I’m currently in the city of Bukhara. I’m getting a small insight into what generations of traders travelling along the Silk Road felt when they escaped the emptiness of the desert and arrived in the hubbub of an Uzbek city; spectacular buildings, food, water and people. Bukhara is similar to Khiva, just bigger, and I can imagine that Samarkand, my next stop, will also bring the same architecture and atmosphere, just once again, on a larger scale. My trusted Lonely Planet guide informed me that even Genghis Khan was so impressed with one of the minarets here in Bukhara that he spared it as his troops came rampaging through the region.
The desert is much more of a mental challenge than a physical one. No navigation required, I have remained on the same road for the last four days! You need to have short term goals to work towards and with this terrain, you have to be inventive! With all the negatives, there are positives. I enjoy the freedom. Which may well be a false sensation as I’m fairly constrained to the one road but I guess, if I really wanted to, I could verge left or right and head out into the vast wilderness. The majority of cyclists I’ve spoken to skip my last couple of weeks by hopping on the train. I fully understand why, but I’m also proud to have got through it. It’s made me appreciate water, food and shade more than ever. Although I’m sure the appreciation will be short lived. Only a couple of days to Samarkand and then I’m in touching distance of Tajikistan, which, if I’m being honest, is the main reason I’ve travelled to this region
Another low quality video, which is such a shame as it doesn’t do some of the footage justice. But it seemed better than none. The WiFi in this hostel is just not strong enough.