I woke up uninterested in riding, so I started thinking about finding a hotel and having a day off the bike. I didn’t hesitate, then, to accept Shoxruh’s invitation to stay at his place for another night. I joined Shoxruh, his brother and his offsider (aarrgghh I’m so bad with names…) for a day out in the city. We dropped off Shoxruh’s daughter at gym class before going for a walk that took us to a super-packed, maze-like market area, where Shoxruh insisted on buying me an Uzbek/Russian phrasebook. Keen for some space, we then travelled across the city to visit a beautiful mosque. I then joined Shoxruh at his worksite, a half-built mansion. Shoxruh got to work while I retired to the ‘chill-out-deck’ (I really need to find out what they are called). What could have been a boring time turned into bliss as I dozed through the hot day, only moving to accept a delicious noodle and vegetable soup. In the late afternoon we headed into the city again, this time to an outdoor green market, where we stocked up on vegetable supplies that I was told would be used for an extravagant plov in my honour. These went home with Shoxruh’s offsider (who lives just around the corner) while Shoxruh and I continued adventuring. We visited a restaurant for a quick meal and beer before catching a minibus to Kashkadarya Bridge. A swan-shaped pedal-powered boat then became our ride as we had a quick cruise on the river. Not done for the day yet, our next destination was a computer gaming centre, where we were joined by another one of Shozruh’s siblings and his friends. I’m not really into computer games but it was still fun to spend a bit of time killing each other (or being killed in my case) in a game that resembled Goldeneye (one of the few games I remember playing as a kid). Eventually, it was time to get home. I chilled out with the family on the C.O.D. for a while, and was serenaded by Shoxruh’s daughter, who wanted to sing me a song. Then out came the plov, served on three large plates that were shared amongst all of us (2-3 people to a plate). Melon and grapes cut from an overhead vine was offered for dessert. Full of wonderful food, we all sat back and relaxed into the night.

Hanging out with Shoxruh

Accommodation Home of a local family
Distance ridden today 0km
Total distance ridden 21,273km