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November 16th, 2006 | categorizilation: all categories,Uzbekistan

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Out of that noisy city that is Tashkent and back to the niceness that is Samarkand. I do not plan on being here for long however. Tomorrow I head for east of Samarkand. About 200km east is a national park…I will get back to you on  the name of it, but I will head there and then head to Tashkent again by bike from there.

The reason for all this galavanting is because it takes 10 days for my Turkmenistan visa to be issued. Therefore, I have to wait until the 24th of November before I can pick it up from Tashkent. I will make my way to Tashkent slowly, taking in the sights, and then catch a train back to Samarkand once I have picked up my visa. From Samarkand it is off to Bukhara, another ancient Silk Road city, about 300km from Samarkand.

Oh, and here is a photo of my current look. I call it the ‘Mujahed Mop’.

The new look for Rob in Uzbekistan - just because I can / 新しいスタイル(ウズベキスタン)

Eatery at a bazaar in Samarkand.

Eatery at a bazaar in Samarkand, Uzbekistan / サマルカンドのバザールにて(ウズベキスタン)

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    Permanent Link     Comments (13)

Comment by Aunty Les — November 17, 2006 @ 2:10 am | post a comment

You're quite right – you could pass as a Muslim gentleman, especially if you stick a skull cap on!

Comment by carl w. — November 17, 2006 @ 3:11 am | post a comment

Yup, but you'd have to stop smiling to completely pull that off….

Once you get near the channel I would loose the beard cos you be hours in the cells before workout what you are.

Comment by Rich — November 17, 2006 @ 4:46 am | post a comment

Seems like you have lots of fun. Keep it up… Sometimes, a longer break like yours can re-invigorate spirits and make you 'hungrier' for cycling again. BTW, I like the new look, too;)

Comment by martynJ — November 17, 2006 @ 5:31 am | post a comment

I wonder why Turkmenistan is so distrustful (protective?) of tourists?

Is Iran a real no no these days (you hear such mixed views, but Al Humphreys waxed lyrical about the people ~ if not about the safety aspect!

Comment by Chris J — November 17, 2006 @ 6:21 am | post a comment

Looks good Rob, and just in time for Christmas! You could be a department store Santa Claus once you get the red hat and coat together. Plus you just LOVE little kids right? Anyway, the real question is, does it get in your soup?

Comment by Rach Callander — November 17, 2006 @ 2:32 pm | post a comment

oh Rob! That really is great.

Hair is really weird eh! That is a mighty mop you have there… very cool

We are moving out of paradise today ( sigh) and into the caravn!!!!( not quite roughing it as the caravan is parked in the driveway of Sam's parents house… it will be great!) we have found a place to house sit for all next year so it's pretty sweet.

question tho, what is the name of the mats that the Japanese sleep on. Sam and I have no bed next year and we thought it would be cheaper and a bit fun to try going Japan style for a while…. do they come in double?? hahahaha

Comment by Rob Thomson — November 18, 2006 @ 12:44 am | post a comment

MartynJ, the Turkmenistan president has set himself up as a kind of emperor. He changed the law so that a president is president for life. He writes a book every year that each citizen must read. He has renamed months of the year after his own and mother's names. There are apparently statues of himself on almost every street corner. Cinemas are not allowed. Apparently there is very little access to the internet. In other words, the president of Turkmenistan does not want any outside influence affecting his people's minds. It sounds like a crazy place. I can't wait to travel there, even if it is only for a few days.

Comment by Rob Thomson — November 18, 2006 @ 12:53 am | post a comment

Chris J, I had the barber trim my moustache. It now no longer gets in my soup. It was pretty grotty for a while there….

Comment by Rob Thomson — November 18, 2006 @ 12:55 am | post a comment

Rach, the Japanese sleep on a 'futon'. Don't be fooled by the 'futons' they sell in NZ though. They are totally different. All you need is the mattress that the NZ futons have. The Japanese don't have any of the frame or anything else. Just roll it up and you have your living room back.

Comment by vony — November 22, 2006 @ 12:30 am | post a comment

Hey it's me eating shashlik!!!

Comment by Rob Thomson — November 22, 2006 @ 12:39 am | post a comment

Vony, it is indeed. Glad you got out of the country safely.

Comment by Neil — November 22, 2006 @ 3:37 am | post a comment

So Rob, does this mean you have given up on the exciting shaves with your "handle-less Mach III" – or did it just get too risky!

Comment by Rob Thomson — November 23, 2006 @ 12:54 am | post a comment

Neil, I gave up on that one on about day two. Besides, the beard has to have some value in this cold weather…

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