Status: Up and refreshed after a great nights stop at a "good hotel" to recover after nearly a week of sleeping on floors in local homes at altitudes around 4,000m.
The last few days have been both fascinating yet at the same time hard work. We have been traveling through breathtaking scenary with little or no Western facilities. The local people have been wonderful.
We set off from the Murghab on the 18th and travelled via the Lake Karakul, one of the worlds highest salt water lakes (4,200m) and then made our way across the Takjekistan border into Kurgyzestan and arrived into Osh yesterday lunchtime the 19th. We were tired and dusty.........ready for a shower that did not involve walking 100m to a small shed in which we had to ladle tepid water over ourselves!
One "shower" incident yesterday to report. At 0600hrs in the freezing cold Cathy cheerfully directed me to the outdoor shower shed........"turn left by the WC block and its round the back".......off I set with a mini face towel in hand and fresh "clobber" to wear for the day. In Homestays you have to leave your footwear outside so I stomped across the dirt yard
in flip flops on the wrong feet in search of the said ablution. Nothing......I eventually made it round the back of a nearby Yurt only to be directed into another compound by a wizened local. In the corner was a small stone shack with smoke gently rising from a small asbestos chimney.........gesturing with his left hand he directed me inside.......a small "dung" stove was raging......I go in coughing and spluttering.......throw a single ladle over my head.......and come out out 10 seconds later smelling like an old kipper. Fearful of asphyxiation from carbon monoxide posioning I take several gasps and retreat back to the Homestay only to find that the real shower was 10 feet from our room.......hmm.
This is now the last sector of our long journey that started over a week ago in Dushanbe. We still have two "Homestays" and "Yurt" to experience before arriving at our final destination of Bishkek at the weekend.......
We are now at lower altitudes which is good news as sleeping was difficult and we were always concious of being slightly off colour at anything over 4000m