Tuesday, 18 September 2012

from Tashkent to border UZ

start from Tashkent in direction to Kirgistan. I noticed only now that somebody has stolen one of my rearview mirror. this bloody bastard had to use a higher criminally energy, because it was fixed with a screw and
you need a special tool. my other one is only fixed with an elastic band but I had it in my bag.
we see the harvest of cotton, but only cycling and nothing more to mention.
79km, avs 17,8, 4h25

First day that we had oat flakes for breakfast . how yummy ! we had to climb many hills on a two lane highway. we had to stop at a checkpoint which is close to a big reservoir. seems to be a strategic point for the army. it became evening and we decided not to cycle to the Kamchik pass today, because we did not know if there will be a possibility to camp. we tried to camp at a river but there were soldiers who told us that there is a military area. we had luck, behind a restaurant we were allowed to camp. 73 km avs 14,8.3

now 5 months traveling. we crossed the summit of the Kamchik Pass. 15 km uphill, 1000 altimeter, 2187 altitude; this was really a hard job. there were two tunnels we cycled through and at the beginning and at the end we had to show our passport. military area again. after 48 km downhill to the Fergana Valley wild camping in a plantage. the farmer and his son brought us some fruits.what a surprise! early sleeping at 7:30 pm.

today there were many photo shootings, people wanted
to take pictures with us and this can be annoying, but they were so friendly. we met Guido from Belgium, cycling through UZ. just before looking for a campsite we discovered a watering place and a man offered us a fresh cantaloupe. we filled our bottles and a water bag and found a silent place for camping.
92km, 4h28, avs 20,6, total 5331

start at 9 am, through Boz, many stops and waving people, lunch at a restaurant. shashlik! yeah , meat again :-). we cycled through Khojaabad, where on a distance for 2 km all houses were knocked down. we did not know the reason, but we supposed that is for enlarging the street. we planned to camp again and asked two women in a side street if we can camp in the fields behind their houses. what a surprise: one of the women invited us to her home, offered us a room for spending the night and served us a delicious Uzbek food. several neighours joined us. well, what a friendly and funny homestay :-)
91km, 4h50, avs 18,8.

we left our host at 8am. during the night it had been raining. first rain since two months on our trip!
we had headwind and after 2 km we spend our last Soms for food. the owner of the shop invited us for tea and some fruits. distance to the border only 25km, but our muscles were aching. we arrived at the border at 10:30 am and got a form to fill out. the same one as on our entry. and now the horror began: I imported 565 USD, in Urgench and Tashkent I grabbed more than 2000 USD at the atm (due to the following countries) and I declared over 1600 USD today. the immigration officer told me that it is not allowed to export more USD than imported. it was a young officer and he tested me, if I will stay cool and friendly. no problem ;-) . well, I asked stupid what to do... I corrected the USD on the form and went back to him. well he asked me if I try to fiddle, but I kept cool and, indeed, he gave me, with a smile on his face, a new form; his order: give it back to me without mistakes ! no problem ;-) . while I have been engaged with filling out the form, he contacted Astrid, asking her about our next steps of our trip. I gave him back the new form and he accepted it!! then we had to put all our bags to the x-rays... he checked my drugs ( not: Drogen) very accurately and wanted to know if I have some with narcotic ingredients. then he checked Astrid's bags. all ok!
if this immigration officer would had been very strict, I would have lost more than USD 1000. good luck ! after 2,5 hours full of stress we left Uzbekistan.

we met so many friendly people but it is a real police state with a high level of permanent surveillance.

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