Sunday, December 14, 2014

Entering Uzbekistan (10.09.2014 - 12.09.2014)

Sorry for the delay, here more of the last country we visited with our Corsa.

After the border post had finished it's lunchtime we were finally admitted inside. A short medical check (infrared temperature check, when it is almost 40°C outside...) and we were allowed to start with the usual procedure.
I didn't declare anything, which made them suspicious, hehe. They asked repeatedly for a phone, camera or cash which I denied to have :) In the end only Genti got a paper which had our car, his phone and some dollars declared on it. We pretended not having received any papers when we tried to leave the country, but more on this later.

Back in Turkmenistan we were running out of Manat so postponed to fill up on gasoline once across the border. Bad decision! As Uzbekistan has mostly natural gas, the government is pushing the people to cars which run on it. In the meantime the reduce the amount of gasoline on the market, especially outside of the capital (I guess the big political bosses still want to drive their shiny cars). So it came that all the gas stations selling gasoline where closed and locked down! By word of mouth me managed to find some black market dealer and bought a couple of water gallons full of gas, at 3423849 times we would have paid in Turkmenistan :(
This whole gasoline business tended to be quite time consuming and expensive. In the two weeks we only managed to find one open gas station, the rest of the time we had to buy fuel on the street. The last time they charged us more than 2$ the litre, the most expensive fuel in our entire trip...

The first stop in Uzbekistan was the old Silk Road™ city of Bukhara. After the last couple of countries it came to us as quite a shock to see so many tourists! Bus loads of elderly people with huge cameras where all over the place. On the upside this resulted in accommodations which deserve the term Hotel again, although pricy.

We strolled through the old town, took many pictures of the many Iwans and looked at the special style of minarets.
In the evening we stumbled upon a "biker bar" ;) Some beers later we knew everybody, including the two German dudes which were on their way home from China on cheap Chinese motorbikes, passing the time till their spare parts would catch up with them, lol.
Fun fact: Uzbekistan is halfway from Shanghai to Germany o_O

The following evening we ended up in the same bar and well after the official opening hours a whole bunch of police men showed up. They invited us to drink with them and insisted we take pictures. Most of them didn't speak any english which didn't hinder them starting multiple conversations at once ;)