Introducing Naryn to Jalal-abad
Beware. Although maps show a road across Kyrgyzstan between Jalal-Abad and Naryn, the central cross-mountain section of the road is an unpaved, seasonal affair with barely two vehicles an hour passing through, even in summer. It can become impassable after mudslides and closes altogether from October to late June. Most travellers coming this way break the journey in Kazarman, a service town for the recently re-started Makhmal open-cast gold mine. If you're coming from Song-Köl, there's a very attractive link route across the Moldo Ashuu Pass via 33 switchbacks. A few kilometres after Kurtka (Jangy Talap; homestay available), turn right to find the Kazarman road. You've gone too far if you cross the river bridge (just north of the Naryn–Baetov road west of Ak-Tal).