Thursday, September 30, 2010

Uzbek Wrap Up

Km cycled: 228km
Days spent cycling 3
Hottest day whilst cycling: 41deg C
Camping days: 1
Days in Tajik family backyard: 1

Number of bikes that arrived with us from Milan: 0

Number of times we passed through Uzbek customs checkpoint: 4

Number of times we expected to be stopped by police and asked for passports and money: at least daily

Number of times we actually were: 0

Number of friendly encounters with members of the police force: 3 out of 3

Favourite convenience store snack: Non. Strictly not a snack, more like a meal. You can buy this delicious circular Uzbek bread laced with sesame seeds everywhere: just look for the lady pushing the pram full of non between home bakery and bazaar.

Approximate number of non baked daily: 10 million

Volume of unpasturised milk Ali regrets drinking: all 250ml

Best Coffee: The cardamom and coffee combination in old town Bukhara served with Uzbek halva and dried fruit

Best tea: The celebratory chai at Igor’s house when we were reunited with our bikes

Best breakfast: Close tie between i) Igor’s breakfast of market sourced muesli, chai and fresh local non, ii) B&B Antica’s spread of home made fig, apple and cherry jams, omelette and fresh fruit in Samarkand

Favourite local dish: Plov

Cycle tourist verdict:
We’re a little biased and influenced by a mid-country change in plans, but we would suggest catching the train. Like at least 3 other cyclists we met during our time here, the bike and train combination would be the way to go through this flat, hot country. Pick your season and revel in the fresh fruit and the genuine hospitality away from the more touristic areas.


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