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Published: October 1st 2014
Welcome back all, and get ready because this blog is going to be all about TALAS!!!!!
Huh? What's Talas? Well, Talas is the smallest oblast in Kyrgyzstan, in the Northwest corner of the misshapen country, and the part of the nation where there are two rules: Don't hit the sheep with your car, and Manas is King. Lets back up...
So I left Toktogul early in the morning, as I wasn't totally sure how my transport to Talas was going to work. From Toktogul, there are no marshutkas heading north. To either Bishkek or Talas. I know, it makes no sense. So you have to take a 7 passenger share taxi, and the taxis leave when they fill up. To get to Talas City from Toktogul is about a 3 hour trip, so really not long by Kyrgyzstan standards. The loophole, is that there are only 3 guys who do the Toktogul to Talas route. And when I was calling them asking if I could get a ride, all three of them were currently in Talas. Not helpful guys. One person told me to take a taxi to Bishkek and then taxi to Talas. Making
my 3 hour trip more like 9 hours. Thanks but no thanks. Enter Brainstorming 101. This is what I did: I got on a shared taxi headed for Bishkek. Paid the full fare (you just have to eat your losses sometimes). Got off the taxi at the turn off to Talas, which is marked by a massive double archway, a huge Kyrgyz flag, and a monster statue of Manas, the nation's hero, on horseback. When I got off here, I then stood on the road to Talas and hoped that a well meaning citizen would pick me up (Note: this is not called hitch hiking, it's called 'flagging a ride'. They do it all the time in Talas!). In the mean time I stood with a family of about 12, who were rest stopping, eating chicken and drinking vodka. They offered me some of both, but it was about 9:30 in the morning and cultural integration can only go so far at that time, while standing in the rain beside a mountain road. They were all still very impressed I could say where I was from in Kyrgyz though!
The family took off on their merry way,
with no spare room for this girl, but in about 10 minutes a car pulled over with two old guys and three young dudes, all coming back from jailoo, the summer pastures where the livestock goes for the grazing season. One of the jegeets hopped in the trunk, I hopped in the back seat, and off we went! Talas! We drove through the Talas mountain pass, which sits at about 3,300metres, and twisted and turned our way down to the first village of Talas. During the journey, we stopped on the side of the road, everybody got out, and we all took pictures of a cow skeleton that was imbedded into the side of the road embankment. How did it get there?!?! And how many times has this group of people stopped to see this dead animal. I also took a picture of my hosts, as you can see somewhere in this blog. The youngest of the jegeets asked me how old I was, and then promptly told me the ages of his compadres, noting that they were both single. Great, I need a Talasian man like I need bout of giardia.
Hello everybody, I have moved
this blog, and all blogs published after this blog to my new blog www.seehertravel.com
. You can find the rest of this post at http://www.seehertravel.com/talas-manas-besh-tash/
Check out my new site!
The content of this blog is purely my own. The opinions and views expressed here do not reflect any position of the U.S. Government or the Peace Corps.
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