We hadn’t really given Uzbekistan much thought other than planning what trains to get across it. With large sections of it being uninhabited desert, we didn’t hold out much hope for the bits in-between that we were forced to ride due to train restrictions. But it actually turned out to be a really lovely country to cycle through. The people are very friendly and welcoming, the scenery is a bit more diverse than Kazakhstan. We often found ourselves riding along the dividing line between the barren desert hills and the lush green farmland.
We had our first experience of someone inviting us to theirs for dinner and letting us stay the night. It was really nice and very appreciated as we had had a long hot day to make the next days ride into Urgench as short as possible.
Part of us wish we had stayed with the other half of the group we had formed and ridden the whole length of the country, but the other part was glad of the extra rest days it afforded us.
Uzbekistan hospitality has been amazing, we have been given free melon, tea and somsas, and invited into people’s homes across the country. We would love to visit again in the future.
Nearing the border to Tajikistan, we got a glimpse of the mountains to come. We are getting very excited about the next few weeks cycling.
Total distance cycled – 303 miles
Longest day – 73 miles
Shortest day – 36 miles
Total hours on trains – 23 hours
Number of free melons – 7