20th day of expedition, 30.06.2018. Bukhar, Uzbekistan

We wake up early, hotel’s owners had prepared us breakfast for the long road and
have made the registrations. In Uzbekistan all tourists have to register, if that is not done we
can get asked some questions on the border. We notice that one of our companions start
another morning with a few packets of Smecta. Undeniably the food is really different here,
we kind of eat the same but our stomachs can’t really get used to it. Oh, well, soon we will
get to normal food.
We leave immediately after 4 a.m., it is still dark outside, and the first 100 kilometers
are not that fast, there are big holes with sharp edges. First gas fill is after 120 kilometers,
the gas stations are becoming more and more colorful and we have to get by with Gasoline
80. We have to fill up anyway, otherwise we won’t get through desert because there are no
gas stations at all. Desert looks like desert, dunes on both sides of the road, from time to
time we see some road kills and ran over reptiles.
Kyzylkum takes up 298 000 square kilometers and it is 16 th biggest desert in the
world. It’s title, if translated literally, means red sand.
Time after time we see the border of Turkmenistan. It’s a pity that we couldn’t get in,
but we’ll do it some other time…  On the ride we can see that Uzbekistan is actively mining
natural gas; on some sections good quality roads are built. Our plan is to get to Kazakhstan
border or even better – to Kazakhstan city Beyneu. We could spend the night there and the
next day head for Aktau to look for ferry.
After village Nukus there are no more gas stations. We find an old workshop where
they are selling gas out of hand and it costs two times more, but we have no choice. While
here we decide to have something to eat.
On the road we meet camels for the first time, big decay surrounds us – steppe,
desert. And the temperature accordingly keeps above 40 degrees. It’s good to have the
strong side-wind, it cools a little. From time to time we see some big whirlwinds that play
around the desert.
We arrive at Uzbekistan border crossing, which we get through fast. Our concerns
that they are checking phone and computer content on the border turn out to be false.
Though a year before it was like that. “See you” we get a shout out by one of the border-
guards, Jānis gets called Arnold Schwarzenegger and we go to the other side laughing. The
Kazakhstan’s side, as a big border-crossing, is in chaos. People are shamelessly cutting line
and passport control chief has gone to smoke or something. When Sandijs leaves, you can
only guess how Jānis turned out to be first. It is such a mess that it turns out that Jānis was
left through without the motorcycle declaration. After a chat we realize that we have to go
back because it could end badly at the Aktau port. It all ends well, and we ride further, to
Bayneu where we will find a place to spend the night. We feel that we could use a rest
because we have driven a lot today. But overall, we laugh and think – why we always get
challenges on the long distances? The last 400 kilometers were a real test for us and bikes,
and it all in 40+ degrees.
Today we rode intense 1100 kilometers and crossed Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan border.

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