From Osh to Bishkek 吉爾吉斯坦|從奧什到比什凱克

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We got one of the slowest trucks of our trip to Osh, 180 kilometers we were driving for 8 hours and arrived Osh very late. On the way, we celebrated young truck driver’s 25-year-old birthday. We sang the birthday song, Misha gave him an old MinGuo coin. The truck driver stopped by and bought us one bottle of milk. He explained this is fermented horse milk, they call it Kumis. It tastes sour with strong cheesy. Instead of eating cheese, it’s drinking cheese! The whole day we had only bread, onion and tomatoes at Sary Tash, I had to drink more Kumis to fill up my stomach. In that time, I didn’t know this food will be my common meals during travel in Kyrgyzstan.

The camping spot also wasn’t perfect, we camped right beside the highway under a shed, next morning we were woken up by a family who actually sells cherries at that place. So we got some cherries and headed on. In cherry and strawberry season, they sell it with a bucket.

We had to pay some money for leaving the border to Sary Tash, generally speaking,  hitchhiking in Kyrgyzstan is easy, people are friendly. Especially when we told them Misha’s from Ukraine. Being Taiwanese for Ying Ping woke also a curiosity for them. We began 600 km journey in two days. The first day, we met a guy from Beijing, he was studying Russian in Osh. We spent less than 24 hours in Kyrgyzstan, I asked him curiously how far he likes about this country. From food to the environment, he’s from a big city, he has negative opinion anyhow.

We got a truck driving along the river. I’ve never seen such green-blue stream. Same as usual, the truck was moving slowly. It began raining in the night, the truck tire got problem while we near Tokogul. We stopped at the dark road to help to fix. It was cold and wet. An hour later, we moved on to truck driver’s parking lot. The next morning, all the trucks were gone.

We kept going up the road with a family. Higher we moved on, the temperature was going down. The mountains still covered with white snow. While the family took a break at a restaurant, Misha was chatting to a man, this man willing to bring us to Bishkek. He’s a beekeeper in Tokogul, the car was filled with flowers, he said the secret of health is laugh often, eat flowers! So I ate flowers. He also took us to get the spring water and condensed cheese balls. Locals conserve milk as a ball. I had few bites, they were too salty to eat. The old man said, put them into the bottle, shake it with water, then it becomes Kumis. But I decided to put them deep inside of my backpack.

Bishkek

It’s the capital of Kyrgyzstan, it’s a mix of Soviet architecture and modern lifestyle. For some parts of Bishkek, I had the feeling to travel back in time, cause the Soviet aura was so present there but then you see all the elite shops and hipster bars and the feeling is gone. Even the Gasvoda, the carbonated water vendor was working there. The last one I’ve seen in 90th Ukraine.

We spent few days in Bishkek, couchsurfed at Tatiana’s place, where we met a couple of interesting travelers, unsuccessfully applied for Iran visa, we forced to change our travel schedule, replace the Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan to Tajikistan then fly to Iran. We left Bishkek with another host from Couchsurfing, who invited us to his grandmother’s village close to Issyk Kul lake,  the second largest saline lake after the Caspian Sea.


從奧什到比什凱克

往奧什的卡車都開得超慢,其中一次,180公里的路我們竟然開了八小時才到奧什的邊邊,在這路上,年輕的卡車司機剛度過他的25歲生日,我們在車上唱了生日歌,還送他一枚民國時代的大硬幣,他買了一罐路邊小女孩賣的那種奶給我們,以奶代酒,原來那是發酵過的馬奶叫做Kumis,口感很酸,伴著濃濃的起士味,不是在吃起士,是在喝起士啊!一整天下來除了在Sary Tash簡單的買了乾麵包和生洋蔥、生番茄止飢,只好多喝Kumis填飽肚子,沒想到這些是我們未來三周當作正餐的常見食物。這夜的露營地點也不是很完美,就在高速公路旁的一個棚子,一早被一個家庭叫醒,他們在這裡賣櫻桃,收一收帳篷我們決定買一袋櫻桃走,在盛產櫻桃與草莓的季節,這裡都是用水桶裝來賣的。

除了從邊境必須付點錢搭車到Sary Tash,搭便車在吉爾吉斯坦算是很容易的了,人們都很友善,特別是在介紹我們一位來自烏克蘭、一位來自他們不熟但好奇的台灣,他們都很樂意接收。開始了六百公里的路程,第一天,我們遇到一位來奧什學俄文的北京人,剛到吉爾吉斯不到24小時的我很好奇地問他對於這裡的看法,從環境到食物,他只有讚嘆那些來自於天然環境的牛羊肉,或許生長於大城市人口密度高的北京人,總之他不太習慣這裡的生活。

後來又搭上了一輛卡車,路途中開始沿著河流走,沒看過那麼美麗的青藍色水流,一樣的,卡車還是開很慢,到夜晚時開始下起雨來,我們接近Tokogul的時候輪胎出了問題,在又濕又冷的深夜裡我們花了一小時修理,最後移動到專門給卡車司機的停車場過夜,隔天一早,所有的卡車幾乎早已離開。

接下來的公路是往上坡,我們跟一家人同行,往高處走氣溫越冷,也越多山坡還雪白著,他們到 餐廳休息吃飯時,一個戴著傳統毛帽的阿伯很開心的跟Misha聊了起來,還願意帶我們到比什凱克,沒想到他是在Tokogul養蜂,車上塞滿了花,他說人要健康要常笑、要吃花!就這樣我第一次生吃花,他還帶我們去裝泉水還有嚐試濃縮乳酪球,當地人把鮮奶特製成球狀保存,有各種口味但它們一樣都非常的鹹、非常的濃,我完全吃不下去,阿伯說把它們丟進去礦泉水瓶裡搖一搖就變成Kumis了,但我決定把乳酪球深藏在背包裡。

比什凱克

這裡是吉爾吉斯坦的首都,混合著前蘇聯風格的建築和現代生活方式,一部份的城市,Misha說感覺回到了過去,前蘇聯的氛圍彷彿在眼前,那些高大的松樹與橡樹,舊郵局、學校建築和公寓看得到未來主義的蹤影,但是一看到高級商店和時髦的酒吧那些感覺就不見了,碳酸水機攤販還在這裡運作,他上一次看到是九零年代的烏克蘭吧。

我們在比什凱克只待了幾天,在Tatiana的家沙發衝浪,這裡我們遇到了一些有趣的旅人,Misha無法順利在伊朗大使館拿到簽證,這是我們一路趕來比什凱克的唯一理由,瞬間我們要重新計劃旅行路程,捨棄往烏茲別克斯坦與土庫曼斯坦,決定去塔吉克斯坦再搭飛機到伊朗。只待了兩晚,我們找到新的沙發主,Arkyl,但他說他要去Issy Kul (俗稱熱海、伊塞克湖)拜訪奶奶,於是我們一起在晚上出發,前往世界上面積第二大的高山湖泊。

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