Samarkand to Tashkent - Day 13
Updated: Jun 19, 2020
I typed in the title to today’s Blog and thought, “wouldn’t my teenage self have been chuffed to know I was here?”. These are names to conjure with, exotic, mysterious and for many years of my own life span, completely out of reach to western travellers. We left Samarkand at 8am, and our route initially wound through some promising hills – a pleasant contrast to the endless plains we’d encountered since Ashgabat. Alas, the undulations were short lived, at least in relation to the contours of the countryside. The road of course has continued to undulate in a pleasantly corrugated iron fashion throughout this journey and today’s roads were unchanged. In between watching the scenery I’m working on my Rubik’s cubes moves. Brett, one of our tour leaders is a dab hand with the cube and makes for a very good instructor. I was extremely frustrated to be unable to get a clear picture of the stork nests. They build them on top of power poles, and I understand from our guide that these can sometimes weigh in up to a ton and are frequently constructed on a foundation of the nests of other birds. We had a toilet stop at a café making the most delectable meat patties inside a tandoori oven. I resisted temptation – the tummy bug still resonates with me, but the smell was delicious. We’ve just arrived in Tashkent and are staying at a pleasant, if rather old-fashioned, guest house.
Tonight we are going to the Tashkent theatre to see a ballet, the Arabian Nights. Apparently the theatre is magnificent, so we are looking forward to it. Tomorrow we explore Tashkent. We have three nights here before we cross the border to Kirghizstan.
From them on we will be mainly off grid – camping in the wilds, staying in yurts and generally out of touch with the rest of humanity.