Day 40 - 31st of May - miles? (Uzbekistan, Andijan) Get to the border! Get to the border! That was the only thing in my mind! I could not wait to get into Kyrgyzstan by then! The weather was very cloudy, but dry so far. We set off early, but it was very slow going all morning due to endless road works and constant police and military checkpoints. The region is apparently a hotbed for fundamentalists and there have been bombing and stuff.... And you can google Andijan 2005 for details on the Andijan Massacre.... So it was a very sensitive area for the government. On the plus side we crossed a beautiful mountain range. By lunchtime, in the outskirts of Qoqon we stopped for some food and drinks. It was now sunny and very hot again. We got talking to teenage boys about studies and universities in the UK. They were very curious about us. Since the last mountain, Alistair's bike, which had been doing a funny engine noise for some thousands of miles, since it ran out of oil, 3000 miles back, in Turkey, was getting louder. We set of nonetheless. Get to the Border!!! That was our mantra that day! About an hour later, in the middle of nowhere, the noise became much worse.... The engine sounded like it was going to seize. Something was badly wrong and we had to stop. It was obvious we could not carry on. Alistair turned to me and asked: "What are we going to do? " there was nothing and no one around for miles and miles..... With a broken down motorbike, in the middle of nowhere, we did not have many options. "Let's stop a truck" I said. And I positioned myself by the side of the road. A couple of trucks came through after a while, but did not stop. People in cars just stared at us. There are virtually no motorbikes in Uzbekistan. Then, after a while, an old Lada, with a policeman at the back, stopped. With my little Russian and a lot of gesturing, I managed to explain the situation. The Cop took charge of the operation. Within minutes, a massive truck, those that transport up to 7 or 8 cars or vans, was approaching, with the trailer empty. The cop made sign for the truck to stop. The beauty of a police state is that there are cops everywhere and people do what the cops say! So the truck stopped. The driver and a passenger came out, and in few minutes, both bikes were loaded on the back! There is a big General Motors assembly factory in Andijan, so the truck was going there. Andijan was the nearest big town (still a good 100 miles from where we were) but close to the border with Kyrgysztan ( about 40 miles). We stopped on the way, to wash the truck, in my opinion more so that the driver would have a nice rest, tea , and catch up with his truckers mates! We were offered tea and took some pictures. Then by late afternoon, the truck left us near the airport, as it was too massive to get into town. We pushed the bike in the shade. I asked some cops (they are everywhere) where was the nearest hotel. Alistair took my bike to ride and check it out. After a while he came back on foot. We then walked to the hotel, with Alistair pushing his bike for a couple of miles. The place was a dirty dump, in the edge of town, but we did not have any choice. It was 7 pm by then. The hotel did not have wifi and the nearest internet cafe was quite far. We took a taxi, and once online, I made some enquiries on the HorizonsUnlimited forums. I had also the details of a Swiss guy called Patrick, who runs a motorbike tours company, from Osh (in Kyrgysztan), called muztoo.com, just on the other side of the border! So I knew there would be a competent motorcycle mechanic in Osh. We just needed to Get To The Border! I sent an email to Patrick. By then it was fairly late, we were tired and we went to sleep.