I get most of my ideas from beekeepers. They know the area where they produce their honey. I travel a lot to beekeepers around the world to find good honey. But I also meet them at beekeeping events and food fairs. The first and most important step is to taste their honey. A few years ago, I received a very aromatic and special honey from a Kazakh beekeeper. He told me that in Central Asia, in the mountains, there are vast and unspoilt areas where more and more special honey is produced. That was when I decided on my destination.
I bought my plane ticket at the end of 2021. I left in January. The flight was via Istanbul and took about 8 hours. The time difference is significant, 4 or more like 5 hours, because there is no summer time change there. When I arrived I met with the local beekeepers' association. They provided me with information and contacts. On their advice I contacted beekeepers in all corners of the country. In Bishkek, I rented a car and visited areas that I thought were promising. The tour lasted about a week, accompanied only by an interpreter. I tasted a lot of honey and decided which was the best and where it was produced. I was hoping to find the ancestral states.
The site where we later set up camp is about a day's drive from the capital. This area, between 3-4 thousand meters high mountains, was difficult to access due to snow and road conditions. We didn't stop until the buffalo-heavy 5.5 litre SUV could climb to the highest point. Petrol costs less than 200 forints. We wound our way up narrow mountain roads where the car couldn't turn around. These are mostly used by shepherds. Given the terrain, I found the stunning site of our future camp at an altitude of about 2000 meters.