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Kattaqorgon - Samarkand 🇺🇿 20/07/2018
Life giving melon.
I woke up to bright sunlight and a headache. Which immediately meant it would be a tough day. The headache could be watered away but the sunlight meant that we were late up and that it would be a scorching ride to Samarkand.
Zaffir had slept on the ground next to us. He had been so good to us. Constantly looking out for us and our bikes. We said goodbyes traditionally, shaking his hand with our other hand on his upper arm whilst putting our heads side by side. Right shoulder first, then left. We’ve had a week of so of practice so it’s a lot smoother than when we first did it!
We rolled out; the morning light looked gorgeous in the park.
After 5km we were greeted with our mornings work. An undulating road that followed the lay of the land. I was finding it hard going. The local food last night was tasty but had reversed the good achieved by two days of cooking for ourselves.
I realise now that I did not even take any photos such was the general lack of energy I felt.
We passed plenty of sad looking donkeys. Donkeys pulling carts of hay; pulling carts of watermelons.
Dotted along the road were stalls selling melons of different varieties. Arthur had stopped at one to wait for me, I arrived and the boy working on the stall offered us a couple of slices for free.
This melon changed everything. It was sweet, light and I was rebooted after eating it. Things were also made better by the ceasing of the undulations.
Mountains could be seen in the distance and the land we were on rose gently towards them.
At 11 we pulled into a cafe and had a coke. 43 degrees on the road but the shade was just-about comfortable 36. We stayed a while and watched the men fix the fountain. It shot up into the air and all we wanted to do was dive under it.
We got back to the road before temptation got the better of us. We had 10km left to Samarkand and our surroundings were becoming busier and busier. Mini markets, fruit stalls, pharmacies and mechanics lined the road and the density of people increased. City life was reappearing before us. #overlander #wymtm #getlost #goneriding #yomp #goexplore #shutuplegs #ncbf #justrollingalong #gobybike #thelongwayround #worldbybike #yomper #scrimpeur #lessfamiliar #bicycletouring #bopthru #bicyclepractice #lifebehindbars #aroundtheworld #fromwhereiride #campcollective #discoverearth #shadefinder #biketouring #warmshowers #exploremore #intothewild
Kattaqorgon 🇺🇿 19/07/2018
Our day in the park.
We rolled into a green park with tall trees and flowers. It looked perfect for a day of rest before our final night ride to Samarkand.
The Alisher Navoiy Park was it’s official title. Named after the great Turkic poet, writer, politician, linguist and painter. A 16th century show-off.
I set my bike down against a tree next to ice cream stand and a young lad came over and asked about us. He spoke relatively good English and I explained that we were looking for a place to rest. He invited me immediately to the ground by the tree near his stand and bought over a carpet that was covering the spare bottles of water he had at the stall. However, his father had seen this and berated him. I was unsure but I think the carpet was being used to stop the water becoming hot in the sun. He looked at me and apologised. I said there was no need and helped him put the carpet back.
I sat down at the table and bought a cola from him whilst Arthur went in search of a more permanent resting spot. As I sat, a man came over and also asked about me. His name was Tahir and he was the Park Director. In charge park staff who maintain the park he also had plans to develop the park further. An ex-military commander he was a stern man with a soft heart. His joy was now found in seeing people enjoy the park.
I told him why we were here and he pointed to a building that Arthur had walked over to. Tahir explained that it was a social hall for the elderly of the town to meet up to discuss social affairs and enjoy the park.
We walked over to the building where Arthur had met Zaffir, a man who seemed to be in charge of the upkeep and protection of the building.
We set our mats down under the canopy and dozed. The heat grew and I woke up to find a sweat silhouette of my calves on my thermarest... nice.
Zaffir showed us around inside and told us we could use the kitchen and shower. A shower! We hadn’t showered in four days We had struck gold again! #overlander #wymtm #getlost #goneriding #yomp #goexplore #shutuplegs #ncbf #justrollingalong #gobybike #thelongwayround #worldbybike #yomper #scrimpeur #lessfamiliar #bicycletouring #bopthru #bicyclepractice #lifebehindbars #aroundtheworld #fromwhereiride #campcollective #discoverearth #shadefinder #biketouring #warmshowers #exploremore #intothewild