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Asia - Kyrgyzstan
27 July 2010

Old Russian bus in the streets of Bishkek, 2010

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In order to make it to Bishkek from New Delhi, India, we had to take a flight to Tashkent, Uzbekistan, from where we travelled onwards to Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan. The second flight was at the next day however. Although we had some hopes on an airport hotel, there was literally nothing. We ended up on two empty couches in an empty children's room (there were no children around at the small terminal), which were quite comfortable. After some 20 minutes however, the corrupt airport guards came up to us and wanted to charge us 50 US dollar to sleep in that room. For 80 US dollar we could even rent a complete office, where people would be working the next day again.

We politely declined (and silently imagined saying to stick that 50 dollars up where the sun doesn't shine...) and shifted to a mat in a corner where we spent an uncomfortable night, next to two extremely friendly Pakistani.

Once we had reached Bishkek and obtained our visa on arrival, it was time to practise my Russian again and roam the city. We found an apartment after long search for accommodation. Not quite within our budget at 40 dollars a night (after heavily negotiating), but indeed very comfortable. I fell in love with the odd but friendly city. In total we would spend a month in Kyrgyzstan of which 2,5-3 weeks in Bishkek, waiting for our visas for Uzbekistan and Iran and meanwhile making trips around the country to the Ala-Too mountains, Lake Issyk Kul, Karakol and it's strange nearby sanatorium, Bokonbayevo where we saw an incredible, exclusive eagle hunting show by the countries number one, Kochkor and many other places.

In Bishkek, the traces of the revolution that had happened just some weeks ago where still clearly visible everywhere.