Desert Pains

Somehow my camera’s SD card stopped working, so all the photos I have of the desert are on my iPhone. Perhaps I can upload them if I come across a traveller with a Macbook.

Here are some notes from the desert:

6/28 Khiva –> Yangibozor (Drujba?)

*learned that my map is frustratingly inaccurate sometimes. Town names are wrong and intersections are not marked clearly (the fact that there is no signage on these Central Asian roads doesnt help). Because of it, I’ve gotten lost and/or cycled many more kilometers that needed. #thisisCentralAsia #Germanmapsfail


6/29 Yangibozor –> camp with too many mosquitoes

*Still have headache from heat. Long naps at chai houses keep me sane. Offered tasty watermelon and bread by chai house owners. Chai house owners keep insisting I’m korean. Also chai house owner said I should get married to the martshruka driver and stay in Uzbekistan.

*still close enough to the Amu-Darya that there are mosquitoes — LOTS OF THEM — hoping for desert fast


6/30 camp with too many mosquitoes –> camp with 3 other cyclists

* learned that the new road is being built by Germans

* met German cyclist Stefan who started his trip in Tbilisi, Georgia and going to Mongolia. I was the first cyclist he met going in the same direction, so he was so happy to meet me.

* Stefan helps me with some bike maintenance (tightening a loose cassette and giving my chain a good cleanup)

* an hour later, met Dutch cyclists from guesthouse in Khiva–they caught up to me!

* our group was now Stefan, Iris, Zsolt, and me. we called our group ‘the Pelaton’ (the main pack in cycling races)

* cooked an awesome camp dinner of rice and veggies (Iris is vegetarian)–so nice to eat in such a big group

* made a campfire underneath starry night sky (first campfire on my trip!)


7/1 camp with 3 other cyclists –> camp with 1 other cyclist

* Iris got really sick around midday (stomach issues)

* Zsolt’s thermometer read 49 degrees Celsius = 120+ degrees Fahrenheit! Its unbearably hot between 11am and 6pm everyday–cannot cycle between these hours.

* Stefan and I decided to split from Iris and Zsolt, since we were on different schedules

* Stefan and I found camp underneath radio tower. Fell asleep watching the stars and listening to music.


7/2 camp with 1 other cyclist –> Bukhara

*I start having stomach problems around mid-morning

*Stefan and I got invited for tea at a chai house. Since it was too hot already by 10.30am, we lingered at the chai house chatting with locals. A local invited us to his house for lunch and naptime. #thisislife

*Learned that our host family actually speaks Tajik (a form of Persian), but they are ethnically Uzbek (they have lived in Uzbekistan for generations). Discovering history: Persian was the main language on the Silk Road and all the merchants (business people) spoke Persian. Therefore, most of the people living in the major Silk Road cities–namely Bukhara and Samarkand in Uzbekistan–speak Tajik (Persian dialect).

*A little sad to say goodbye to host family since they were so nice, but had to get to Bukhara to meet our schedules

*Stomach problems get real bad for me, but managed to make it to Bukhara in one piece. Thank you Stefan for all the encouragement!

*Checked into Rustam & Z guesthouse

*Bumped into Dutch cyclists yet again at guesthouse! They took bus from where we saw them last to Bukhara.

*We determined our stomach problems were probably a result of heat + bad water. But now we were safe in Bukhara. #allswell


One Thought on “Desert Pains

  1. Nadine on July 11, 2013 at 9:58 am said:

    Ha, good German guy!!! ;)

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