01

We entered in Uzbekistan exhausted and rested at the same time… because we didn’t have to run more… Begin meetings with travelers.

02

The Uzbek houses have large back courtyards. Hospitality is different, but it still exists, without no problem they let us put tents. But they seems curious, they ask and they are interested in anything that we take from the saddlebags.

03

The next day, very calmly, we pedalling toward Bukhara. The day was hot, but we find where dip and take refuge to eat and keep experimenting how Zigor call, the “María Connection”.

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Without realizing, we were in the center of Bukhara, and crossing streets, where architecture shows that one day this city belonged to the Persian Empire. We couldn’t do better entry, in our minds a picture of tranquility, which will appear each time when we will hear “Bukhara”.

We arrived at our hotel, ready to give a shower, eat  and sleep. We gave rides around the city. We were buying for the Bazaar. Here we must to ask in different stall to find the real price.

We had another sandstorm, not as strong as the desert in Iran. The streets were engulfed with a special atmosphere.

Until to reach this city we do not realized the number of people who were traveling on a bike. Many left their houses like us, some before and some after, and according to estimates by Guillaume, we were around 14 cyclists in Bukhara at the same time. We didn’t met with all bike travelers. We met with Pete and Ale, who were married on September 1, while we were going up the port of Gaucin… What memories. Pete and Ale were married and they were in their honeymoon. And we also met with Guillain and Anna, a couple of French, with whom we share an evening of talk and the departure of Bukhara in bike.

The first news we knew in Bukhara was that the border that we wanted cross to go to Tajikistan was closed to tourists and that was open only the border from the South. If we wanted to visit Samarkand, mythical city on the route of silk and one of the oldest in the world still habited, we should run much or catch a train, because we had 15 days of visa. We didn’t want Neither one thing nor the other, so we decided to take the shortest route and enjoy it.

We had back wind … If you gave the return was almost impossible to pedal! So unwittingly, and not wanting to stop, we did many kilometres. After a good while asking, we ended up with this family, which gave us a room for us, only occasionally they came to bring food. They didn’t relate much with us, perhaps out of respect, or because it is their way of hospitality, but they always smiled and they were very aware.

05

06

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08

09

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We had back wind … If you gave the return was almost impossible to pedal! So unwittingly, and not wanting to stop, we did many kilometres. After a good while asking, we ended up with this family, which gave us a room for us, only occasionally they came to bring food. They didn’t relate much with us, perhaps out of respect, or because it is their way of hospitality, but they always smiled and they were very aware.

Road friends. Sometimes a child pedal awhile with you, we met people working with Don Quixote and Sancho and sometimes we ask ourselves: “would be donkey or donkey?”

012

Cotton, gold, uranium, potassium and natural gas, are the main raw materials with which the economy of this country is based. If the data that we have found are correct, this picture becomes a great atrocity, when we know that to make a cotton t-shirt, needed 2,720 litres of water, equivalent to what a person can drink in three years. And about 5000 liters of water, are required to obtain 1 kg of cotton although due to leaks of the canals in Uzbekistan, the liter increase is around 20000. Taking into account that Uzbekistan and other Central Asian countries, they have a semi-arid climate, come on, completely opposite to the weather that requires this crop.

His disappearance is one of the greatest ecological disasters of modern history, and is entirely man-made. How many kg can the truck bring? Open your closet. How many gallons of water is there in it?

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This time, only women and Zigor. Which sits on side, in front of all, is 94 years old, and she get on quickly to the Tapchan (the raised platform which is used always in Central Asia, to eat, sleep or simply to be). That look and that smile invite you simply to observe and feel it.

014

The only problem in Uzbekistan is as tourists must register every 72 hours in a hotel and this is getting paying in a hotel to register you, because not everyone does it. They Give you a piece of paper to give to the police when you want pass the border. Sometimes they don’t ask about the registration paper, the information of other travelers are confused, some have problems, others not, but us to prevent the problems, we had to make some kms more that we thought to find a hotel in a small town, because in the big city, we couldn’t find the hotel and we realized the the uzbek people don’t like say no.

And at the hotel we continue with the meetings. Another French man traveling in a Van, that after retirement, instead of putting playing boules, he decided travel to China for a few months crossing Asia.

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It is very important to have water in these hot days. At the beginning we drunk water without filtering, but we decided to put the filter in the upper part of the bag to start using it… Here the toilets are holes in the ground, with a few tables over, and we have doubts if the water can be clean or not.

