May 23, 2013
We left Sary Chelek just before 9am. The same CBT driver who had driven us from Jalalabad to Arkyt drove us to Tash-Komur – a rather desolate coal mining town, located on the road from Bishkek to Osh. Our driver had already arranged to drive others somewhere that day, so he couldn’t drive us all the way to Bishkek; however, CBT and the wonderful Hayat had arranged for a different driver to meet us in Tash-Komur. This driver, too, was an excellent driver, and – in contrast to our previous trip along the road between Bishkek and Tash-Komur – we were able to actually enjoy the ride and take tons of photos along the way. The trip took nine hours in total from Arkyt to Bishkek, but I have to say that I’ve never had a nine hour car trip feel so pleasant. We even stopped in the Susamir valley to purchase a liter of fresh kumys (fermented horse milk).
We got into Bishkek, checked back into the same hostel, showered, changed, and set off for dinner. We decided to go to У Мазая, a rabbit-themed and rabbit-serving restaurant located just off of Sovietskaya north of Chuy. The restaurant has appropriated the Playboy Bunny as its logo; I wonder how many American tourists wander in looking for a strip club and instead get rabbits. There were paintings of rabbits on the walls, as well as rabbit pelts, and the staff all had Bugs Bunny embroidered on their uniforms. This was the first time I’d ever eaten rabbit, and it was surprisingly delicious. The cocktails were pretty potent as well! (Seriously, one should not get quite so intoxicated off of a mere two cocktails!)
We stumbled back to the hostel and decided to put some effort into finishing off our bottle of kumys. This was a good choice, as apparently kumys works much like tan in terms of hangover prevention. Woohoo!