6th of August, 2014
The day started uphill, and not as early as I had wished for, so it was hot. The road out of Konibodon takes you through the desert, through some REAL desert, and even though it’s nice, it can be really hard if you don’t do it early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Still, the road after Isfara takes its green feeling again; this desert part was just a warning maybe (they told me the Kyrgyzs side is very dry and not that easy to cycle from the point of view of heat). I didn’t follow what my map was marking as main road but the one you can see on the map. It’s signposted so no getting lost.
Isfara is a polluted town (couple of ugly and smokey factories here), quite overcrowded and with a nice market. Enough to spend few hours. I had to, but not because I wanted to.
I asked for instructions to the border: I wanted a border-crossing open for tourists, and one that would take me to a road towarss Osh without having to cross Uzbekistan (I didn’t have a visa). Was it asking for too much?
People (including police) pointed me towards the one in Lakkon. On the map it seemed right. So I cycled there. A nice cycle, by the way, amongst green fields and overwatching the desert in the distance, snowed peaks further away.
But when I got there, police told me that those cross points were not for tourists. Only locals allowed. No stamp in the passport. So I had to go back.
The real border was pretty hidden in my map (I use google maps, as I think I have mentioned). You need to direct yourself towards the Isfara airport, keep going and you’ll get there. Kyzil-bee is called. Quite and easy to cross here. Still,.they almost made a mistake on the Kyrgyzs side! They gave an outward stamp when I was going into the country! That would have been a problem…
(by the way, I hate borders and borderlines and fences and walls and all that stuff. It’s the Earth, after all…)
From there to Batken is an easy ride. Nothing remarkable here. If I had cycled here straight my day would have ended faster, but I guess no travel is in vain.
The only hotel in Batken tried to charge me lots for the sh*t it was offering, by the way. At least there were millions of shops on the street forming some kind of market that made this town a little bit more welcoming! But definitively and if you can, do not stay in this hotel.