Day 37 - Mon 21 Apr 08
Up and out by 08:30, walked into town an tried to arrange a trip out into the sticks for tomorrow - the best 'deal' I could get was a full day tour for $80. It's a lot of cash, but I have no idea when I'm going to be back in this neck of the woods so I decided to go for it. The only tricky bit was the ATM wouldn't give me any cash so I had to eat into my cash reserve. Bumped into some more tourists - a Spanish couple with a French version of the Central Asia Lonely Planet - that must be tough work.
Headed past the main square looking for another ATM, found a couple but neither would give me any cash. Eventually the one outside the post office accepted my card, and even gave me the option of taking my cash in USD! The area to the east of the square is definitely more 'happening' with more shops and more people around.
Popped into 'Fat Boys' to get a late breakfast, and then back to my travel agent to hand over the cash. After that I tried to get into the Furnze and National museums, but both were shut. I did however get to see the changing of the guard in the main square. The temperature is up in the 80's and very nice, so glad that I put some sun screen on before I came out.
Bishkek is an interesting place, some of the public buildings are truly awful, but you just have look up to see the snow capped mountains. Into the 'Beta Store' to get provisions for my trip tomorrow. Back to the hotel to read up on my next destinations. I appear to be the only guest in the place.