Posts From Kyrgyzstan


The Border, Police and other hassles (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan)

Journal entry for Sunday 28th Jul, 2013 (day 116, miles 8751)

The past two days we have traveled from Almaty to Bishkek crossing the Kazakhstan-Kyrgyzstan border in the process. I think it would be reasonable to describe these two days as very representative of the hassles and discomfort of traveling in Central Asia.

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Visas - Parts I and II (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan)

Journal entry for Wednesday 31st Jul, 2013 (day 117, miles 8751)

It has/had been our plan for some time that we would get our Visas for Iran, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan while in Bishkek. So on Monday morning (29th) we set off to the Iranian Embassy armed with our passports and the email from the Iran visa agency that contained the visa approval number from the Iran Ministry of Foriegn Affairs.

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A hot day in Bishkek, the Obama bar and grill (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan)

Journal entry for Thursday 1st Aug, 2013 (day 120, miles 8751)

It was hot today in Bishkek with the maximum temperature reaching 43°C (that is about 109°F). That temperature, and no business to do, kept us pretty subdued for the day. All we really managed to do was a stroll around the center of the city, watch the local kids play in the many fountains and pools, and a visit by Nina to a local museum. Oh, yes! and re-enforce our appreciation of the wonderful trees that line many innner city streets and the plentiful shady parks that are dotted around the city.

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Visas - Part III (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan)

Journal entry for Friday 2nd Aug, 2013 (day 121, miles 8751)

There were many moments today when we thoughts that last nights anticipatory celebration (of getting our last visa) was premature. We arrived at the entrance to the Uzbek Embasy about 9:50am well in time for the 10:00am appointment that was made for us with the Uzbek Embassy by Celestial Mountain Tours earlier in the week. As we waited a bit of a crowd assembled and it became clear that the Embassy made 10:00am appointments with a significant number of people. Just after 10:00 a young landy came out onto the steps and in a very quiet voice started reading out names; these were the people who the embassy had recorded as having appointments. You guessed it our names were not on the list. We were not the only ones in this position. Seems like the Uzbekistan Embassy is not very good at keeping lists

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Lake Issyk Kul, saved from the police (Issyk Kul, Kyrgyzstan)

Journal entry for Saturday 3rd Aug, 2013 (day 122, miles 8904)

We got an early start this morning in order to avoid the the traffic and the police as we headed east out of Bishkek towards famous Lake Issy Kul. The plan largely worked and within 40 minutes from the hotel we were out of the city and on highway A365. We did not entirely avoid the police as we passed a number of radar traps and random stop but today we did not seem to be on anyones menu.

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After effect of something; maybe the corn (Issyk Kul, Kyrgyzstan)

Journal entry for Sunday 4th Aug, 2013 (day 123, miles 8974)

Today was a bit of a bust. I woke with a moderate tummy upset and headache that persisted all day. I put it down to the corn we bought yesterday from a roadside vendor. It was either simply too much corn (2 large cobs) or maybe the corn spiced with some local micro-organisms; though Nina suffered no bad effects.

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An explorer, torpedoes, and Polish travelers (Issyk Kul, Kyrgyzstan)

Journal entry for Monday 5th Aug, 2013 (day 124, miles 9102)

Much to Nina's relief I was back on deck this morning so we set off early for a full day of experiencing the delights and the unexpected of traveling.

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Kyrgys at play in a salt lake (Beside the A367, Kyrgyzstan)

Journal entry for Tuesday 6th Aug, 2013 (day 125, miles 9238)

A hair cut and a quick swim in our small lake started the day and then we took our leave from our new Polish friends and were on our way. A little way down the road we passed 3 convoys of Mack trucks carrying fuel and led by Ford F series pickup trucks heading to a local gold mine operated by a Canadian company. At about the same time we passed a complex of walls and buildings that were amazingly decorated. The main wall seemed to have immitation yurts embedded at regular intervals, an eleborate gate and other amazing features. Noone seemed to be at home in the structure and we could not for the life of us work out what it might be.

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Getting closer, other travelers (Kyzyl Suu, Kyrgyzstan)

Journal entry for Wednesday 7th Aug, 2013 (day 126, miles 9318)

This morning not long after getting under way we passed through Kyzart Pass (at a modest 2650 meters), a picturesque spot situated among grass covered mountains. At the pass there were some primitive dwellings providing cafe services and a group of young children that greeted us warmly. On the descent we passed many herder camps most of which comprised both yurts and a soviet style caravan (for Aussies) or travel trailer (for our American friends); we even saw a yellow one.

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A bit more altitude (Somewhere on the M41, Kyrgyzstan)

Journal entry for Thursday 8th Aug, 2013 (day 127, miles 9408)

We continued for some distance this morning along the Kekemeren Gorge with more spectacular mountain views before emerging into a wide valley with a couple of small villages and wide spread cultivation. Once into the wider valley we could see in the distance the highway M41 (the main Bishkek to Osh road) as it descended from the 3500 meter Too Ashuu Pass. Our route to Osh would take us left/south at the M41 but initially we chose to go North and climb to the pass, partly out of curiousity and partly to start our altitude acclimatization - or at least to see how we would react to some serious altitude.

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Down .. down into the Fergana (Kockkor-Ata, Kyrgyzstan)

Journal entry for Friday 9th Aug, 2013 (day 128, miles 9606)

The road continued to climb for a little while this morning before eventually topping out at over 10,500 ft and then we descended, and descended and descended eventually (by the end of the day) getting down to 2,500 ft in the upper end of the Fergana Valley.

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Other overlanders in Osh (Gul'Cha, Kyrgyzstan)

Journal entry for Saturday 10th Aug, 2013 (day 129, miles 9740)

We were up and going early this morning hoping to cover the 135km to the city of Osh by lunch time in order to have sufficient time to do some extensive grocery shopping. The drive this morning continued like yesterday afternoon. Cultivated fields everywhere, people selling all kinds of vegetables and fruits at roadside stalls. In many of the stalls people were still in bed as we passed; thats right they actually had beds in the stalls and we saw people still asleep in some of them.

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