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Published: July 25th 2016
July 24 - Pamir Highway trip Day 13 - Sary Mogul to Osh
This is it. The last day of the Pamir Highway. It has gone by so quickly, but I have seen so much. Having these blogs separated helps me to keep the days separate; otherwise I would never be able to keep it straight. But don't worry, the journey ends here.
I woke up at 5am to use the bathroom, which like all of the outhouses, is quite a walk away. But it gave me a great pre-dawn view. Both over the lake, where the sky was starting to turn orange, and over the mountains. But it was freezing. Even in the yurt, I had a hard time sleeping because it was so cold. Usually the yurts are better insulated, from what I understand. Ours, not so much. But it was beautiful out. I went back for my camera and took a couple pictures before trying to sleep again. Hard to sleep when there is a rooster you want to kill with your bare hands right outside the yurt. Duck sounds were adorable, but then there was a lot of car engine revving, as one car was
jumping another. Terrible.
At 7:45 I finally got up and took a little walk around the hills again, while the others slept on. Breakfast was at 9am, but I could hear other tourists already eating, and discussing Trump, of all things. I came back and sat in the yurt for a few minutes before the others started to wake up. Then the girl called us for breakfast at 8:45. We had porridge AND eggs at this place (usually it is one or the other), and an amazing cream/butter that was freshly made. I ate way too much bread because of that.
We finally got it together and left around 10am. It took about 45 min to get back to the place where the festival was being held. We stopped, as many people were gathered around, and at 11am there was some dancing and singing. We stayed about 30 minutes. It was a really cool cultural event to see, though I'm sure that the Horse Games themselves would be something. Next weekend there is also some sort of Yak Games here. Interesting.
The rest of the drive to Osh was longer than I expected, maybe three hours, and
not so exciting. We started to descend in altitude and it got progressively warmer, until it was just hot. I felt exhausted and kept almost sleeping, but I was afraid I would feel worse once we arrived if I did sleep a bit, so I stayed awake.
Around 4pm we arrived outside Osh, and for some reason, we changed cars and a different guy drive us, and our driver, to the two hostels we were staying. Luckily my quick email at lunch yesterday to the Biy Ordr hostel worked, and I had reserved two dorm beds for Anna and I. The others found a double room at a different place. We paid the driver the balance and said good bye, with the intention of meeting for dinner.
At the hostel, I got directions to a money exchange and started off. It took about 35 minutes for me to walk there, and the exchanges were closed. But I asked around if anyone knew where another was, and most people did not speak English. But one girl asked how much I wanted to exchange and then her family produced a bunch of money (som) and gave me the right exchange
rate, so I did it. So weird, but it worked. Then I wondered if the money could be fake. I went to the small supermarket and bought some conditioner for my so sad hair. They took the money, so it seemed alright.
Back at the hostel, I went into frantic mode. I was still uncertain about how I was going to get to my next destination, Kochkur, and had to wash clothes, shower, repack, skype, meet the others for dinner...it all seemed too much in the time I had. I started with washing my clothes and showering. The conditioner did not make my hair feel better, sadly. I found out that I could either take three share taxis and two days to get to Kochkur, or I could fly to Bishkek and take a 3 hour bus. I decided on the latter. I tried to buy a ticket online before leaving for dinner, but the internet wasn't working properly for me. By then, most of my clothes were dry, so I grabbed them up and then Anna and I headed out on the marshrutka, a minibus with a route that will stop anywhere for you. It cost about nothing
and took about 20 minutes to get where we were meeting the others. I rarely eat in nicer places when I travel, so it was a nice change. I ordered the carbonara, but was disappointed to find that the "bacon" was actually cut up sausages, like hot dogs. But the cream sauce was good. Before it came, I got online and bought my plane ticket. It was a 45 minute flight to Bishkek leaving at 9:10 the next morning that cost $55. I don't know why I felt compelled to leave Osh so quickly, but there it was. We stayed with Gio and Tommy until 10pm, and then I had to get back to repack and sleep.
The room was empty save two Russians lying in bed watching a movie. They let me flip on the light and repack. Then it was time for sleep, and I said goodnight and possibly good bye to Anna, in case she slept later than me in the morning.
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