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November 29th, 2006 | categorizilation: all categories,Uzbekistan

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UPDATE: I take it all back. I have found a really fast internet place, so have updated the last few days of action. Therefore I have also decided to stay in Buhara today. Will be a big day tomorrow to get to Turkmenistan border, but no worries. She’ll be right. Besides, it’s cold.

Typical lane in Buhara, Uzbekistan

Labi Haus, Buhara, Uzbekistan

The panorama below is from Samarkand recently – at the Danilagar Bazaar – on a Sunday when all the bicycle bits sellers are out in force.

Danilagar Bazaar, Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Written at 11am: Sorry, but this internet cafe I’m in is not playing nicely (can’t see the photos I have uploaded), and I’m in a rush to get to the Turkmenistan border by the end of tomorrow (30th Nov).

Therefore, this will be a quick update.

Leaving Samarkand was difficult. I rolled out of the warm hostel into a chilly 3 degrees at midday. By the time I had found my shelter for the night – an old steel rear end of a truck in a paddock – it was already -3 degrees. The next day was also cold, only getting to a high of 5 degrees in the midde of the day. Both days I was still cycling into the night, not stopping until 7pm due to the many people along the road side. Very difficult to find places to shelter for the night undisturbed.

Today I head for Turkmenistan. This should take about two days. I hope to then cycle to Merv – the small city in the middle of the desert – in two days, and then catch a bus or train for the remaining 1200km to Turkmenbasi where I catch a ferry to Azerbaijan across the Caspian Sea.

Therefore all going well, my next update should be in around a weeks time (the 5th or 6th of December). Until then, keep warm (no problem for the New Zealanders!).

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    Permanent Link     Comments (9)

Comment by Mum — November 30, 2006 @ 6:05 am | post a comment

Where and when did you get your visas? thought you had to go back to Tashkent to pick them up

Comment by Rob Thomson — November 30, 2006 @ 6:15 am | post a comment

Oh, maybe I didn't mention that. I went to Tashkent one morning, picked up the visas, and then went back to Samarkand the same day. Oh yes, that was day 125 – the day I also fixed my thermarest.

Comment by Achim — November 30, 2006 @ 8:22 am | post a comment

Hi Rob,

now I can see you trip again from above.

I installed the new Internet Explorer 7, although my Browser is Firefox, but I was not able to get Windows Live Map at "http://maps.live.com/". Try this page!

I recommend this page to others, it helps a lot to see where you are and it is easy to handle. It is kind of an "Angels View, if you click on AERIAL or HYBRID with city names and borders (you can zoom in).

Now I am able to watch your trekking route from satellite pictures and it is astonishing to see what you already have accomplished. WOW!

In front of you, Turkmenistan seems to be almost flat and sandy. You'll get bored after all those ups and downs of the mountains you managed the last weeks. But maybe it is time for a change. Good luck and keep your feet warm.


Ahmed Akimoto Abdulla

Comment by Aunty Les — November 30, 2006 @ 12:40 pm | post a comment

I have a little note at the bottom of my screen which says: 'The page is protected by CryptHTML XP.' Do you know what that's all about? It's only appeared today but I can't save the photos you download into the file I have on my computer, something I've been doing since the beginning of your trip.

We've being getting hot and then cold here – 24ºC Tuesday and Wednesday, 11ºC forecast maximum for today and tomorrow. I keep thinking I can pack my winter clothes away and then end up wearing them again!

Comment by martynJ — December 1, 2006 @ 2:59 pm | post a comment

Yes Rob ~ CryptHTML XP also makes it impossible to comment using firefox (which I normally use)

Comment by Satoshi — December 3, 2006 @ 4:27 am | post a comment

Hi Rob

I was chatting the other day with Lynley in Chaing Mai that you could have departed a couple of months sooner?? What are your plans of fighting the severe winter of Central Asia and Eastern Europe?

Obtaining a fairing once you are in the more civilised part of the world e.g. Turkey is an idea to reduce body heat loss and also you may keep yourself dry when it's cold and rainy (I survived six European winters and can tell you it rains more than snows these days!!!). Believe or not as long as proper window washing soap and liquid wiper (for cars etc) are applied occasionally you can keep the fair amount of snow off the fairing while riding. Making yourself visible from the drivers is also very important I hope you have day-glo flag and rain covers etc.

About my catching recumbent disease from you, i decided to construct my own. Buying one here in Australia is ridiculously uneralistic idea as the imported ones are very rare and coverpriced and no local dealerships meaning no local warranty and also the Australian made ones are all trikes (Green Speed etc). The recumbent rider population here is very small and there is no substantial market. Privately importing frame kit is also a way to go if the Aus Post allows such an oversise item shipped by post (their answer was firm NO). So what I decided to to do is learn to braze or find a local frame builder/welder and buy recumbent parts from e-bay. I have purchased the front boom with a secondary diagonal tube – usually where seat tube goes) that supports front derailleur. It's a spare made for some Canadian bent bike and is brand new at 20 USD so I thought it's my starting point.

I am also looking into Mek carbon front suspension for 20in front wheel – the same model as you got. How do you find the performance of this little neat item you upgraded from the original? It's sold at 100 USD brand new plus shipping which is less than half the retail so i think i will grab the bargain.

Wish you a pleasant journey.



Comment by Bob & Marion Fer — December 4, 2006 @ 3:15 am | post a comment

Hello Rob, No they didn't get that organised for a web site. They arrived home in NZ Labour weekend 2005 after having driven from Serres in Norther Greece to Switzerland where Paddy's folk live then up thro Scandinavia into Russia and on to Mongolia. Shipped the old van to Auckland then proceeded thro China on conventional cycles before using the "big steam chicken" to reach NZ. They are both now setting up house in Clyde, Central Otago. Back to old clothes and porridge. I think they had a real adventure one way and another. Sounds like it is getting a bit wintery where you are Ingill hasn't worked out its summer yet (as usual) but still not as bad as central asia. We look forward to reading your blog cheers Bob Ferguson

Comment by Nick — December 6, 2006 @ 9:42 am | post a comment

When in Turkmenistan, watch out for the policies of that President For Life. In fact, you might want to delete this comment.


Comment by Kathryn — December 7, 2006 @ 4:58 pm | post a comment

Rob, It's still Winter in Invercargill too! Sunny yesterday, awful today. How much longer to get to London do you think?

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