My decision to go see the steppe it sure looked like being taken on a spur of the moment but it was not. It was more than just an impulse, it was a call, a meditation travel. We already have been planning for a longer trip to Bali but instead I decided for Kazakhstan and I should not chose better.
Follow the inner voice.
For a long time I was drawn to wide, endless grassland spaces. I have this recurrently repeating dream or better say an image of gliding over gentle hills and valleys extending all over the horizon. Flying gently, without noise, without weight, almost touching the grass underneath.
We arrived in Almaty, formerly known as Alma-Ata. The city of apples was the capital of Kazakhstan before Astana took over and in some verses is still considered such. As we arrived unprepared and without a trip plan, we had to switch to “follow your inner voice” mode of travelling. I have to say it was not that easy to follow the inner voice being in a foreign country, not knowing the language and above all without a clue what to visit. However something deep inside me was reassuring me I was in the right place and should not worry.
We declared Almaty as our base and we went for day-or-two trips to the nearest sightseeing landmarks which included the Charyn canyon, Kaindy lake, big Almaty lake, Tamgaly-Tas on Ile river and the petroglyph site in Tamgaly. I was not really into sightseeing and it was difficult to explain to locals what I was looking for. The days went by really fast and were amazing but I wanted to experience the steppe and I couldn't find a way. This left me with a bitter after taste for the whole trip until I accepted the fact that if it’s meant to be, it will happen. And yes, it did happen.
in the right place...
Returning to Almaty from our visit to the petroglyph site in Tamgaly which is spectacular by the way, we stopped in the middle of the steppe to admire the colorful flowers and the ongoing sunset.
I was not having the feeling we have to stop as that was the place I was looking for. We stopped there just like that, I thought. I was wrong, completely. I went walking away from the car following some trails in the bushes left by wild animals. There were a lot of wild flowers blooming all around and you could smell the fresh wormwood growing everywhere. An old power line was running in the distance to the horizon, just where the sun was inevitably going to set and leave the stage to the stars.
I felt the energy rising.
While I was moving sideways to take a clear shot of a magnificent scarlet sundown a very intense feeling took away all of my senses of time and space. I felt the energy rising and it was like getting a chill when coming out of water on a breezy summer night except I felt it within every single cell of my body. I found myself been carried away in a different shape, not in a human form but as a spirit of a horse. I was running, running fast and in silence. There was not any sound of feet off the ground or heavy breathing, just the soft hissing of the wind while galloping toward the sun. I went faster and further, I wanted to have some more of the run and chase game I was playing with the sun. At the end I slowed down and left the peace of the night take over the darkening sea of grass.
Being one with everything.
It was a clear and vivid memory that emerged that evening in the steppe. Perhaps it was imprinted on me long time ago or it was just there waiting for me to experience it, I am not sure. The sensation was intense and fulfilling. Being one with everything that surrounds you, and I am not referring to just have a connection but literally being one. To feel every single pebble, a flower, a straw, the wind, the light, the earth as yourself it is as close as I can describe it with my earthly words.
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