Saturday, December 27, 2014

Remaining days in Khiva and then flying home (15.09.2014 - 20.09.2014)

After our visit to the former shoreline of the Aral Sea we drove back south to Khiva. Another city with a rich heritage on the Silk Road.

Here our main goal was to get rid of our car. So far it has been totally reliable and with no problems what so ever. Except the fact that I bumped the exhaust while reversing out of the Aral seabed and it now sounded like a racing car ^^.
Asking around we soon found different people interested in our vehicle. Especially its low price (free!) but also its low mileage on the odometer made it attractive. But alas, after a couple of days we still had no fix offer. The problem it seemed was the muddled and unknown laws regarding import of a car. Besides pushing natural gas over gasoline the government also tries to protect its local car factories. We heard all kind of stories, percentages of taxes and so forth. Arguing that 100% import tax on a car which costs 1$ would be no problem didn't count ;)
The locals told us that they don't have access to the laws, especially out here so far from the capital. Travellers told us to drive it to Kirgistan and sell it there for profit. But besides having no time for that we also had only a single entry visa for Uzbekistan and didn't wanted to risk loosing our flights home.
In the end a "businessman" with the right connections took it. All we had to do was go to the lawyer which set up a contract. It took them quite a while but we ended up with a fancy contract (in Uzbek and cyrillic letters ^^) in the end. We had to pay the lawyer but didn't made a fuss for the 4$ ;)

After the official business was done we snapped some pictures of the Iwans and so forth ;) Of course there where again the groups of elderly people and we even saw an overland bus tour. But wheres the fun in going in a gigantic truck all the way to China?!
I insisted we took a ride in the rusty ferris wheel outside of the old town. It looked exactly the same as the one you see in pictures of Chernobyl. There was probably only one model during soviet times ;). The owner didn't let us ride in the same cabin, makes the whole thing even more trusting, lol.

Late in the evening we headed to the local airport and boarded our Russian built propeller plane to the capital. It had seats which would fold forward, awesome feature to stretch your legs (as long there is nobody in front of you ^^).

In Tashkent we had to fill out a piece of paper like the one during entry. Genti decided to go along that he never got one as well. The security guard was friendly and didn't made a fuss. He said we had to fill up a new one for the entry as he couldn't let us leave with any money otherwise. This was it! Nobody asked for our car =/ And we had spent so much time getting rid of it legally... Almost a bit disappointing.

After the paperwork was done a police men approached me and I had to open up my big bag. The police had found something suspicious (keeping in mind that the airport security had already scanned my bag on entry into the building). It turned out to be my gasoline stove and all was fine.
Later when we headed to the departure gate there was another passport inspection and a military dude told me to follow him. They had scanned my bag and found something suspicious! Really!?! So I had to open my bag again and show them my camping gear for which they went nuts. They wanted to see how my gasoline stove works... I tried to explain them that isn't possible at the moment o_O But everything was fine and I could pack may stuff again.

That was it! A bit later we boarded our plane, had a stop over in Riga and arrived at home with no delay!

Genti is already talking about buying an old Mercedes and driving to South Africa, lol.