A few days later I made it to a town nestled comfortably between two mountain ranges and I set up my camp a bit early just after the town ended, as it looked like the road was deciding to change to an uphill gradient. Again I took my usual bivy spot near the side of the road and a few hours after getting in and getting comfortable a man on a horse who I would later find out was on his way to the shop for cigarettes, asked me what I was doing and told me that I wasn’t going to sleep here. That he in fact had space in his house and that I could use it for the night. He put my bedding on his horse, I carried my bag and we walked to his house a few km’s down the road. Once we arrived, he told me to settle in and he gave me some hot milk and we listened to the radio, even though I had no idea what it was about, I think it was something about the winter Olympics… I think, it was nice to hear something other than the same music on my mp3 player.
All in all the month being back on the road was quite interesting as people were about and I was attempting to get into the stride of things with camping again and being on my own after Bishkek. After a while, the being on my own part, in the middle of nowhere, started to get to me and I suppose I felt a bit depressed. Then I started approaching people and making it a task to convince people to let me stay in their homes for the evening. Unfortunately as grateful as I was to them for putting me up for the night I inadvertently, when they did let me stay, put myself in a situation where I was continuously repeating the same stories and answering the same questions every night after struggling in the day to do the km’s and being cold, wet and extremely tired. Consequently in some people’s homes I may have fallen asleep in their company, but they understood.
On the road to Osh I have seen many strange things, from an old lady beating an old drunk man to the floor the leaving him there, having the inside of cafes as my camping spot for the night, being invited for tea countless times (which I am very grateful for), been stopped by countless police and traffic police officers, had birthday drinks with three policemen (which after Bishkek made me a bit nervous) and have seen some terrible weather (especially near the end of my journey through to Kyrgyzstan there had been just endless rainy nights, leaving me drenched come the morning).
It is also safe to say I will never do an arctic journey, it was definitely cold enough for me.