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Published: February 3rd 2013
Gumbez of Jarkynbay XIX century A.D.
Following the success of the previous day of having a great evening driving through the hills of the Chuy Region in I decided to try and locate Jarkynbay’s Gumbez. This proved to be fruitless in spite of hours of driving. We started from Bishkek driving west until reaching the small city of Sokuluk. This city’s population is mainly made up of the Dungan people which are from a different ethnicity then the local Kyrgyz people are and also adhere to a stricter version of Islam. Surprisingly though, this didn't keep an old drunkard from trying to take a nap on the road. This was a quaint little city with animals roaming freely within the city limits.
Thinking that upon arriving in Sokuluk and asking around we would be directed to the Gumbez however after making a few stops no one seemed to even have heard of Jarkynbay, and much less know where he was buried. One older fellow suggested we go to the local mosque as the old men gather there and if anyone could help us then
it would be there. We took the suggestion but this proved to be fruitless as well. According to the map it was north of Sokuluk, so we decided to head north. After finding the lone road heading north toward Kazakhstan at the intersection we saw a group of older men and decided to make one last stop to ask around. One fellow who was probably pushing 70 said he lived north of Sokuluk his whole life and he had never heard of Jarkynbay nor his Gumbez and informed us that heading north would be fruitless.
Upon this we decided to head back to Bishkek and find a local café enroute and at least have a nice dinner. At about halfway there we located a small café and stopped and ordered shashlik, “chunks of grilled mutton on steel rods” which Jyldyz wouldn’t even touch after her first bite, claiming the meat was spoiled and old. I finally ate both of our portions, simply because I don’t like to waste food, however it was dry, tasteless and definitely not what a normal café would be serving. I plan on doing some more research online regarding Jarkynbay, but sort of
suspect my map may not be exactly accurate in its labeling etc., but it still beat sitting in the house all afternoon.
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