Next day was quite uneventful. We started late as we wasted a lot if time trying to get a
simcard for our phones just to find out that you need a uzbek passport to get one. Wtf!? Very tourist friendly... We drove over a few mountain passes and tried to get as close as possible to
samarkant. The biggest excitement was of course the obligatory sashlyk lunch..delicious as usual.
Oh! And finding a gas station. The best way to find a gas station that has petrol is to follow the longest waiting line... We still couldnt get anything better than 80 octane - that has to do..Hopefully that wont do any harm to our horses... We heard the situation will get worse the further we go west where cars just run on methane gas.
We will deal with that when we get there.
Around 7 in the evening we arrived at jizzax and decided to ignore the hotel-every-day rule and camp on a remote hay field. We cooked "kaiserschmarrn" and emptied half of the supersweet cherry jam from the bazar dude.
Next day we where of to samarkant.. Just 100 kms down the road. A shepard who joined us for
breakfast told us about a beautiful nature reserve close to the tadjik border. A look at our map showed a small road in a mountain valley that would bring us trough the nature reserve and to
samarkant. As the last two days road was rather boring we decided to take the 150 kms detour for some excitement.
It was a beautiful scenery but unfortunately the guards at the entrance to the nature park turned us around: "this road is just for locals - no tourists!"
China all over again... So we had to backtrack the whole road till we came to to the original road to samarkand. In between we had an another delicious sashlyk lunch... So the whole detour wasnt for nothing.
Then 25 kms before we reached samarkant disaster struck. Chris bike stopped working.. We tried
all troubleshooting we could think of. Air, gas, electricity...
Apparently the engine got too hot. Almost all oil was burned away. Even they oil measure stick was melted away like icecream.. We refilled all and tried everything imagineable... Matthias even fell into a nearby river when he tried to get some water for the watercooling system. All didnt help. The bike wont start.
A friendly crowd of mostly local kids had gathered and watched our every move curiously. Uzbeks are superfriendly. Everybody is handshaking and put the other hand over his heart when greeting "shalom”. A nice gesture...
The kids called someone who could speak english ( turns out it was their english teacher) and we figured out a solution... We flagged down a truck and delivered the bike to a hotel in samarkant... From there we will see how to solve the problem. Said and done...the bike, our luggage and chris where put on a truck. We said goodbye and a very honest rachmat and set sail to samarkant. Matthias leaded the truck the way and one hour later we arrived at a small hotel in the citycenter. We unloaded all our stuff including chris and fell dead into bed... This nite we had bad dreams. Will this be the end of the trip? Will be a Sashly-only diet or death? Will Tyrian be finally killed by Cersei? We will see tomorrow. Samarkant is the city that lives and breathes "1001 nights" ... So everything is possible. Right? RIGHT!?