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Published: November 10th 2017
Geo: 42.87, 74.59
On arrival in Bishkek we went straight to the Hostel called Tunduk, what a shit hole. Which is very judgmental (according to Lisa). We asked if they had a room… sure… you can sleep on the floor next to the wall over there…. Hum shit hole.
Ironically some days later Sarah and Thomas arrived in Bishkek and did stay one night, yep only one because…. Yep you guessed it… it is a shit hole.
Okay so I had best qualify my statements. Upon arrival we were greeted by no-one… after wandering around for a while a strange Kyrgyzstan chap began to show us around. When I asked about our Machina he said I do not own a Machina so I do not know if you can park on the street.. WTF… then proceeded to offer Lisa the floor to sleep.. there was a myriad of tourists around most of which looked some what spaced out… Then a blond chap arrived and began a somewhat spaced out conversation with us… yes we have a room… oh no we don't… let me check…. Yes we do have a room… you can have a look.. opens the door….oops there are people in the room… looks like we don't have a room…WTF… off we go and find refuse in the Asia Mountains-1 Hostel.
Nice people, a little more expensive, however was a n9ce change and a good location for us to get the things done we needed to.
Bishkek seems like a relaxed place, the people seem reasonably happy and walk at a leisurely pace in keeping with an apparent lack of need for speed.. The only people who are in a rush are the taxi drivers.. these buggers are the same the world over… go like freak then brake hard often for no apparent reason.
Bishkek is also a town where each day can only be allocated one task… things seem to take forever for no apparent reason.
Things achieved in Bishkek
<ol><li style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: "Calibri",sans-serif; font-size: 11pt; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;">New Tyres for the Machina.. The MTZ's had taken a beating. They were splitting around the rim lock and the tread was cut up very bad. So new tyres were purchased.
</li><li style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: "Calibri",sans-serif; font-size: 11pt; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;">Indian Visa – the Indian embassy was the most calm and efficient embassy we have had the pleasure attending.
</li><li style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: "Calibri",sans-serif; font-size: 11pt; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;">China Visa – Visa received in one day with the help of Mrs Liu the Chinese visa fixer. BTW WTF is the deal with the unofficial list at the embassy main door… Apparently the deal is there is an unofficial list. The deal is you need to get your name on the list as early as possible. Some people camped outside the embassy the night before… so by the time we figured this out we were 82 and 83 on the list… So mrs Liu had to sort it out and we think some cash exchanged with the guard man and we got in after standing around outside for a good 1.5 hours. Very confusing.
</li><li style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: "Calibri",sans-serif; font-size: 11pt; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;">Machina Clutch – the cruiser had started to play difficult with gear selection. Especially when at a complete stop… I know Mr taxi driver … yes the lights are green…. Get into gear ya friggen Machina…. So lucky there is a Toyota Dealer in Bishkek and even better is the coffee lady is also studying linguistics in English… So we had a translator… google translator was getting a hammering prior to our translator… long story short we got a new clutch, oil change, fuel filters changed… hum life is good again.
</li><li style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: "Calibri",sans-serif; font-size: 11pt; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;">New phone battery… yep I know its hard to believe that the Nokia Lumina 920's battery failed… we have been flogging the mapping app to death.. and die it did. New batter $30 bucks no problem.
</li><li style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: "Calibri",sans-serif; font-size: 11pt; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;">New phone – say what I thought you said you got a new battery… well other overlanders have been using an Android mapping app called Maps.Me and it is a fantastic free app… again I know its had to believe… however we now own a Samsung Galaxy Prime phone… with maps.me installed and wow life is good again. This app even has hotels listed and does routing… The best part of this is the conversations in the cab should be a little tamer from now on.
</li></ol> Also caught up with Sarah and Thomas on our last night after they had changed to the USSR Hostel… Thomas had it in his heart to go to a Georgian restaurant caller Pur:Pur… yep what a name.. anyway after finally finding it.. complicate by all 4 of us in the 2 seater cruiser. We had diner a couple of wines and beer and the only dam thing Georgian was the bread… it was nice. Oh and Thomas had some vodka…
So after I had started on my beer Thomas advised that there was a zero tolerance to Alcohol in Kirgizstan… hum.. and after diner we all piled into the Cruiser and headed for their Hostel…. Well bugger me if Maps.Me routed us down a street that is no entry after 6:00pm and guarded by Police…. Freak I slam on the skids and select reverse ignoring the policeman who is waving for us to pull over…. Turning into a side road and made a clean getaway… shit I had had a beer, Sarah and Thomas were both in the passenger seat and Lisa was planted in the middle and we were foreigners who did not speak Russian… I think the getaway plan was probably the best option for us.
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Haha, the last paragraph of this entry is gold! :)