Thursday, October 30, 2008

Back in Bishkek, once again.

So if you could get points for the number of days you stayed in a place longer than you expected, and there was a worldwide competition, I'm pretty sure i'd win hands down... About a month and ago I planned to spend a few days in Bishkek, mainly to organise a few visas and then move on down the road.

It is now a day away from November, I have one visa (which I got my second day in Bishkek), and i'm still here. Granted I have almost iron-clad intentions of leaving this city in the next 3 hours, but who knows what might happen in the enigma that is Bishkek.

In the last two weeks I've been to a eagle and dog hunting festival in the middle of nowwhere, the biggest animal market this side of Kashgar, also in the middle of nowhere, been held up in a blizzard by a farmer with a pitchfork (he chickened out in the end) and had my worst bicycle accident yet (the bike was in the boot of a car at the time)

For the last week, me and Chris (the American Lada driver/photographer) have been travelling around lake Issy Kul in the East and down into the central South of Kyrgyzstan, taking pictures and eating almost continuously. Our triumphant return to Bishkek was delayed by a day when our host woke us up in the morning with "why don't you guys stay another day and we'll cook up a sheep tonight?" (my translation of the russian...)

This set the course of the day, we drove the lada (a beautiful feat of soviet engineering) cross paddock, picked up a nice juicy 'baran' (sheep) and hauled him home in the boot. After a swift execution in the middle of the driveway, all the tasty looking meaty bits were swiftly removed, and placed somewhere far away... and the real work began. Every piece of stomach, hoof, head, bladder and bowel on the other hand were prepared with love; braided, stuffed, roasted over an open flame. In the evening we sat down to a large plate of what would be considered off-cuts back home, and everyone ( two slightly nautious foreigners) loved it!

So, i'm not promising anything, but if all goes to plan, this may in fact be the last message from Biskek...

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