Day 49 - ..... Stranded in Samarqand

Next morning we awoke in Antika B&B. Such a nice place. There is just a wodden gate from outside but once you enter there is a lush green garden which rooms to each side. Beautiful.


We had a great and huge breakfast on the terrace and discussed what to do next. Dalir, the guy for everything at the guesthoese said he knows a guy who knows everybody in Samarkant - he might be able to find a motorbike mechanic for us...but first we checked again. There is a spark, there is fuel, there is air? it should work... maybe the carb is off.

Our mechanic mastermind Winston gave us the advice to bring a spare carb - which we did. Chris exchanged the carb and the fuel lines and we where excited - will it start?

Well, it wont. 

We got in touch with the guy who might know a guy and he promised to come around and see if he can help us... and then the waiting game started..

when he finally came the next day we still hadnt seen anything of the city - just sit in the guesthouse and try to fix the bike somehow. The guy who knows everybody in samarkand came and told us about a mechanic who fixed a russian Ural motorbike months ago - this "master" can surely help us - he said a lot of other stuff too - actually this guy never really stops talking - even when he closed the door behind him you could still hear him chatting along with himself - later we found out that his uzbek name translated literally means "never-stops"

we are in desperate need of a master mechanic
we are in desperate need of a master mechanic

He left to get the master and the waiting game started again... we killed some time eating sashly but this time it wouldnt lift our spirits - we seemed to be stuck in samarkant. We were still a week ahead of our schedule because Tadjikistan didnt work out, but every day we stayed here would cost us 45 USD for the room - which was totally worth it, but still eat up our budget.

So we waited for some news from the master and pondered our options - we checked which would be the best next city to deliver the bike in case the master is useless, tried to contact motorbike travellers all around the world but couldnt find a decent bike mechanic in samarkant.

Next day we finally loaded the bike up into "never-stops" small van and we went for an audience with "the master"... 

"No compression!" said the master - so one of our biggest worries became true - something inside the engine was not right and it needed operation on the open heart. 

The master didnt feel qualified for the task as he was more a mercedes-master than a motorbike-master.

So he called another master in for discussion - this guy apparently fixed a honda engine a few months ago. If that is the best we can get - we have to take it

He promised he will fix the bike till tomorrow evening. We doubted that but had to take his word.

We went back to the Guesthouse, had some shashlyk and hoped for the best.

Next day we used to do all the sightseeing samarkant is famous for: the registan, the mosque and all the other stuff. I am not a big fan of old buildings but these things where where exotic and impressive - we enjoyed the day and the shaslyk dinner but in the back of our heads we where still worried if we would be really able to leave samarkant the next morning.

The master hadnt called us.

and he didnt call us till next day afternoon when he finally opened the engine and summoned us to come over and have a look at this mess.

Big Problem! the piston was melted because of overheating. apparently the thermostat shut down and stopped the watercooling system - it probably melted because the engine got too hot from the shitty gasoline - everything overheated and here we are.


Chris bike is seriously sick!
Chris bike is seriously sick!

It felt good to finally know whats up - so could the master fix it and how long would it take him - and what was his price?

He could - he said. for 800 dollars in five days.


the price is legit as he would make a new piston by himself - god knows how - but still to much for us.

we pondered our options. we where already 5 days in samarkant and there is no way we will leave anytime soon -  at least not on a motorbike - or - at least not on two motorbikes.

we went back to the hotel and after checking the prices we decided to order new parts from taobao (100 USD for all) and wait till it gets delivered. should be six days from now on.



We talked to the very friendly and helpful owners of the guesthouse who totally understood ours situation and gave us a cheaper room to stay in. we calculated that with the immense breakfast and sashlyk in the evening we might not spend more than 20 USD each per day while we waited here... 

So here we are. reading books, playing games, watch movies, stroll around the city and wait for the parts delivery... 

At least the Antika Guesthose is a great place to be stranded - could be much worse.

We will take the train to bukhara tomorrow and have a look at this old silkroad city - we planned to drive there anyway ...So we do it now and might save some time later.

It is still a week minimum till the spare parts arrive from china.

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Comments: 1
  • #1

    Hydie (Tuesday, 23 September 2014 19:19)

    Hello guys! I am sorry for what happened to your bike. Just found out about your blog yesterday as we are thinking of doing something similar in 2 years. Hope everything is alright with you two and that you can get out of there soon. Relax for now and spend some time touring around.