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