Weighing up my options

We were dragged out of jail at around 2.30am and taken to the hostel where they had copies of our passports on file. As we entered we both eyed up the water dispenser next to the reception unable to stop ourselves from gravitating towards it. As we filled up on as many mini cups of water our bodies could handle in one sitting, they took the copies and after a lot of back and forth with the girl behind reception said “if anyone asks we got you out at 8.30 last night”. Grateful to be out we both rushed to be the first to say “yep sure!”.

When the two officers left we immediately ran to get showers and a change of clothes and after sat on the sofa in the reception area again finding ourselves looking at each other laughing at what had just happened in the last three days. That night I couldnt get any sleep, I knew I would have to call the embassy in the morning and unreservedly apologise to Rosie the lovely lady who worked in the embassy. The same lady who when I met did meet her in the morning came not only with a smile on her face but our passports in hand. Grateful to see them, she jokingly warned us to not let them go again. We weren’t about to in a hurry.

Rosie told us that we were going to have to go back into the dragons den and go with her to the office where we were told we were going to jail. So we went with her in the taxi but the address we had been given was wrong and ended up going in circles with the taxi driver. In true british style she told us that she had no wish to have a tour of each police station in Bishkek so she would contact them later in the day and let us know how it went. We were secretly pleased and made our way back to the hostel to relax stopping off to grab a pint in the pub. A few days later we had to return to the embassy to meet a translator who would take us around and help us renew our visa that had now run out.

After a long day of running around we eventually renewed our visas and thanks to Ahmed, our translator, we were now safe from the kyrgyz police, who for the first time since we had been in Bishkek, upon our release, were now camped outside the hostel complex entrance. Unfortunately while my passport had come back with a pakistan visa, Kieran’s had not. That being the second time we had tried for Kieran’s visa, after a few days of thinking about it, Kieran decided that Bishkek would be as far as he would go.

A few days later he had his flight booked and was ready to leave. Leaving me with a decision to make, carry on alone or find myself on the same flight as him home. The pass we would be crossing in China would be closed by now and if I wanted to carry on I would need to find an alternative route.

In the kitchen of the hostel was a huge map spanning Central Asia and a few more adjoining countries. As I browsed possible routes, the only option I found myself considering, purely because there was no other plausible route without me going back on myself, was through Afghanistan. As I looked at it and laughed the more I contimpalted it the more of a possibility it became in my mind. So I decided to at least apply for the visa from the Afghan embassy, just to see if they would even give me a visa.

About theborderwalk

Journey on foot from the UK to Australia. www.ArjunBhogal.co.uk

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