Edinn from NL, Dan and Sam from NZL, Astrid and me, we took a shared taxi to Bishkek.12 hours for 640km with a real stupid driver. he was incompetent in driving curves and he was too fast. most unnerving was that he changed every minute the track of his cd-player..... at 9 pm we arrived in Bishkek and we slepted in a jurte of the Nomads Home Guesthouse.
after a delicious breakfast we spend the whole day with organizing some outdoor equipment.
Well, Bishkek is the same nasty city as Osh and all the other cities of the USSR (except Tiflis) where we cycled through. many unfinished buildings, extrem bad sidewalks and no appeal at all. there is no need to waste time with "sight-seeing". by the way : it is the capital of KGZ...
4 hours in the Koffeeman, a very good cafe with Windows 7, delicious coffee and food :-)
shopping at Sport Expert. gloves , shoes, underwear and socks from Salewa. I tried to get a refund for the Kyrgyz valued added tax as it is possible in Europe but the staff did not understand anything. another customer was so friendly to translate but no chance to get the refund or a better discount more than 5%. well I asked the customer who he is . it was Rev.Remigius Kalski SJ from Poland who lives in Jalal-Abad. with his organization "Children's Leisure and Rehabilitation Centre" in Isyk-Kyl Oblast he cares for disabled children. Great to met him!
many things to do: we had to change the accommodation, because at Nomads Home, where we had been for three nights water have been cut for the next 10 days. we found the "Interhouse" a quite new guesthouse via booking.com. very beautiful but again a strange behaviour of the owners. they would not give us a key for the room. they argued that 24h a day somebody is at the reception. after 2 hours we had a key, because I was very persistent and I became more and more unfriendly. honestly I learned that if your are too polite in these former countries of the USSR you will not be taken serious.
We checked the possibilty for a horse riding trip to the mountains. it will become a little bit difficult, because it is snowing up to 2500 m. Astrid felt not very well again. she seems to be much more prone after her illness in Bukhara. :-(. it makes no sense to go horseriding at this time. she has to be healthy.we will see...
relaxing day. Dan from Tasmania,
who is traveling by motobike from London back home, is in the Interhouse, too. he wants to enter China as well and his travelagency recommended him to shave his beard. the argument: Chinese immigration officers do not like "Hippies"..... unbelievable! indeed, a tough decision for him.
we went to our travel agency, Avia Travel Company. the Chinese lady, Miss Liu, has a great experience in organizing visa for China. well, we arrived at 09:30, later as we planned. she told us that our photos are too small. we had to go to a photographer for new ones , we should fill out a form of three pages and be back in 20 minutes. what a stress! we did not find the photographer immediatly, because we lost the business card, I went back to her office, suddenly Astrid was missing.... . after the new photos (mine are horrible, I look like being on drugs) we have been told, that we need different hotels in China to insert in the form. ok, internet access in the office was to slow, I ran to the cafe around the corner, checked tripadvisor.com and booking.com, back to the office. The son of Miss Liu came with Astrid and a KAZ businessman out of the office. we drove to the Chinese Embassy and met Miss Liu. 11.55 a.m. .. Good luck, they opened the door. while Miss Liu was standing in line we met Nicky and Roy from Switzerland. they are traveling with a Toyota Landcruiser to China, but had big problems with the embassy. as a car driver you must not drive for your own, you have to pay a permanent guide. well, China is a country which does not like individual tourists. Nicky and Roy already payed 6000 USD for the guide, but the visa were still missing. it would really be a desaster for them not to enter China.
both of us with a bad cold, fever and a running nose :-(
bad day. we started to take antibiotika
still in bed and feeling very bad
we were still groggy, but we had to go to the travel agency to catch our visa. at 12 o'clock we got it !!! Miss Liu did a great job. from two other cyclists we received the information that Dan, who we met in Osh, arrived in the Nomads. we took a taxi and it was so great to see him again. he cycled this track through the mountains, where we had to turn back. due to the fact that there was still no tap water in the Nomads, he decided to come to our guesthouse. we took his bags with us in a taxi and he came with his bike to us.
In the evening we had delicious Italian food in the "Bella Italia", together with Dan from Tasmania. a real funny evening :-)
I organized my homepage, blogspot and some other internet communities and platforms, Astrid stayed most of the time in bed. She really needs this recreation. Dan, the cyclist, felt very sick. vomiting and diarrhoe and he had to catch his flight back to Zurich in the next morning. no good combination. he slepted the whole day and in the evening he packed his bike in a box. at 10 pm he left the guesthouse by taxi to the airport. we were really sad, because he is now a very good friend of us . hope we see us as soon as possible :-)
we went with Dan from TAS to the "Koffeeman".later we bought at the German shop "Brinkhoff" a new thermoskanne, lithium batteries
Now six months traveling. At Avia Travel we bought our tickets for the flight to Osh. 2300 soms, which are roughly 50 bucks, are quite cheap. we do not want to sit again in a small van for 12 hours, opened window and a stupid driver. we are just recovered so we would not endanger our health.
we went to our facourite cafe, the "Coffeeman" and met Dan and Sam from NZL again. they want to leave Bishkek the next day, looking for some bikes in Almaty. last possibility to see them for a long time. we had lunch and then we were so busy with Facebook and me with my travel expense accounting for 2012. well, I am traveling, but next year I have to make my tax declaration and it makes no sense to defer this quite uncomfortable work.
in the evening suddenly Laura and Aitor entered the cafe . what a surprise !! in Bukhara they stayed at the same guesthouse as we.
and the funny story is: Astrid put her spare-pedals to their bikes, because she did not want to carry them further. Laura and Aitor have been on the way to Tashkent by train. we did not see them again, so we did not know if they used the pedals.
Aitor told us yesterday, that he is so happy to have this pedals, with his old ones he had pain in his feet and he searched for a long time for others. good job :-))
after eight hours in the cafe we went home. while having some toasts the owner of the guesthouse arrived and we had an interesting conversation. he is quite young, runs an internet business and rents this house. the business "guesthouse" is his hobby and he started in May 2012.
we met Richard and his wife Jazgul from www.heider-consulting.de. he is from Munich, but now lives with her in Bishkek. I found his homepage by accident and contacted him. was a funny lunch in an Italian restaurant. due to the fact that Jazgul is Kyrgyz, we got interessting information about her country and the social live.
I went to a dentist, recommended by Richard, because I had some pain in my gum. the doctor's office was with very modern equipment and the treatment was very professionell. together with x-rays and fluid only 800 Soms, which is roughly 18 USD.
In the afternoon we met Annika and Roberto, cycling through the world, too. We knew them only from FB and it was so great to see them , in the "Koffeeman", where else ? ;-).
we went to a bicycle shop to get some pins for the chain. later coffeeman. it began to snow.
it was really cold and a bad weather. will become "funny" when we go up to the mountains.
we changed some USD to Chinese Yuan and packed our stuff. Dan from Tasmania wanted to leave Bishkek, too, but suddenly his motobike did not work anymore. he tried to find the problem but he did not find it until we left the guesthouse. we took a taxi to Manas Airport. Honestly many people have a quite stupid behaviour. when we had to enter the plane, many of them were scrambling. no reason to do this because as you know you already got your seatnummer at the check-in. our flight by Air Kyrgyztan to Osh departed at 4:50 pm.