TO TURKMEN?STAN BORDER

 

20/07/12 - On the road at 0800, altitude 240. Go to markets for breakfast and bought local air horn for 12K som. These are very loud and don't require constant refilling like my existing horn. 1045 peddle out of Bukhara. Flat, bumpy & sticky bitumen. Villages every 15km or so. 47km mark - store. 50km mark setup camp in locals garage at village of Jondor. Cook, relocate horn to better position on handlebars, fit fresh gaffa tape to bars. Wander around village. Given tomatoes and cucumber by local from veggie garden. Bed 2130.

 

21/07/12 - On the road 0730, alt 210, 23km mark, 0830 - big bazaar, no food. 26km mark, 0900 - Karakol, breakfast. 45km mark Alat. 50km mark, 1030 turnoff for farmhouse, hot and dry, alt 185. Very close to border now, but can't get in till 24th, so decided to have rest day here and try my luck at entering a day early (i red reports of cyclists comi?ng the other way who were let in a day early on the internet) Relax ?n shade, found water source, setup camp, wash clothes, make salad. 1400 snooze, bored, filter water. Owner turned up and was happy for me to camp under some trees on his property where i had setup. We went to neighbours place for some hearty soup and tea for dinner.

 

22/07/12 - Rest Day on farm. Owner is a young bloke. Just has some sheep and goats which he leads out to pasture early in the morning and brings them back in before sundown. Did sweet fa. Helped herd goats and sheep, collected firewood. Visited neighbours place again for dinner (same as yesterday)

 

23/07/12 - On the road 0815, alt 185, 0900 flat, smooth bitumen, side/tail winds. 12km Farab, eat breakfast at restaraunt. This is the border, 2 passport checkpoints, 3rd fill out customs form. They didn't check bags or hotel registration slips (in theory you're supposed to register with OViR within 3 days of entering Uzbekistan, staying at a hotel is automatic registration. You also need to register if you stay in one place for more than a day. i figured this was a load of crap , so camped my way through and was going to make up an excuse if they asked me - i also prepared a bogus list of places i camped at to show the officers if need be. i got my one and only hotel registration slip at Bukhara, i also filled my passport with bits of paper that looked like registration slips, i guess i fooled them) 4th checkpoint was Uzbek exit stamp. 5th another passport checkpoint. A small river and bridge is no mans land. Turmenistan passport checkpoints, at 2nd was turned around by nazi (they didn't like the fact i was trying to get in a day early - no harm in tryiing i thought) Cycled back to bridge, they didn't want me camping on the bridge so i was directed back to the Uzbek side to camp next to a group of new trucks parked on the side of the road. 1100 setup camp in shade of trucks on dust. There's a well on the Turkmen side with nice cold water (the guards let me fetch water) had a good shower and filtered water into thermos' to keep cool when my supply of cool coke ran out at 1500.  Cued the music and snoozed. Borders closed at 1930, reopen tomorrow 0830.

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