01/07/14 – 13/07/14: Nukus, Uzbekistan to Tashkent, Uzbekistan
A fully laden bike ready for the desert. Packed with 25kg of gear, 13kg of water and 10kg of bike. It’s like trying to cycle a motorbike.
Working away in the paddy fields in the late afternoon. The artificially irrigated region between Nukus and Khiva.
The ancient Silk Road city of Khiva
Trying to be arty. Khiva, Uzbekistan.
As quiet as a tourist town gets. The streets of Khiva at sunset. Just us and a solitary boy on his bike.
On our way out of Beruni we were stopped by a family eating watermelons. We insisted we had to get going and couldn’t join them so they gave us a whole watermelon which got strapped on the back. Another 7kgs to add to the already overloaded frame. Outside Beruni, Uzbekistan.
Back into the desert for the second dusty stretch from Beruni to Bukhara. Not much around…
Empty dual carriageway and a bit of a tailwind. The way the desert should be.
Riding with the wild horses.
Time out of the sun. These raised dinning/sitting areas are in every teahouse without fail. The routine is to eat and then just collapse into a deep sleep.
Glistening with sweat. Desert stretch somewhere between Beruni and Bukhara.
The dual carriageway gave way yet again to another horrendous piece of tarmac. To make it worse the dunes were encroaching on the only slightly smooth parts of the road.
We found a really friendly teahouse owner who let us stay the night. He even had a “shower” (silhouetted here in the desert sunset).
Standard afternoon, lying drinking yet more tea. After this trip we’re not sure we’ll ever again want to drink milk in it.
Feeling dead tired, perched outside yet another teahouse.
Overloaded with the harvest. Looks like a comfy ride up there.
The challenge of fatty Uzbek food. This is Manti. Dumplings filled with lamb and fat.
Will’s Uzbek family. (Sorry Anna he probably should have told you himself)
The 1000 Som denominations printed in 2011 are not really doing the job anymore. Inflation is basically killing the currency. 200USD gets you 600,000 Som on the Black Market at the moment which means you’re carrying 6 stacks of 100 notes.
Taken down by some sort of hellish bug with more of less every symptom you can think of. Got straight on the Antibiotics which sorted it out after 48 hours of horizontal in Bukhara.
The humidity does terrible things to Will’s hair.
Enjoying cold beer overlooking the main square in the ancient city of Bukhara.
A few students selling watermelons outside their house on the roadside. Watermelons have been a great way to get a sugar kick and rehydrate.
Incredible sunset burning up the trees. Trying to scout out somewhere to camp amongst all the cropped fields.
Friendly farmer said we could sleep in his field. The Uzbek version of my uncle Tollie in SA… Will was particularly excited because he had a 3 wheeled tractor (3rd wheel just out of view)
The unlikely tormentor. This kitten found us while we were setting up camp and decided we were its parents. It wouldn’t leave and ended up sleeping under by sleeping bag. It woke up very early and came face licking…
The beautiful mosaics of the Registan in Samarkand.
Standing in the centre of the Registan in Samarkand, surrounded by ancient Madrassahs (Schools). Not very busy for one of the biggest tourist attractions in Uzbekistan…
Beers and banter with a platoon of cycle tourers and other “overlanders”. From the left: Me (Johan), David (Swiss), Casandra (USA), Patrick (UK Cyclist), Kim (UK Cyclist), Roger (UK), Andy (UK Cyclist), Samuel and Nicola (Liechtenstein), Will.
Not only is this obviously a MASSIVE plate of Plov, but it is also seasoned with lots of large pieces of fat! Sheep bum. Mmmmmmm
Camping on a little hilltop with a 200km flattish ride ahead of us into Tashkent.
Friendly shop owner who asked us to write a message on this pillar. Her and her sisters were VERY excited to see us.
Touring Tashkent with our awesome tourguide and friend Ana (Anastasya).
Sprinklers in the middle of the day. Great way to cool down. Ana showing us the way. Tashkent, Uzbekistan.