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.
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.
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。