Dumptruck Hitchhiking

We took a marshrutka, a Soviet minibus, out of Karakol. The rundown town faded into the distance, and we were soon knee deep in the Kyrgyz countryside. Dirt roads, tall grass, short trees and fading jalopies. The marshrutka’s driver dropped us off at a handful of huts, smoke from a wood fire pouring out of …

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Much of the land in these hills was desert, grey green scrubs punctuating the yellow dirt across vast stretches of plains, until they were swallowed up by the brown Tianshans or the blue sky. Small farms were carved out of the desert, green corn stalks and a lonely donkey standing against the desert. This was …

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Some photos of entertaining beverages we encountered:                

Shakedown Street

“In Kyrgyzstan, it’s the ones in the uniforms who are crooks.” – Brit in a Bishkek Hostel   Inside, the bus station was dark and seemingly dead. The official ticketing windows were all closed. We poked around for a minute, and then quickly made our way to the door. But before we reached, a diminutive …

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Faces of Bishkek

Here’s another in Galen’s now famous Faces series, with the faces of people we saw in Bishkek:        


The difference between Bishkek and Osh are a study in the divide that bifurcates Kyrgyzstan. Osh is old, poor, Kyrgyz and pockmarked by its own history. Bishkek is young, wealthier and thoroughly Russian. We had been sweating in the ancient city, climbing up Sulayman Mountain. Osh is located in the hot, fertile Fergana valley, a …

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Gazprom is one of Russia’s tools of tyranny. I was tickled to see that they had gas stations in Kyrgyzstan.

Osh to Bishkek

Osh and Bishkek are the two largest cities in Kyrgyzstan and they connect the country’s two regions, North and South, yet they do not have any bus connecting them. The journey is only four hundred miles, but roads, summiting the passes of the Tienshan Mountains, are far too rough for any sort of poor Soviet …

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An Osh Tour

Here are some more photos we got while in Osh. Remember, if you are in Osh or anywhere else in south Kyrgyzstan, talk to Chyngyz about a tour: chyngyzametov@mail.ru oshchyngyz@rambler.ru www.kyrgyzstannomadtrekking.com