After the relaxing sightseeing day in Bukhara the time had come to start the 270 km transfer to Samarqand, the next historic city on our roadmap in Uzbekistan. It was Anne’s first day of cycling here in Uzbekistan so we wanted to start things slowly by cycling this distance in three days, 90 km each.
Uninspiring road and head wind
Already the road from the Turkmen border to Bukhara was not a cyclist’s dream. Especially the bad road quality made Lucie’s and my life hard, but also the moderate to strong head wind. In addition the landscape was very uninspiring, or in other words, boring. I was really hoping that now from Bukhara towards Samarqand everything will be better. But we had to give up our hopes quickly. From 9:00 on we had the whole day a strong head wind in our faces, making us progress in average with 16 km/h. Not ideal if we wanted to cycle 90 km. At least the road quality was a bit better, the landscape however not at all. Everything is flat, and most of the distance we were cycling through dry steppe. So it was for both of us a mentally and physically challenging day, and we ended the day already after 85 km because we were both not feeling like continuing like this.
Night in farmer village
When we stopped after 85 km, there was a small village on the right side of the street. It looked more like a collection of houses than a village. On Google Maps there is no name for it. Luckily, even the smallest villages have grocery stores, so we were able to buy everything we need to cook dinner. There were no fresh vegetables, but we found all the ingredients for some simple pasta and even a cold beer, which I think is well-deserved. What is very convenient in stores here is, that you can buy almost everything in exactly your quantity, e.g. if you need 130g Pasta, or 21 biscuits, because everything gets delivered in large packages.
The shop owner was very friendly, so when we asked him where to put up the tent, he suggested that we sleep simply behind the shop on some elevated terrace. This sounded like a good idea at first, so we installed ourselves there and cooked dinner. However, it turned out that all the young men of the village gather around the shop to drink, laugh, and generally spend the evening there. And our sleeping place was very visible to some of them, giving us an unsafe feeling. So I could not close an eye before all those guys went home to their families and it was finally silent.
Max elevation: 307 m
Min elevation: 171 m
Total climbing: 667 m
Total descent: -579 m
Total time: 09:15:06