The end of Kyrgyzstan

Osh Travel Blog

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Osh Bazaar

People I met here who contributed to, and improved my trip: Julia (Russia), Sigrid (Belgium), David (Canada), David (USA), Alex (Australia)

This was Sigrid's second time in Osh, so we trusted her judgment and headed for Osh Guest House, which was a 10 minute walk from the bazaar that we were dropped off at. The place was pretty hard to find, situated in a block of flats and it was lucky that we were with someone who had knowledge of the area, or we could have been walking around for hours! The dorm beds were the cheapest in town at 195 Som ($5.40) and although it was a little cramped, it had a great communal atmosphere to it.

Once we had settled in, we arranged to meet with the owner Daniyar to discuss the hire of a jeep for our trip into Tajikistan.

Julia shopping for fruit at Osh Bazaar
We got some rough prices and decided that it was best to leave the final decision on our route until the following day when David was arriving, a Canadian guy who had been messaging us on Thorn Tree. The evening was spent in Turkestan cafe, which had a very relaxed vibe to it, served whopping portions, although sadly ripped us off on the bill... as usual.

On Friday we met an American photo journalist called David and went for a wander around town with him. Walking through the bazaar was fascinating and there was a different feeling from anywhere else i had been in Kyrgyzstan. The women were much more covered up and it is what i would have expected from Uzbekistan, rather than Kyrgyzstan. Saying that, Osh does have a large Uzbek population, so it maybe wasn't so surprising after all.
Solomons Throne
All kinds of produce were on offer, from fresh grapes to bulging watermelons. Other sections of the market contained money changers, clothes shops, cosmetics stalls and pharmacies.

Located in the centre of town is a large hill called Solomons Throne, where it is alleged the Prophet Mohammed stopped to pray. It was a tiring walk up, as the sun was nearly at its zenith and Central Asia really heats up in the Summer. The views from the summit were nice, but nothing spectacular. The town sprawled for some distance on all sides, before coming to an abrupt halt, where nothingness seemingly took over.

At the base of the hill we stopped for some ice cream and coke in a restaurant and guess what, we received a bogus bill again! Three ice creams totaling 15 Som each and a bottle of coke that cost 35 Som, supposedly added up to 150 Som.
A view of Osh from Solomons Throne
When we pushed the waitress on the sum, she said we had the big ice creams, which actually cost 35 Som. After getting her to fetch the menu and showing her the brand we ate was listed as 15 Som on the menu and there wasn't even anything priced as high as 35 Som on the menu, she decided she best get her boss. This lady was equally as stupid, as she brought out a completely different ice cream and told us that one was 15 Som and ours was 35 Som. When we asked why we had been brought a different one to what we ordered, she couldn't answer, but just said as we ate it, so we had to pay for it! We explained the stupidity of this logic, which wasn't hard and the woman angrily just told us to pay 15 Som per ice cream and leave. It always makes me laugh that they try and scam you and then get angry when you catch them out, trying to pretend that its your fault and not theirs.
A view of Osh from Solomons Throne
.. idiots.

In the afternoon we relaxed at the hostel and tried to escape the draining sun. Canadian David arrived in the early evening and we finalised our jeep trip down the Pamir Highway, which we decided would include a trip into Afghanistan - all being well! Once this was sorted a large group of us went out for Dinner. There was Alex the Aussie, Xavier from France, Sigrid from Belgium, Remy from Belgium, Jiri from Slovakia, Julia from Russia, David from Canada, David from America and me from Britain, making it quite an international mix! We had a nice meal, got ripped off over the bill and then drank some beers until 01.00.

On Saturday morning i felt tired when i got up at 10.30 as the mosquitoes had been once again savagely attacking me in the night. The main aim of the day was to shop for provisions to take on our trip and buy Julia some new trousers in the market. This took up most of the day and left me exhausted, as it was a scorching day once again.

I spent my afternoon arranging an Uzbekistan Letter of Invitation, which ended up a lot more complicated than i had first imagined. Once i had made some progress with this, i went to have a lie down at the Hostel and write my blog. Later on we went out for the last proper meal that we would probably eat in weeks, as our trip down the Pamir Highway was scheduled to begin on Sunday morning.

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Osh Bazaar
Osh Bazaar
Julia shopping for fruit at Osh Ba…
Julia shopping for fruit at Osh B…
Solomons Throne
Solomons Throne
A view of Osh from Solomons Throne
A view of Osh from Solomons Throne
A view of Osh from Solomons Throne
A view of Osh from Solomons Throne
Osh
photo by: Bluenose