EXPEDITION-SUMMER 2005 12/August/2005 – Kabul, Afghanistan Friday – the Islamic day of rest – I had breakfast at the Mustafa, naan, omelet, hash browns and coffee. Breakfast at the Mustafa was eaten in an open, marble-paved courtyard on the second floor. This was where we’d had the barbecue the night before. There I ran into another tourist. He was an Aussie named Peter… Read More