Translated by: Ágota Duró
Instead of our plans we had to go up to the Kirghiz capital. In Samarkand, Uzbekistan we ordered some bike tools and we only had contacts in Bishkek were we could post our package.
Our budget doesn’t let us staying in hotels or motels for a long time. So we were searching the net and found Angie’s and Nathan’s home called “At House”. The Bulgarian-Canadian couple lodges travellers for two years. You can put up your tent in their yard for a token sum. It seemed like the perfect combination: we can meet other travellers meanwhile we stay in the centre of the city, and we also have a bathroom and a kitchen…
As we entered the gate we forgot how tired we are. A dozen of 25-35-year-old youngster were in the house. Someone were cooking, someone were Skyping with the family at home, someone were drying clothes and someone were sleeping in the shadow. After a quick greeting – we almost forgot everyone’s names –, we put up our tent and started to blend into this international bubble.
We met really interesting people and felt that we made real friendships with some of them. We heard a lot of useful and new information and we also shared what we knew. There were some cyclists who came from the different direction as us and explained their experiences. Who comes here goes charged because people help each other and talk with each other. We made programmes together and we cooked together. Balázs were installing the bikes with the other guys.
We thought to introduce the people who we met closely:
Kay is an American girl from Japan who cycles alone from China to Istanbul. She chosen the “Silk Peace Road” name to her cycling journey. She wants to take photos of 5000 people who are keeping a board in their hands lettering PEACE in their mother tongue. “5000 miles for 5000 smiles. You can read more here.
Niko lives in Switzerland. Besides cycling his hobby is film making. We had the pleasure to participate in one of his film screening. Nico is a really good guy. He is attentive and friendly. He makes his films with his friends. They’re choosing topics in connection with extreme sports and they’re showing them in an extraordinary way. You can watch the videos here.
Marion and Etienne are architects. They were studying in the same university and they are a couple since then. They are cycling from South-East Asia to home, Belgium. They aren’t in a hurry. They are staying in “At House” since a month. They are arranging visas and looking around. They don’t have a time limit, only have to depend on their budget. You can read their French blog here.
Dave also came from Switzerland. We really loved his sarcastic and wry humour. Dave cycled from Istanbul to Bishkek for slightly more, than 5 months. He really loved Hungarian foods and tastes. His favourite was our “dödölle”. You can read about his journey here.
Erica and Peter were studying and working in China when they decided to cycle to Italy were Erica came from. They haven’t been huge cyclers before but as they said they got used to it in a short time. They share their reports and photos here.
Frank and Swan came separately to “At House” but they found each other in a while. Both came from Germany and they are the oldest residents of “At House” (49 and 37). Both are foolish a bit but we loved them this way.
Charlie is a 26-year-old American boy, who is also very foolish and full of life. He cycled 12000 kilometres in 5 months! (Amazing!) He began at Thailand, got around 3 provinces of China, and after his rest in Bishkek he goes to Pamir and then to Europe. In December he goes back to the States for some months preparing for his second cycling journey. He would cycle trough Africa. You can read his reports here.
Jack also came from the USA. He cycled from Pakistan to Bishkek in 5 weeks. He got through Karakorum highway alone. He met Charlie during his way and they arrived to “At House” accidentally. Jack flies back home these days and refreshes his blog. He should write and absolutely funny page. We really loved him! You can check his blog here.
In the last few days a whole French family came to “At House”. The father cycles with a recumbent trike while his son (Paul) “rides the bike” behind him. The mother cycles with a touring bike while she pulls her daughter (Joanne) sitting in a carriage. They are a really charming family and also have a blog in French here.
These people gave us a lot of positive energy. It was good to stay with them during these days in Bishkek. We would really miss this community, this international bubble in the middle of Kirgizstan.
There’s a phrase: we meet each other twice in a lifetime. Hope so!