Monday, October 9

Horse Milk 38

To Osh, by gosh
We cover about 235km yesterday to Osh - a long day for sure but the early autumnal weather offers a respite at 25C degrees. It is peak-season for fruit and vegetables and the markets we pass are loaded with bright red peppers, watermelons, apples and plums. Despite this abundance, our diet has been mainly meat at least twice a day.

In  Osh, a payment to our touring agency is required - this one, $1,500. As anticipated we go to the bank for a withdrawal (Mastercard only, no Amex) to find our cards are rejected for dollars - same at the bank with a private banker. The cash is needed to pay for our lodgings, crossings etc so it is not simply solved by a wire transfer from Coutts, which takes five days. The solution found extracting somone currency, which works, only we need c 135,000 of them. The ATM allows a 15,000 somone withdrawal and I already see a day driving to 15 stops. Fortunately, at Eitan's suggestion, I try the same money teller again and a further 15k OK. And another and another and another.

At the wedding we try horse milk (before I know) which is circulated in 2L plastic Coke bottles and received with gusto by the table. It is a thick white colour sprinkled with black dots that look like dirt. The taste is a harsh and sour - I cannot help but think of urine - but what is fantastical is the seasoning which is like drinking smoke. Eitan and I finish half our bowls under pressure to finish it all.

Mandatory in the morning