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On the way to the airport, we pass the University of Osh for the last time. Our final destination for the day is the Almaluu Yurt Camp on Issyk-Kul Lake.
But first, we have to fly from Osh to Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, where one awaits us at the airport. Osh is located at an altitude of about 1000 m and Bishkek of about 750 m. So we have almost reached European conditions again.
The airport of Osh lies north of the city. The flight lasts for 1.5 hours and leads across several mountain chains.
The Toktogul Dam is well recognizable. The dam is fed by the Naryn River, a tributary of the Syr Darya. The reservoir with it’s 215 m dam on the border between Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan repeatedly leads to disagreements about energy prices and water volumes between the two countries. In summer, there is often too little water in the lower reaches, and too much in winter. In winter, the excess water flows into the Aydar Lake in Uzbekistan, which we will visit later. This is one of the reasons why the Aral Sea is slowly drying up.
Then we fly over an imposing Kyrgyz mountain range, which is part of the Tian Shan Mountains. North of it, we reach the lowlands of the Chui River. The area is extensively used for agriculture.
In Bishkek, which was originally a spot, where caravans stopped in the times of great Silk Road, we land at Manas airport. Manas is the mythical Kyrgyz popular hero whose deeds are described in the Epic of Manas.
From 2002 to 2014, the airport served as the air base for NATO and the US Air Force. The base was responsible for the supply of the Western Alliance forces in Afghanistan. 5.5 million US soldiers were flown in and out of Manas airport to Afghanistan.
We are picked up from Dasha and the driver Sergej at the airport. They will accompany us the next week in Kyrgyzstan.
Next >>> From Bishkek to Burana Tower
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Disclosure: Our trip was organized in cooperation with Discover Kyrgyzstan, and made possible by the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). All opinions are our own.
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