• Penelope Haines

The road to Samarkand - Day 10

Updated: Jun 19


There were camel rides available this morning although Cavan and I didn’t take one. It made for a leisurely get up and departure from the yurt camp. I wandered out into the desert and tried to get a decent photo of a dung beetle, but it scurried along remarkably fast, and I had trouble keeping up with it. A slower subject was the tortoise that wandered into camp. The drive to Samarkand took about six hours. Our route led across a wide plain bordered on each side by hills. It was eerily reminiscent of the South Wairarapa and I kept expecting to reach Masterton. As we travelled, the land grew steadily greener, and we even encountered a brief shower of rain. As we came down from the hills we could see Samarkand stretching out in front of us – at first smaller outlying settlements that gradually merged into outer suburbs and thence to the town itself. Samarkand is a modern city – at present there is no sign of anything historical, but I gather that we will have to go to the other end of town to find that. We have a long walking tour ahead of us tomorrow. Our group meal to finish the day included camel’s testicles among the kebabs on offer. I politely declined.


Dragoman guests on tour

Dung Beetle

Yurt camp at sunrise

Wild flowers in the desert

We were visited by a tortoise!

The door to our yurt - still firmly shut. No one was up!

Women seen from the truck