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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Colebatch, Jan 26, 2010.
We left town and continued heading south east, stopping at a Chaikhana for a meal of shashlik and some rather strong Uzbek beer
Awww, yeahhh another Colebatch thread. Keep it coming.
Not all Uzbeks can afford their own motor vehicle.
Some just walk:
We pulled into the town of Shakhrisabz ... the hometown of Tamerlane, another steppe warrior. Tamerlane liked to claim descent from Genghis Khan, but no-one today believes it. It was all part of ruse to get his troops to have more faith in him and his destiny. (Note: Genghis Khan never claimed descent from anyone to justify his destiny ... Genghis Khan knew he WAS destiny)
Tamerlane conquered Iran and all of Central Asia, but unlike Genghis Khan or the Huns (Xiong Nu) never threatened Europe or China. So that puts him a fair way down the list of "Great Men from the Steppe Lands".
There is supposedly a tomb of his or something to do with him in Shakhrisabz that the Russians I was riding with were keen to see, so I tagged along with them ... but we got stuck in a market.
But there is always lots of interesting stuff to see in markets:
The Tomb is here somewhere ...
Glowing with its mystical power:
After Shakhrisabz, Andrei and I rode north towards Samarkand. To get there we had an unusual barrier ... for the first time in thousands of kilometres in Central Asia, there were mountains. Just south of Samarkand is the far western end of the mighty Tien Shan range, a range that starts in China, has peaks above 7000 metres (22,000 feet) and is an almost unbroken line running for almost 3000 km (1800 miles).
We head up into the first hills I had seen in weeks:
Here, at the far western end, the Tien Shan is tame. Peaks in the Samarkand area are only about 2500 metres (8000 feet), and the pass was at 1780 metres (5500 feet).
In the cool air of the mountains we decided to stop for lunch at a chaikhana.
Taste is something I find hard to put into words, but in Uzbekistan, the food is sensational. The lamb shashlik, the bread, the tomatoes and even the tea is all just unbelievably good.
Awesome pics. A very colorful nation ..... buildings, clothes, food.
Beautiful images. Thanks for posting.
I was, after all, only about 2 hours from Northern Afghanistan at this point:
between Shakhrisabz and Samarkand:
Once over the pass, we took a detour to the town of Urgut, and headed back towards the mountains:
And came to a small mountain village high in the hills: