After an extremely unpleasant day yesterday, things could only get better. Since we only covered 85 km instead of 90 km yesterday however, today’s target was to cycle 95 km to catch up on the schedule again. We were hoping that the conditions are a bit more in our favor today.
Starting at sunrise
In order to avoid the stronger afternoon winds, we started cycling today already at 6:30. Apart from the almost non-existent head wind, this was also incredibly beautiful because we were cycling east towards the rising sun.
Good progress today
The first 20 km went fine. We had only very weak head wind. The second 20 km however were tough again because the head wind started to get stronger today much earlier than yesterday, plus the road now went directly against the wind while yesterday we had more like cross wind. But then surprisingly during the afternoon, the wind got weaker and weaker and at some parts we even had some tailwind. So we reached our goal easily, and actually surpassed it by 10 km, making tomorrow’s final leg to Samarqand a bit shorter.
Uzbek hospitality – and how things don’t always go as planned
I have already a lot of experience with Iranian and Turkmen hospitality, so today it was time to see if the Uzbek can keep up with them. When arriving in the city of Kattaqurghon, we went to a small food shop to buy ingredients for our dinner that we intended to cook. Now I am sitting in an alcoholic’s home where I spend the night together with his family and Anne.
What happened? Well, in front of the food shop the drunk guy who was in the car with a slightly older guy invited us to their home. It turned out it was the home of the older guy that was sober, and not actually the drunk guy’s home. Fair enough, it was a beautiful farm with lots of space, a well-deserved shower and we were looking forward to spending the night there. Appetizer and dinner were already served when the drunk guy told us, that we cannot stay there overnight. And it seemed because of the drunk guy himself. So around 20 minutes before sunset we had to leave the nice farm. The drunk guy then gave us asylum in his farm house which is by far less attractive.
I was discussing a lot with Anne why they would kick us out after offering us to stay there for the night. We came to the conclusion that it is because of the drunk guy. I assume that they wanted to get rid of the drunk guy, and because it was him who picked us up at the food store initially, it was his right to decide where the guests spend the evening and the night. We were never asked what we preferred.
This is the big downside of taking advantage of the hospitality of those people. The hosts are usually very proud to have us as guests and want to show us to as many people as possible and of course make sure that we get fed enough. Mostly the hosts are however not realizing that this is not what I am looking for. We experienced that today, but also in Iran, e.g. in Isfahan, when we had to suddenly interrupt our sightseeing and drive home in the early afternoon because of some family members wanting to spend time with us.
Well, anyway, we got used to the drunk guy’s home and his family (which obviously seems to suffer from his addiction) and feel safe here. Things just did not turn out as planned, but they turned out fine after all.
Max elevation: 469 m
Min elevation: 325 m
Total climbing: 475 m
Total descent: -339 m
Total time: 09:19:45