So on the road again and ever onward we are off to Kyrgyzstan or to be correct The Kyrgyz Republic
This will be our last border crossing and we need a few hours to get there (and a few to get through it if recent history is to be repeated) with some interesting scenery as we travel through some quite barren areas.
The road to the border takes us through vast plains of nothing punctuated with a few stray horses dotted around. There is literally nothing going on here but given we are in the ninth largest country by size with a population which is 63rd at 16.4 million which means they have 6 sq km each which is more than enough for anyone and probably too much if you want to go next door and borrow some sugar.
The Border which is our last on this trip is only marginally different from all the others. We have as usual to decamp from the coach and drag our cases with us over some shoddy paving into a room with 4 border guard stations. The difference this time is there is no visa required as this means that the locals can go back and forth at will and they do it constantly mainly be pushing into the queue in front of the more polite tourists. This is fine for the first 10 or so but then I decide enough and place myself and my case in a blocking position and every time someone tried to bypass me they got a leg full of case. Pretty soon they stopped trying and move on to another line with a higher success rate. Once through the Kazakhstan side we walk over the usual no mans land bridge which must be the actual border and congregate in front of the Kyrgyzstan customs officers who appear to be very polite although their boss is less so. Our Passports are collected and taken off into a small room for what ever process the locals use. What ever they are doing they are constantly interrupted by more “none locals” come and deposit their passports. Eventually we get ours back and scramble through the last control point and our coach is waiting although it is in the wrong place and some loud many with a machinegun is insisting it moved before we get on. Now I have a rule the man waving the machinegun is always right so only another 400 meters and we are back on the bus.
We travel for 20 minutes or so and stop for lunch at a place we really should have driven past, The place was rather dirty and the food was poor and I can not describe the toilets. If I can find it on “Trip advisor” then they better watch out.
Onward we travel to Bishkek and on arrival find that for some reason most of it seems shut. We have a list of things to see and all of them are closed.
The town itself is well laid out in grid format so it must be a new place however it does look like it could do with a bit of TLC.
Not one of the fountains (and there are many) are working and by the look of them have not worked for some time either. Now to be fair we are in the poorest of the Stans and it is possible that the only reason there is anything here is the Russiand used this area for lots of things they did not want people to see or know about.
Given we can not visit anything we have a stroll around and we see some more buildings which are in a much better state and more in keeping with a capitol city.
This parking I though was funny.We got embroiled in a wedding which was going on close to one of the monuments and we got roped in as guests for the photo shoot.
and I could not resist these shots.