View from the top of Old Man of Coniston hike in Lake District National Park, England.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Preston, Lancashire, England.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Wyke, West Yorkshire, England on May 29th!

Monday, November 13, 2023

This ought to be fun!

Writing this Monday morning at 7:00am in the waiting area at Fergana airport. 

Where are we off to? The Uzbek enclave of Sokh! And we're going to fly in a 55 year old Russian biplane to get there!

While researching our trip to Uzbekistan, I came across this oddball thing to do. 

Due to poorly drawn borders back in the 1920's, there are several enclaves of Uzbekistan citizens that are located fully within the country of Kyrgyzstan. They had been very secluded until an airport was refurbished in 2020, and in 2021 they began regularly scheduled flights from Fergana to Sokh.

The interesting thing is, the regularly scheduled 30 minute flights are in an old 12 seater Russian Antonov biplane! And, because they are subsidized by the government, the cost is dirt cheap.

So yesterday, we made our way to the airport because you cannot book these flights online. You have to reserve your spot at the airport in advance. Flights are only on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

We were able to reserve for today (Monday). I had read that the flight is at 10:00am, with the return flight at noon. The cost one way per person is 150,000 SOM ($16.95 CAD, $12.30 USD).

The girl told us we had to arrive at 6:00am for the 10:00am flight. This of course made no sense, and I said "are you sure... that's very early". She made a phone call and then said "okay then, 7:00am". My guess is that is still too early, but we'll see. She took our passports and wrote our names in a book. 

Then we went off to do some exploring. We had taken a taxi to the airport with the plan to walk back to the apartment.

We're not sure what was going on at the airport when we arrived.

Fergana is flat and has big wide boulevards.
Where are the people?

Oh, what's that through the trees?

Yes, another ferris wheel!

We sat here and had a snack.

Entrance to the park.

Sunday, and the amusement park is not very busy either.

The rides are all operating though.

We went and checked out the ferris wheel, but decided to come back at night and do an evening ride.

Some of the old Soviet rides are still here, but not being used.

We made our way through the park to the big Sunday market.

The market was busy. This is where all the people were!
Check out those big buckets of different kinds of honey.

And honey comb if you like.

Entrance to the big market.

Fancy bread!

More fancy bread!

Different types of salads. Some of them looked similar to Korean kimchee.

Lots of interesting stuff to see.


They love their sweets!

This guy makes and sells brooms.

If you buy a big melon, it comes with a thing around it so you can carry it!

It was around about this time when we were getting hungry. Most things in the market were bread based, so not easy to find something for Ruth to eat. But we came across a guy cooking kebabs, and we took a seat inside the very basic hole in the wall restaurant.

Kebabs on the grill.
Here, they are called shashlik.

A lady came over, but of course there was no menu, and no English. I used translate to ask for chicken and rice... but of course you have no idea if the translation says what you want it to say.

She came back and asked if we wanted one shashlik each, or two. We ordered a total of three.

She also asked if we wanted tea, or coffee. We said tea... and she brought us two coffees. Which is okay, except they put way too much sugar in the coffee here.

The meat on the shashlik was huge.
And we ended up with bread instead of rice. 
And a small salad that was mostly onion.

But we were filled up, and the total cost for everything including the coffees was 50,000 SOM ($5.60 CAD, $4.05 USD). 

Back at the apartment for a rest and then we walked back to the amusement park.

We thought it might have been busier, but I think there were more employees than customers.

I think we were the only ones on the ferris wheel!

Our fourth ferris wheel since October 22nd!

Views of Fergana, Uzbekistan.

And in the opposite direction.

Another fun day, but check in again tomorrow for the flight to Sokh!

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And in Canada...

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