Looking for tickets or info for the Get Happy Tour 2018 featuring Bowling for Soup, Army of Freshmen and The Aquabats?

This domain name was used for the Get Happy Tour back in its original run around 10 years ago, when I used to do work for BFS and AOF. However, for the past 5 years it has been used for my travel blog as I never thought we would have another Get Happy Tour and I didn't want it to go to waste.

But as a favour to two bands who have done a lot for me over the years, and so you don't miss out, ticket info is:
O2 Presale: 10am on 25 September
General Onsale: 10am on 27 September.

Tickets available from ticketmaster.co.uk and bowlingforsoup.com
 


Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Arslanbob’

Camping in Kyrgyzstan

May 28th, 2015 No comments

After leaving the home stay this morning we proceeded to a local market in the town of Kochkor-Ata to buy supplies and I was surprised how cheap the prices were! We were given a budget of 5000 som to buy dinner, breakfast and lunch for the group but only ended up spending 3250 (around 40 US dollars). Not only was the market so cheap compared to prices I am used to it was fun to browse around. Luckily the local guides were on hand to translate at the butcher so that we could get the cut of meat we wanted and have it chopped into cubes for dinner. The only problem was that the money had recently been drawn from a bank so our money was a 5000 som note, much to the annoyance of the first stall we went to where we only spent 350.

My room

My room in the home stay

Dining area

The dining area of the home stay

Our home stay

Leaving the home stay

Helena the truck

Helena parked up by the home stay

Market

The market in Kochkor-Ata

Lunch today was at a quarry overlooking a lake and was really beautiful so I was glad when we were told there was some free time to wander around before we would have to head off. I just can’t get used to how quickly the scenery changes in this country – what you see in these photos is the third area of drastically different scenery that we have seen today.

Animals in the road

One of the smaller herds

Lunch

Lunch at the side of the road

Lake photo

The lake where we stopped for lunch

Marker

A common sight in the former USSR

We had to travel along a few narrow roads to get to our final destination today and this wasn’t easy due to the huge herds of sheep and cattle being driven to new pastures that had to be avoided, with oncoming traffic making a point of pushing through aggressively, however when we arrived at the lake it was worth the hassle as the view was breathtaking.

The lake, as we found out this morning, is the result of soviet-era dams and powerplants which flooded the area in order serve the needs of Moscow. The lake it created is a bit green, as were some of the suspicious looking leaves growing in the surrounding fields, but the locals didn’t seem to mind swimming in it. I opted to stay on the banks and have a walk around before it was time to get ready for dinner while the others either drank or chatted to some Swiss people that they had seen a couple of times in Uzbekistan.

Camping in Kyrgyzstan

Camping with a view

Helena

Looking back towards Helena

A lake

The lake was lovely

Suspicious

These were growing sporadically around the field

I was in the cook group tonight, for the first time all trip, and we put on a lovely feast of stir-fried beef with rice and vegetables. I thought that we had cooked way too much, which was surprising considering the cost, but everything was eaten except two servings of rice which made me happy.

We chatted for a bit before calling it a night. I’m starting to get exhausted but I’m having a great time.

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Walking in Arslanbob

May 27th, 2015 No comments

The scenery is beautiful in this country, in fact it’s one of the main reasons I decided to pick this trip, so even though I’m not much of a trekker I decided to join the group for a trek in the mountains to see the scenery. After breakfast in the home stay we made our way up into the town and met near the Mosque in the town centre.

Walking in Kyrgyzstan

Walking up to town

The walk itself, for somebody that isn’t used to hills, was fairly challenging but not as challenging as the hill climb in Myanmar last year. It was about 4 hours long and took us up some hills, through a couple of villages and down some lovely paths to a view point. The view point chosen as our destination was a bit of an anticlimax considering how exhausted I was but I was glad I took part.

Walking

Starting the walk

Walking in Kyrgyzstan

Walking in Kyrgyzstan

Mountains

A good view of the mountains

Kyrgyz kids

Kyrgyz kids came to say hello

Walking in Kyrgyzstan

Walking in Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyz scenery

This is where our walk finished.

On the way back I had a string of bad luck including losing my sunglasses, falling over and hurting my ankle, getting wet from rain and then sinking up to my knees in mud that was hidden under some dry-looking ground so I was glad when I found out that the group leaders had organised some transport for us to get to the town quicker. Only a handfull of us decided to take up the offer of transport, and it was a fairly uncomfortable ride, but I was in an amount of pain by this point so it was very welcome!

