Unfortunately week 11 has not been fruitful with a video. I am using my IPhone for so many things on this trip: camera, map, podcasts, audio books etc. space is precious. So I turned to the iCloud to store my photos and videos safely for when I return home. Unfortunately this automatically uploaded all my recent videos to the Cloud before I had edited a montage of videos this week. Even with a full day of WiFi, these videos are stubbornly staying in the cloud and refusing to come back to my phone to create a video. For one moment I thought I had lost them, so I guess it could be worse. I thought about putting out some of the videos I have managed to retrieve but I don’t think it does the week justice. So you’ll just have to wait!
On Monday I left the two German cyclists, Johannes and Tobi, I had been with in Kazakhstan and crossed the border into Uzbekistan. I knew that there was still a large amount of desert to come and had, what I hoped was, enough food and water to get me through. The border brought the usually confusion of whether I join the car/vehicle queue or I cross as a pedestrian. But soon enough my passport got stamped, my bags were sort of x-rayed, I showed my route to all the interested guards, changed some money and I was hurried along as it was getting late and they were concerned I needed to find somewhere to camp. Although I had money on me, it was not until day three that there was anywhere to spend it; no cafe or shops for hundreds of miles. I unexpectedly came across a basic bnb on day three to stay in before I came out of the desert and arrived in the town of Nukus. My body was tired and my knees were unhappy with me but I knew as much as I needed a day off, Nukus was dull and one more big day would get me to Khiva and some interesting sights. A hot 116miles later (my biggest daily distance so far!) I arrived in Khiva and slept very well that night. Today has been my day off the bike and my body feels better for it.
Khiva is amazing. A city persevered to such an extent it’s been criticised in the past for being held as a museum rather than a living city. The photos explain why it is a draw for tourists and, I guess, why I took a detour to visit.
I was considering taking an extra day off the bike here but have decided to leave tomorrow (back into the desert!) and spend 4 days on the bike before getting to the city of Bukhara, where I’ll also spent a full day taking in the sights and resting my legs.
It won’t be long until I arrive in the city of Samarkand and start to make the long climb into Tajikistan and into the Pamir mountains – maybe I’ll wish for the flat desert at that point!