I am feeling very happy. I woke up to the surprise discovery that my video had completed its upload to YouTube, 24 hours earlier than I had expected. The hostel is really quiet now so there is fewer people sharing the WIFI connection. This set up my day. After breakfast I got stuck into publishing the video, then sharing on a variety of places: Instagram, trip Facebook account, personal Facebook account, newsletter and website. I was halfway through doing this when I received an email from the guys downstairs at reception, telling me that my new bicycle seat had just been delivered. I excitedly raced down the stairs and tore open the package in delight, a worrisome burden disappearing from my shoulders in the process. There was every chance the package wouldn’t make it through the Central Asian mail system, but my positive thoughts paid off. After a journey from England and through Russia, the bike seat is now sitting in my hands. I laid it next to me while I finished my video tasks. It was 2pm when I was done and checked the time, expecting it to be around midday. I had some lunch, then fitted the bike seat. I decided to wait until it cooled down before giving it a test run, so after gazing at it lovingly for a moment and giving it a quick pat, I returned inside the hostel and edited a bunch of photos for my daily diary entries. At around 6.30pm, I took my bike for a spin, relishing the feel of the lush gel saddle. I shouldn’t get my hopes up before completing a long ride, but the seat certainly feels incredibly comfortable and it feels good to have removed my troublesome Brooks. Time will tell whether I have found myself a solution to my ongoing saddle sore issues. On my return home, I adjusted the seat a little bit. Tomorrow I will give it another test run when I return to the Turkmenistan Embassy. I was going to wait until Thursday but having had a successful day today has made me feel lucky enough to think that my visa might just be ready.

The last few days I have kept to myself a lot, working on my computer in a quiet upstairs corner and watching movies. Without my video to work on, and feeling much more relaxed now that I don’t have my bike seat to think about, I finally took more of an interest in the other people in the hostel, getting to know some fellow travellers. There is an eclectic bunch here at the moment. The infamous Spaniard riding a double-decker bike turned up and I enjoyed chatting to a German guy who plans on walking across India with a donkey pulling a small cart that will form his home. While there is still time for more people to arrive from a long car ride from Khorog, I am the only person in my dorm room at the moment. Hopefully it stays that way.

Seeing the light

Accommodation $ Hostel
Distance ridden today 0km
Total distance ridden 20,875km