On To Kochkor
Kochkor Travel Blog› entry 48 of 83 › view all entries
I didn't get on the road until around , having spent a leisurely morning chatting with Tamara and Askar and enjoying a filling breakfast of buckwheat, bread and delicious blackcurrant and pear jams. Tamara walked me to the bus stop using a short cut through the sanatorium and gave me a bag of her yummy apples for the road. Thirty minutes after waiting, I hopped aboard a minibus heading to Balykchy, where I would need to transfer to another vehicle for the
When we arrived in Balykchy, which means “fisherman,” a group of about six chunky women bombarded the van, a string of splayed, smoked fish in each hand. It was difficult to escape but I did, even without getting sticky fish scales on me. Peter and Mira helped me find a taxi to Kochkor for 100 som and after about 30 minutes, I was on my way while the others went on to Bishkek.
The first guesthouse I walked to was located down a sketchy-looking alley across from another place just called “hotel” in Russian (and not looking any more appealing). The guesthouse was really just a house, and the owners seemed baffled that a tourist would want to come in the winter and apologized that the room was cold. I looked around and although it wasn’t exactly toasty, it was shelter and about what I’d been used to, so I took it.
By this time it was already 4:30 and the sun was starting to go down, so I set off to do some exploring before it was too late.
Soon a group of rather pesky boys started following me, asking for money, a pen or a drink of water.
I walked about a block and a half to Café Vizit for dinner, which consisted of ganfan soup and a mediocre salad with eggs, cucumbers, chicken and mayonnaise. I also drank a whole pot of tea. A group of Kyrgyz were dancing in the middle of restaurant when I arrived, and one of them was nice enough to come to my table and help interpret the menu. She was the nicest person I met in the town. I had planned on maybe checking out the nightlife at a place strangely called Men Disco but not after the negative vibe I got from the place. After seeing the that the Internet club closed at 7pm, I just went back to my cold room, read and went to bed early while the family’s guests in the next room continued their dinner party into the night.