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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars

 

Kyrgyzstan - 22 August, 2002

 

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Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Bishkek (hotel) N4252.177' E07441.448' 763 meters .
Finish Bishkek (hotel) N4252.177' E07441.448' 763 meters -

Total:

2,287 km

 

Weather: Clear, sunny and very hot.  Cool at night.

 

 

We had a change in plans today.  We were supposed to leave this morning to go to the mountains and do some hiking, but due to the road being closed that we were to take to the border tomorrow, we need to go to a border near Bishkek, so we will stay in Bishkek tonight.  We have the whole day in the city.  Oh, yeah - some people also needed visas.  In any case, we were happy with the change.  The city seems nice and we wanted more time anyway and we put it to good use today.

 

After breakfast in the hotel, we caught one of the mini-vans into town.  We first went to the Osh market.  We wandered around there, but did not find much to interest us.  As we were leaving, some young guys tried to pick the bags of some of us, but they were unsuccessful.  Just shows that you always have to be careful.

 

Kyrgyz02_CD07_09_web.jpg (31409 bytes)

We headed back to the main town center and did some shopping.  Checked out a carpet shop, but decided to pass and wait until later on the trip.  We visited the post office where we were able to get some nice stamps.  Then onto Tsums department store, where we checked out some of the handicraft and antique stalls on the second floor.  We decide to come back later when we have more time.

 

Kyrgyz02_CD07_08_web.jpg (110780 bytes)

We check out Victory Square with the huge World War Two memorial.  Then off to the Hyatt for some air conditioning, a toilet and to get some information.  A bit of internet and then to the bank to change some traveler checks into US dollars cash.  We plan to do a bit more shopping on this trip, so we want to be prepared (TCs are hard to cash in this part of the world).  We check out some more shops and then wander up Erkindik Prospektisi, which is a beautiful tree-lined boulevard.  Bishkek is actually a very green city with trees everywhere and a number of parks.  When it gets a bit more money, they have the opportunity to turn it into a very beautiful, green city.

 

The rest of the afternoon was spent at Tsum shopping.  The more we checked out the the stalls, the more that we found to buy.  We went a bit crazy and bought more then we planned to.  We ended up getting mostly traditional Kyrgyz stuff.  The had lots of old Soviet stuff, but we decided to stay away from it.  Lars could probably have re-constructed the complete Soviet army uniform (except for the great coat) that he got in a trade for a pair of used jeans back in the late 1970's in Kiev.  It was lost in a fire.

 

We finished shopping around 7 PM and then had to run off to try and meet up with the group at a Chinese restaurant.  we waited for about 40 minutes and when they did not show up, we headed off to get out own dinner (turned out they had changed restaurants).  After dinner we headed back to the hotel via the mini-vans, arriving shortly after 10 PM.  We backed up our bags (including the shopping), getting ready for our departure tomorrow.

 

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