Lunch today was in a restaurant in the centre of the town which, as we found out when we left, was built out over a gorge created by the local river. Food in this part of the world is nothing special but it’s filling and after a hard day of walking we were all glad to sit down, fill our stomachs and chat for a bit.

Arslanbob

Arslanbob market

Lunch

Lunch in Arslanbob

Lunch with added danger

The tables were over the edge of a gorge!

A few of the group decided to try to find beer, although this was extremely difficult as due to the high proportion of followers of Islam in the town, only one Russian-owned bar was serving anything alcoholic. I gave the alcohol a miss and decided to head back down to the home stay, somehow finding my way back despite not paying attention to landmarks on the way out this morning.

We relaxed in the garden of the home stay for a few hours, and I was able to wash the mud out of my trousers, but heavy rain cut short the social activities and we had to hide inside for a while until dinner was ready.

Walking back to the home stay

Walking back to the home stay

Overall today was fairly uneventful apart from the walk but it was nice to see some of the amazing scenery that this country has to offer!

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Into Kyrgyzstan

May 26th, 2015 No comments

Today we made our way across the border and into Kyrgyzstan, the country I have been looking forward to ever since seeing that photo. It is a shame that we didn’t see more of Uzbekistan as there is so much to see but it Dragoman do offer a segment of overlanding between Turkmenistan and Tashkent for people who want to see more. I would have loved to have done the entire month between Ashgabat and Bishkek but unfortunately I can’t take that amount of time off work.

We had an early start in order to give us a head start with the border crossing and I’m glad we left when we did as it took a long time to cross. It didn’t take time as the border guards were lazy it took a long time as they were very, very thorough. We had our passports checked several times before getting to the immigration desks and, after filling out lots of forms, we joined a slow queue for the final passport and customs check. This wasn’t the end of the process, however, as we had a detailed bag search before we were able to leave Uzbekistan and walk across no-mans land to Kyrgyzstan. I assume the checks were to stop drug smuggling but I can’t be sure.

Inside the truck

Inside Helena the truck

Heading to the border

Heading to the border

There were a number of passport checks on the Kyrgyz side but the whole process went a lot quicker. We were through immigration and stamped into the country in no time and as a result my first impression of the country is exponentially better to that of Uzbekistan. The people seem friendly too – after being stamped into the country I was making my way out of the building and a Kyrgyz Army officer was attempting to come in at the same time. I stopped to let him pass first, naturally, but after enquiring whether I was a tourist he said “No, you are a tourist to my country. You first” before stepping to the side to let me pass which was really nice of him. If only border guards and officials could be this friendly everywhere *cough* America *cough*.

It took a while for our truck to go through the border so we had a chance to get to know our local guides before finally resuming our journey. Our first stop in Kyrgyzstan was Osh, the second city of Kyrgyzstan. It seemed a nice place but we only spent enough time here to change some money, have lunch and stock up on personal supplies for the trip. I changed $140, thinking this should last me until I am able to work out how much I’ll need for the entire trip, but judging by the price of lunch I don’t think I’ll need to change any more – including drinks and tip I only paid $5!

Osh

Arriving in Osh, Kyrgyzstan

Lunch in Osh

This is where we had lunch in Osh

Osh

The town centre of Osh

As we drove from Osh towards Arslanbob, where we are staying tonight, the scenery kept changing so quickly that I almost didn’t have time to take photos of everything. Due to the delays at the border we didn’t have a chance to stop and take many photos, unfortunately, except for having to stop for 20 minutes next to a lake so that the President of Kyrgyzstan could drive past. No I’m not joking.

Scenery

Kyrgyz scenery

Waiting for the President

At the lake

Helena the truck

Helena by the lake

The President of Kyrgyzstan

The President of Kyrgyzstan passes

Kyrgyz lake

The lake we stopped at was beautiful

Kyrgyz people

Kyrgyz riders

The last leg of today’s journey was the final ascent into Arslanbob, after one more quick stop to buy supplies. We are staying in home stays for the next couple of nights and the house I’m staying in is really nice. It has a little stream passing through the garden, has lovely views, a working power supply, nice beds and the family seem really nice. The food is plentiful too, judging by dinner tonight, and I definitely won’t go hungry!

Kyrgyz scenery

Kyrgyz scenery

A donkey

A donkey blocking our path

Dinner time

Dinner in the home stay

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