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October 19, 2015 3 Comments

What a varied climate – from hot desert to snowy mountains.

Bishkek Lodge

Staying warm in a nice little alpine lodge in Bishkek

At the moment we are staying in a very nice little lodge in the Alpine region of Bisckek (a large city in Kyrgyzstan). When we arrived at the lodge we all looked at each other because none of us had any money to pay 2 night’s accommodation. So Alan and I jumped in Alan’s car to go 30km back into Bisckek and find an ATM to withdraw some local currency called Som.

On the way back into the city we were pulled over again by local police. Alan was negotiating through a large intersection but was on the wrong side of the centre line. It was wet and confusing (if we were in the Ranger though the Ranger would have sensed we were on the wrong side… bloody old cruiser).

Problem we faced was neither of us had our passports or international drivers licenses. They were at the lodge with the girls. After some sales talk and begging by Alan we were let go – I think due to lack of English.

This was the third time in a week. Just last week Alan once again was pulled over (notice it’s always the Cruiser they target, never the Ranger). Anyway they got him for tinted glass passenger side window which is apparently illegal in this country. They took Alan back into the police car to negotiate a resolution…

First instant they wanted to impound the car until the following Monday and pay a $450 US fine. Or he could pay $150 US on the spot – which is what he did. Alan did not have the right money so was driven by the police under armed guard (another AK47) to a bank ATM so he could get the money… I wonder where that money is right now.

We thought when he was pulled over it may have been for knocking off a pair of Kyrgyzstan vehicle number plates from a burnt out car on the side of the road. When we removed the plates cops drove past just prior to being pulled over for the window tint offence. Alan breaks into a sweat now when a cop drives past. Welcome to my world Alan – I have spent my whole life paying fines. Rarely a year goes by I don’t get booked.

Last week we were in a desert area of Kyrgyzstan climbing 150m high sand dunes, camping in grasslands, canyons, sandy valleys and mountain regions.

This country has a pretty diverse landscape.

We have just driven on the south side of a lake – apparently the second largest alpine fresh water lake in the world and is called Lake Issyk-kol.

A couple of nights ago we almost got blown away with winds of maybe 60 knots. These little roof top tents are truly amazing and strong. At about 3am in the morning I climbed down to remove a windbreak tarp. I only had a tee shirt on and nothing down below. Once I removed the tarp I decided to remove the main awning tarp strapped between our cars but had to wake Alan up (he sleeps through cyclones). Down he came, naked. So there we both were rolling up the awning in the freezing cold. You can imagine our poor old family jewels weren’t fairing real well.

Monday today and tomorrow we head back into Bisckek to apply for our Uzbekistan Visa’s. Not sure how long this will take. Alan filled in the electronic forms so maybe it won’t be a long drawn out process.

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Comments (3)

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  1. Roman says:


    saw your cars today(20/10/15) in Bishkek city center.
    To my regret there were nobody inside to say hello 🙂
    Maybe some day will meet you in Oz. It’s my dream.

    3 month ago came back from Mongolia trip also 🙂
    Have a nice trip to Lisbon.



    perhaps you need to re-consider some of the information you provide in the blog
    the image that is conjured of Al & Barry cavorting around your campsite naked in the snow keeping each other warm at 3 in the morning is truly disturbing (another valid reason to add to my dislike of the camping caper!!)

    and the other though that comes to mind is how many times do you guys need to be shaken down by the local cops before you realize it’s time to get the F*#% out the place
    you obviously have big targets on you (and apparently deep pockets of cash to be milked mercilessly)
    look forward to your next misadventure

  3. Donella says:

    Love it!! It all adds to the adventure 🙂

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