As one day of recovery was not enough, I decided already yesterday to stay another day in Osh. And also because I watched the final of the Champions League on television last night, which started only at 0:45 due to the time difference. I used the time to visit the bazaar in Osh and filling up my food reserves for the coming cycling days through the hills and mountains of Kyrgyzstan.
Football brings people together
While traveling through Central Asia, football was always a common topic to talk about with the people. Most of them knew Real Madrid with Ronaldo, Barcelona with Messi, and some other European teams. So when people asked Lucie where she is from, she just needed to say “Zidane” or “Benzema”, and everybody knew she was from France.
So it was no surprise last night that the final of this year’s Champions League was broadcast on television and that in the bistro at our hostel, around 20 Kyrgyz gathered together from the neighborhood to watch the game. I was the only hotel guest staying up that late.
Sights in Osh
With 256’000 citizens, Osh is the second largest city in Kyrgyzstan. The city is quite lively, but it lacks any special sights, so I just visited the city center today in order to do some shopping at the large Bazaar and do some shopping for the coming days on the bicycle through Kyrgyzstan.
Dinner at same restaurant than yesterday
Apart from the service, the restaurant Izyum was excellent yesterday, so I thought I give it another try today to taste some more things from there huge menu. As an appetizer I had a tasty Norwegian salad which was prepared nicely. But then the unpleasant surprise. As a main course I ordered a rib-eye steak that should have been 460 g. However, when it arrived, it was a tiny piece of meat, at most 200 g, probably even less. In addition, it was completely overcooked. When I told the waiter that the steak does not correspond to the menu, he tried to convince me that before the steak was cooked, it was 460 g, only afterwards it got so small. Having quite a bit of experience with steaks, I of course knew that this was a big lie. I ended up returning the meat and filling my stomach with two pieces of cake for dessert. I am looking forward to have some real steaks again soon when I am back in Switzerland.
Plans for the next weeks
If the rain from today stops tomorrow I will start cycling north towards Bishkek, my final destination of this bicycle tour. I have not booked my return flight yet, but intend to fly back to Switzerland around June 22. The route to Bishkek will take me first to Jalalabad, then on side roads over Kaldamo Pass to Kazarman and Ak-Tal before going north to the beautiful Song Kul Lake which is located above 3000 m. From there, I will follow the road north and then west towards Bishkek. I estimate 8-10 days as total duration for the 726 km and 9330 m to climb. Depending on the schedule, I will also find time to visit Issyk Kul, Kyrgyzstan’s largest lake in the north as a short detour. Details about the track can be found here (https://www.komoot.com/tour/17477921).