Another long day

Trip Start Mar 12, 2011
Trip End Dec 15, 2011

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Where I stayed
Sayram Hotel

Flag of Uzbekistan  ,
Saturday, April 9, 2011

Set off from Bukara after a good breakfast. The hotel was very good to us, and gave us 2 big bottles of water to take with us. On top of the 2 free beers last night, they were really making an effort.
Not really a lot to say, the roads still varied from very good, to potholed and rough. Not much change there then.

Around lunch time, Martin noticed that the temperature guage was rading high, so we stopped and traced it to the fact that the fan belt had stretched. So we replaced it with the spare, but of course there were 1001 locals to watch everything we did, and stand in the way just where we were trying to work.

Because of the delay, we decided to have lunch on the move, bread (which had been very kindly given us by the hotel, but was  a bit o the tough side compared to what we are used to, and cheese that we had bought in Baku. It was a bit old and had suffered in the recent heat, so I think I got more grease on my hands from the cheese than I did from helping fix the fanbelt.

Drove all day, and then took a side road to avoid going over a border (which would have cost time delays, and we dont have the visas we would have needed). Turns out that the road we used was far better than the dual carriageway we were on - presumably  less traffic uses it and then its not so potholed.
Got into Tashkent, and used the satnav to find a hotel. Didnt like the look of the guesthouse we'd chosen, so tried the hotel nearby. Great place only 130,000 a night. About $45. This money really gets me.

Discussed the route ahead over dinner, we are going to change things a bit to save time and the problems of going to high altitudes, about 10,000  feet according to the original plan.

Mileage 588 km

Martin's motoring moment:
Its all very well having these macho looking instrument panels in your car but the price you pay is paranoia - any deviation from normal sets up all sorts of doubts in your mind..I'm not sure how long the gauge may have read overheating but we got it in time.I think fan belt disintegration was result of over-zealous tightening in Baku when drivers were helping us look for sources of problem with car.Anyway good news was that we had a spare fan belt (we haven't now) and my improvised radiator catch tank/petrol can worked - we caught the overflow and returned it to the radiator..
When you read exploits of others who have taken these journeys you are struck by the kindness and  contribution of passers by.When we were stuck on side of road we got inquisitiveness but we may as well have landed in a space ship.A few passing lorries slowed and may have helped had we needed it.But we got going and will check this morning that all is well.Stopped approx. 6 times yesterday by guards at road blocks.Just want a chat and fool about but it does delay us considerably.
We're doing hard miles these last few days and we need to build in a bit of downtime to check over the car.I'm bushed by the end of the day and if the hotel homing device had not worked last night I don't know what we would have done.The guest house (Ali's) had a metal panelled door and looked like a potato warehouse but a cheap looking sign got us to an excellent place.
We're doing OK but know that the lonely miles are ahead.Maybe a spot of camping.

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Shelagh on

Your adventures are awesome...thank you for posting so religiously even when you're exhausted from the day's challenges! Certainly an experience into a totally different world....a way way more realistic one than is covered in all those edited and manicured travelogs on TV! Pretty amazing that you have internet access in these remote areas! We're there with you in spirit, ( and likely thankfully not in person!) Take care. K and S

Nigel and Pat on

Your efforts are fantastic. The places you are visiting now are the stuff of our dreams, but to be travelling to them in a rather ancient car is just something again. Good luck, and we wish you bon voyage so that we may welcome you back safely in the not too distant future.

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