May 30, 2014
To avoid the rush-hour traffic, we woke up to my alarm at 5:30, had a coffee, and took off. Radu had managed to get the GPS maps from Open Street for me, so it was a relief that at least we had a half-hazard map of Kyrgyzstan. The ride started with some heavy traffic in a narrow road with no shoulder. The coming traffic was rushing to get to Osh, so we had to be very careful, and sometimes, get off the road to avoid the coming traffic.
After two hours, we stopped in a cafe and had breakfast: eight fried eggs with tea. Then, the non-stop ride began.
In a village/roadside town, we stopped and bought some veggies for dinner. The rain had started already. We started looking for a spot, but we could not find a possible camp spot. Anyone we asked where we could pitch up our tent repeated the word, “Jalal Abad”, which was the third largest city in Kyrgyzstan! That meant no camping for the night.
The heavy rain and the bumpy road to Jalal Abad coupled with stones thrown at me made the ride rather frustrating. We were cold, wet, and tired.
With the help of the GPS, we found a decrepit hotel: Mal Mal—a very old, huge building which was literally falling apart. It had not been maintained for ages, with no shower, no elevator, no internet for $7. We washed ourselves in washroom with cold water, ate in a cafe in bazaar, and spent some time in a coffee shop.
I checked the weather forecast. It was going to be rain again for a few days!