On the return route to Bishkek, Nick (Nyasbek) detoured to proudly show us his valley and village where he was born. Turns out his grandfather was a historian and a hero of Kyrgyzstan (shot by the Russians) and his bust stands in an avenue at a heroes’ mausoleum along with past presidents, musicians, and other notables from the Chong-Kemin Valley (renowned throughout Kyrgyzstan for its beauty and noted as such by Lonely Planet). We had a quick stop for afternoon tea at his mother-in-laws farmhouse where we had bread, homemade blackberry and apricot jam, and fresh homemade cream, yummy!
On our journey, we find out Nick is an out of work engineer, having worked 10 years in Dubai with BBR Constructions building the largest bridge in Dubai. He had fantastic English and was our invaluable interpreter, tour guide and driver, he was extremely knowledgeable about the history of his country (needless to say very proud and patriotic), about world geography in general and will stay a friend forever in our memories.
Editor note: Perhaps our Australian Prime Minister could visit Kyrgyzstan to see what genuine hospitality looks like? And from people with much less to share than us.