While up the mountain in the Ile Alatau National park a local family stopped at our campers. The daughter, Malika,had studied for several months in Arnhem. They invited us to come the next day and eat some local dishes at their house. The day was spent making ourselves ready for the meal. We bought in the market a bowl and filled it up with fresh fruit. It would have been better to bring flowers since they also offered us their own fruit.

Malika met us at an agreed area at 16.30 and we followed her to her family house in the outskirts of town. There her mother and family welcomed us. The table was ready . It must have been an early meal for them. It was a great meal of local food, baursaki (fried dough balls), cold horsemeat and kazakh’s national dish beshbarmak (chunks of boiled beef with onions served in huge bowl atop flat squared pasta). After a short walk through the garden/house we sat down again for tea. Hospitality to travellers is a very important custom in Kazakhstan. The good wishes of a travel mean a lot.

After the meal we drove up another valley into the national park. This time we camped at 1600 m just below the famous Medeo ice skating ring.