For the last week we have been riding across the desert of Turkmenistan. This country is 86% desert! It has been really hot, and not all that interesting. I have a few photos, but this internet cafe won’t let me plug anything into the computer to upload them, so you’ll have to wait!
When I find a place that will let me share the photos, I’ll tell you more about this country.
We have been in Uzbekistan for about two weeks. We had two rest days in Samarkand, a beautiful ancient city. I spent most of my time there sleeping and eating, but I did see the Registan, a square surrounded by three Madrasahs.
We are now in Bukhara, another ancient city. It is so hot here that I haven’t gone to see any of the historical buildings, but the entire area that we are in is pretty beautiful.
In two days we’ll be crossing into Turkmenistan for just over a week before we go to Iran.
A couple of weeks ago, somewhere between Kulyab and Dushanbe, Tajikistan, we had a talent show.
It included track-side coverage of a horse race featuring the riders as horses. The Australians in our group sang a song about Vegemite, and we even got to try some! It wasn’t as gross as I was expecting.
We have done a lot in the last two weeks – too much to describe here in detail. So here is a summary, with photos!
We rode from Kashgar across the border into Kyrgyzstan.
We rode for four days through beautiful green fields surrounded by mountains, before moving on to Tajikistan.
In Tajikistan, we crossed several high mountain passes, including the highest point of our tour at over 4,600m.
Then we descended to Khorog, where we camped outside of a nice hotel, and celebrated the birthday of our Tour Leader, Sharita.
For the next nine days we biked along the Pamir Highway, following the Panj River which is also the Afghanistan/Tajikistan border. We now have another two days of riding to get to Dushanbe, and we are over half way through the entire tour!
Tomorrow morning we’re riding West from Kashgar towards our first border crossing, into Kyrgyzstan. We have been told that there will most likely not be any phone or internet service for the next three weeks. So don’t expect any updates!
We made it to Turpan! The region is known for its grapes and wine, and the street our hotel is on is covered in grape vines.
It has been very hot the last few days, although they keep telling us that Turkmenistan will be much hotter. Turpan is in a giant hole in the earth, going down to about 200m below sea level. For us it means that the next few days we will be riding uphill! Also, I saw two camels on the side of the road.