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Tuva - Kyzyl, Siberia (Center on Interactive Map)

Map of Tuva - Kyzyl, Siberia

Map of Tuva - Kyzyl, Siberia

Kyzyl, Tuvan Throat Singing Competition Kyzyl, Tuva, Throat Singing Competition World War II Memorial in Kyzyl, Tuva View From Mergens Homestay, Kyzyl Shamanistic Center, Kyzyl Kyzyl, Lenin
Kyzyl, Tank Tuva Yurt in the Valley of the Kings
Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe) Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe) Wood Nuthatch (Sitta europaea) Orange-flanked Bush-Robin (Tarsiger cyanurus) Orange-flanked Bush-Robin (Tarsiger cyanurus) Greater Spotted Eagle (Clanga clanga)
Black Kite (Milvus migrans)

A medium sized town, and the capitol of Tuva, the habitats here include the Yenisey River and a forested city park



7/19/2008: Our flight in the rickety aircraft was late, and we arrived in Kyzyl in the early evening to meet Mergen with whom we stayed. Mergen lived in an apartment block on the outskirts of Kyzyl. Two Spanish throat-singers were staying with Mergen as well.

The following morning, we picked up this Finnish guy called Yanni for a trip to the Valley of the Kings. This location was famous for gold encrusted burials from the 7th century. On the way back to Kyzyl, we visited an Aarjan, some kind of mystical spring with curative waters.

Upon arrival back in Kyzyl, we were treated to the only convenient public restaurant, a steam table buffet. The only food worth eating from the buffet was mashed potatoes.

There was also some walking around Kyzyl guided by Mergen's daughter and her friend from college who wanted to practice English. Finally, Mergen was able to validate our visas, and we were ready to head out to Western Tuva.

7/20/2008: A few nights in Tuva.



7/25/2008: We arrived back in Kyzyl to attend the Tuvan Throat Singing Composium. Every throat singer from Tuva was supposed to be there for a competition followed by a concert. A bunch of yurts had been set up in the wrestling field, and we were invited in to play some kind of game involving horses knuckles. After the game, a gristle stew of goat was served. I am a vegetarian, so I was able to bow out, fortunately. One of the throat singers came into the yurt to sing a couple of songs for us. I would like to add that none of this was the least bit tourist oriented, but rather we just happened to drop in on a family get-together.

After a few too many meals of mashed potatoes at the cantina, I was inspired to cook my own dinner for that night. I was able to find a variety of vegetables in the market, and we made a stew at the house. Mergen had never before seen cauliflower or eggplant (or so he said)

7/26/2008: The end of our trip to Tuva was at hand. We were to take a six hour drive to the nearest rail station where we were catching a 21 hour train ride to Novosibirsk. This was our first experience on the Trans-Siberian Railroad. We rode in Platskart which means that about 50 people are crammed into a rail car with bunk beds. A lady walks around selling beer, and some people drink vodka. A lot of the people on the train are starting a solid three days or more on the train.

Previous Visit (Irkutsk - Freeway Swamps: 7/19/2008)
Next Visit (Tuva - Western Mountains: 7/23/2008)

Species Recorded (20)

Birds ( 20 )

Kites, Hawks, Eagles, and Allies ( Acciptridae )
Steppe Eagle - Aquila nipalensis
Greater Spotted Eagle - Clanga clanga
Black Kite - Milvus migrans

Falcons and Allies ( Falconidae )
Eurasian Kestrel - Falco tinnunculus

Pigeons and Doves ( Columbidae )
Rock Pigeon - Columba livia

Swifts ( Apodidae )
Pacific Swift - Apus pacificus

Hoopoes ( Upupidae )
Eurasian Hoopoe - Upupa epops

Jays and Crows ( Corvidae )
Carrion Crow - Corvus corone
Eurasian Jackdaw - Corvus monedula
Eurasian Magpie - Pica pica

Chickadees and Titmice ( Paridae )
Azure Tit - Cyanistes cyanus
Great Tit - Parus major

Nuthatches ( Sittidae )
Eurasian Nuthatch - Sitta europaea

Old World Warblers and Gnatcatchers ( Sylviidae )
Common Chiffchaff - Phylloscopus collybita

Wheatears ( Muscicapidae )
Isabelline Wheatear - Oenanthe isabellina
Northern Wheatear - Oenanthe oenanthe

Thrushes and Allies ( Turdidae )
Spotted Flycatcher - Muscicapa striata
Red-flanked Bluetail - Tarsiger cyanurus

Wagtails and Pipits ( Motacillidae )
White Wagtail - Motacilla alba
Western Yellow Wagtail - Motacilla flava




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