The children in Uzbekistan, as in almost all countries that we have past, have flooded us with their curiosity, their smiles, their hospitality, their joy… The boy who is standing, along with two others seated, we met in a desert area. He approached us and began to talk to us in German and we did not know a word in German!.

017

Kurut, a kind of dry yogurt, give you different ways, it the taste is hard and it tastes like cheese. Eating alone it is strong , but mixing it with tomato or cucumber, you can eat easy, although there are different opinions among the bike travellers that we have found.

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Marije, sorry, but your son has not learned it much seam, perhaps is not late, because he puts effort.

019

Buying fresh fruits and vegetables.

020

Ok?

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Starts a change in the landscape, we have went up a little, away from the most fertile lands and we arrived at mountains without trees with whimsical shapes created by erosion.

022

Another family with a nice house… and a the W.C with stones instead of paper or water!

023

Chapan, Uzbek typical shelter.

024

Pilaf, the traditional rice from Uzbekistan… very taste.

025

The road, although it raises and lowers, we enjoyed by the colors that has the Earth, little traffic and the tranquility of the mountains.

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We find with Sebastian, another French man, which began in Iran with his bike and it goes to Kyrgyzstan, from where will return to Toulouse, after almost 3 months of pedaling, to collect all their things and start a new life in Canada. With it, we try to find our latest hotel to register us, but it was impossible. One didn’t even have common shower and hygiene of the service, no comment, and the other hotel was occupied by a group of mototoristas who went on expedition from London to Beijing, passing by Lasha (what today means that they have paid a lot lot of money). Anyway, we decided to risk, or rather we didn’t have another posibility , and we crossed Denau, the last town before the border, camping in this magnificent lawn… the moon came out huge on the horizon, reminding us that the Moon and the Sun view, when we returned to Tehran from Isfahan with Mehdi and Moksen, the sun hiding by the left and the moon coming out in the right… magical moments.

027

We don’t know the conditions in which the people work in the cotton fields, we had read that there are lot of exploitation, especially at the time of pick up cotton, but what we have received from these people and in this part of the road, is joy and dedication to the land. You can hear a voice greeting you, you are looking for him and sometimes you find coming from far away, so far that you do not see her face, but yes an arm or two arms moving warmly and you know, without a doubt, that they are showing his golden smile. Mens and womens, change the color of all their teeth by putting covers of gold, but all that glitters, is not gold.

028

An energetic family and loving, shouting “Hurrah”, they filled the bags of cucumbers. The man, concerned that we don’t have children, after thinking for a few seconds, he offered to take me to a man with a beard, to prepare to me a potion to be pregnant! He looked the time to see if I could locate it, but we were able to convince him that it was not necessary… And all without a word of English.

029

Repairing the second puncture of Zigor throughout the trip, it is not bad. So far we have travelled with Sebastian, but he continued because he had to cross the border the same day.

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We had the entrance to Tajikistan the next day and there were very few kilometers, so we took it very calmly, with luck that when he began a strong wind storm, rain and hail, we were in one tapchan under the arcades of a store. And there we spent quite a few hours, until we decided to go in search of a place to spend the night… another house and family said goodbye to us with their hospitality.

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At the border, where nobody asked for papers, we met one more time with Guillaume, and we cycled more than 60 kms to Dushanbe by a road unpaved and in a few minutes we camouflaged to the three and three bikes, including bags, under a layer of dust.

032

Cherry..Ummmmmm!!!!!

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We arrived at Dushanbe more “morenos” than normal. And while we waited to Eric, our WarmShower contact, we became friends of the money changers, two people invited us to sleep in their homes and a few more let us use their phones to call to Eric.

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Eric and Tiffani are a couple of Americans who live in Dushanbe and involved with life and moved by the love, they are trying to add their bit to make a better world. With them we rested, we chatted, we walk, we ate (delicious food prepared by Tiff,…)Ah! And the coffee in the mornings, real coffee, tomorrow another different one… ummm!

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Eric and Tiffani are a couple of Americans who live in Dushanbe and involved with life and moved by the love, they are trying to add their bit to make a better world. With them we rested, we chatted, we walk, we ate (delicious food prepared by Tiff,…)Ah! And the coffee in the mornings, real coffee, tomorrow another different one… ummm!

It was the day of departure, to go to the Pamirs with lots of energy and desire to live almost a month for the mountains, expected us a little bit of everything, but we are prepared.

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