20 May. Chimkent-Jizzakh. 350 kilos
We made to Uzbek border by lunch and spent three hours clearing ourselves through border checks. This is a very tedious process. Staff don’t speak English. If you do not know Russian or local language, it may be a very long time. Uzbekistan met us with dull landscape, but fairly good roads, broad ones with concrete dividers and rare vehicles.
Street's exchange money. Black rate is more favorable.
We drove into Jizaq at night. Found ourselves a place to sleep and decided to go eat something. Somebody advised to visit Café Nafisa. There we tried to real Jizaq samsa. Spiced meat rolled into pastry and baked in special clay ovens. I heard about it back in Almaty. Its size is the first thing that makes it famous. Half an A-4 sheet size. Needless to try to describe its taste – I got no words to try, just saline. Adri bit one and saw the fat and said they did not eat fat back in Holland, for it was harmful and he was one of those who did not eat fat either. When he finished his first one, he did not say anything more about fat – he just ate it all. He had his mouth and palms burning but he ate it all. Each of us had three and we wanted some more but could not))
21 May. Jizaq – Samarkand – Pejikent (Tajikistan) 170 kilos
We got Tajikistan waiting for us today. We woke up early and took off.
On the roads of Uzbekistan
Mountain pass before Samarkant. Three-car high altitude passenger train.
Road to Samarkand. Local sight – the Timur’s Gate, vandalism and may be graffiti.
Route ran though Samrakand for I wanted Adri to see its sights
Samarkand. Gur-Emir Mausoleum in the backgrounds.
We chose not to linger in Samarkand cause we wanted to make it to Tajikistan as soon as possible. We passed Uzbek checkpoint easily, people there did their jobs like robots – without a single word.
But I liked the Tajik post more. Its commander first treated us t some tea in his office and only then did they check our credentials. They helped us to promptly complete documents and wished us good luck.
Penjikent was nearby – just some 10 kilos away from border. Drastic change in landscape. Uzbek flatlands got changed by mountains who appeared suddenly.
Penjikent Town Gate
That day, the starts brought together under the roof of our guest house three Adri’s fellow countrymen on a 4WD, one Infantry German and an Indian. In the evening, we had a party. We treated all of the, to Vodka and had fun communicating. Interesting momentums from any trip – you get to meet people from other countries and tomorrow we all will bide our last Byes and we all are same people, moving towards some place just to see something new.
In Penjikent’s guesthouse.