Nice sunset view as we pass over London, England, on our way to Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Shkodra, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Hiking the Peaks of the Balkans, June 13-24!

Saturday, November 18, 2023

We got out into the countryside and met some interesting people!

We hopped in a taxi yesterday morning and got ourselves about 10 kms (6 miles) south of the city into a more rural area. There was a detour that the taxi had to take on a dirt road, but the road had no traffic, and the scenery was pleasant enough so we just stopped him right there and got out and walked.

We didn't really have a destination in mind... just to get out of the city.

There were some clouds in the sky, but the temperature was a perfect 18C (66F) with no wind.

We followed the road along this canal for a couple of kilometers.

Scenery along the way.

Then we followed the Ak-Buura river south towards the mountains.

Looking north, the way we came from. 

Horses by the river.

The Ak-Buura River.

We took a dirt path heading away from the river.

We made our way up to this ridge and sat and had some lunch.

Interesting looking canyon below.

Heading down to the canyon.

Looking east.


We made it down to the canyon, and had a look around.

Could have done a lot more exploring, but we had already done a lot of walking and we weren't sure how far we would have to walk on the way back to get either a bus or a taxi. So we figured we had better start heading back.

Back at the road beside the river, we passed a guy getting some things out of a vehicle. The vehicle had local plates, and the guy had Asian features that looked like he was from around here. I said my best "As-salamu alaykum" as we passed by.

We got a few steps further when we heard "Hey, do you speak English"... said in perfect American English.

Turns out the guy is from Chicago! He is living here and teaching at a health care facility. He asked us some questions about the walking route we did because he and his family are always looking for different places to explore. We chatted for a few minutes. 

Too funny how you can meet someone from North America in such a random spot out in the boonies of Kyrgyzstan!

We found a rickety bridge crossing the river.

Watch where you put your feet!

On the other side of the river, we walked north along the road towards the village of Toloykon. A car going the opposite way stopped, and asked something about the river, but we didn't understand. He pointed north and asked "Osh?" to which we nodded. He gestured that he would pick us up on his way back.

But of course we had no idea if that would actually happen. We kept walking, and made it to a bus shelter. We saw a bus going the opposite way, so we figured he would be turning around and coming back soon since the road doesn't go that much further south.

These happy boys came along on a donkey.

They were all smiles, especially when I showed them the photos.

We waited in the bus shelter about 15 minutes when sure enough, the little car returned and the guy asked if we wanted a ride. So we hopped in, surprised to find his four year old daughter in the back. His English was limited to a few words, but better than our Russian!

We told him we were from Canada, and he exclaimed "Wayne Gretzky!". Yes. Too funny.

As we got closer to the village of Toloykon, we understood from him that his wife and daughter could speak English and he insisted we stop at his house for tea.

His name was Suiun, and his wife was Jypara. He works in banking, and his wife in project development in childhood education. And their sweet 4 year old daughter was Meerim. They also have a 15 year old daughter who we said hi to, and two older boys who are in university in Bishkek.

Just a quick visit though, as Suiun got a phone call and had to go into the city right away so we left with him. Didn't get a photo of Jypara, but we took a quick ussie when we got out of the car in Osh...

Kevin, Meerim, Suiun, and Ruth.

He gave us a bag of nuts and apples from their garden.

I had a late afternoon snooze, then we went back to the Turkish restaurant for dinner.

Yes, I had the chicken kababs.

And Ruth had some kind of lamb dish.

Not much in the way of green vegetables, but at least I had a fill of broccoli the day before! Total cost along with a jug of non alcoholic mulled wine was 1,075 KGS ($16.55 CAD, $12 USD) for the two of us.

Today, we fly to Bishkek. Our flight isn't until evening, and the clouds have moved in with some possible rain in the forecast. So we'll hang around at the guest house until noon, and hopefully get out for a walk in the city this afternoon.

Record low deal on the Yeti Rambler 14 OZ Mug.

And in Canada...

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