Susie Dowdall

As someone whose idea of a holiday is a fortnight by a pool in Tuscany, 2 weeks in Central Asia with Jonny Bealby and Wild Frontiers was a complete - and wonderful - awakening for me. Kyrgyzstan is an incredibly beautiful, almost totally undiscovered country while the fascinating history and splendour of the Silk Road towns of Uzbekistan simply left me reeling. Every day of the trip was a revelation, from an evening with the charismatic Sogan Bai, an eagle hunter, high in the mountains in his cosy yurts, to trekking over a high pass or gazing with awe at the majesty of Samarkand and Bukhara. And wherever we went we were welcomed warmly by people Jonny has made friends with over the years. Jonny has put together a clever mix of sights, experiences, comfort and adventure with a bit of endurance thrown in, and even now, two months after our return I'm still buzzing from the trip.