I’m in a relatively quiet phase of travel at the moment, i.e. I’m not exploring much but working more on my laptop. But I was still out and about a bit – in Sary Mogul I went for a walk and didn’t take any pictures except the one above. And the picture below, which is only a short version of the situation: on the big highway, where hardly any cars were driving and where the air was shimmering a bit in the midday heat, 3 people were walking along with their trolley suitcases – but a bit far apart. I squatted in the shade of a disused petrol station and ate my packed lunch.
The next day I went back to Osh by marshrutka. There were more guests in the guesthouse, another very nice and very minimalist couple from Israel, who also wanted to go to Osh and had done 3 weeks of trekking, and a Czech couple who wanted to go to Pik Lenin. The man told how they travelled the more than 10 hours from Bishkek to Osh in a shared taxi, but gave up on the way because it was so exhaustingly cramped and a seat neighbour was constantly snuggling and snoring on his shoulder.
This marshrutka was nice: you signed up the night before (or better said our hostess did) and then you were picked up from the front door. What a service. We started around 7:00, the light was great and so was the scenery. I listened to Tibetan music and made up my mind to definitely come here again for trekking. and maybe with a rental car after all and then drive around some more. That would be fine. The dirty window produced interesting pictures.
And then I was back in hot Osh. There I thought I would have a good time and treat myself to a massage. But I was not successful. Google produced 3 addresses. No. 1 was a hospital with only medical massages. No. 2 was indeed a massage centre, but a bored lady sitting there told me that no one was working today. All the ladies were off today. It was not so inviting and I lost the desire to try it the following day. And no. 3 did not exist. I asked some gentlemen who were at this marked place (but it was a pub or several such small pubs and shops around it) and nobody knew it. Even a lady selling beauty products across the street couldn’t help me. And so all I had left of the day were hot soles and a picture of Lenin.
Then I had another whole day and thought I really had to go on the Sulayman Mountain, a nice elevation in the city. In the evening heat of over 35°C, the motivation was not great, but I pulled myself together. I took a few other pictures on the way:
And then I set off on the long journey to Bishkek. It is about 700 km, for which 12 hours are given. There are no Marshrutkas, only shared taxis. At 7:00 I started with a taxi to the shared taxi stand and there I was a little lucky: a small very good looking Nissan started with only me and 2 young men! I.e. it was absolutely comfortable, the driver drove quickly and safely and I couldn’t complain at all about the price (25,- Euro). One of the young men also spoke a bit of English and told me a few things, which I didn’t understand very well because his English wasn’t that great. But he still took good care of me. The only disadvantage was that all 3 of them smoked. With the window open, but a bit not nice. We stopped only once for a late hearty breakfast and a rather short coffee. I hardly took any pictures, I don’t know. I already had some from the outward journey. I only liked the group of horses on the way up the pass. The landscape you drive through is extremely varied and also great. I watched, dozed, listened to podcasts – and after about 12 hours we were actually in Bishkek, which was also hot, where the young man really wanted to organise a taxi to my accommodation and stayed until it arrived.
It is also hot in Bishkek and I spend the days working in the air-conditioned room and then go out a bit late. The following pictures were taken:
Not much is happening these days. I changed my partner agency and got to know the new one personally and am in a very positive mood. Tomorrow morning, a friend of mine, Ute, is coming and we will go on a 3-week organised tour. I’m really looking forward to both! To Ute anyway, but also to do something organised for once and not to have to decide all the time where to go and what kind of accommodation and so on. This way I can get to know the new agency, which organised the trip at fairly short notice, better and we’ll also go to places I haven’t been before. So it will (perhaps) remain exciting on this blog.
And at the end of this blog post, a food photo – everything vegetarian and delicious, even the funny green lemonade!
Okroshka, a Russian cold soup, is by the way my local culinary highlight discovery – I didn’t know it yet. Here is a Recipe.