Having had an amazing couple of nights with Shoxruh and his family, it was time to move on. I surfaced soon after the sun appeared and by the time I had my bike ready, breakfast was being served, consisting of leftover plov and stale bread, which we soaked in water to soften. Shoxruh walked me to the main road and sent me off with a packet of sunflower seeds and bottle of cold water. As I rode out of Qarshi, I ‘chatted’ to a local guy riding a bicycle that was loaded with fresh bread, obviously making its morning deliveries. As we parted ways, he gifted me with one of his non, still warm from the oven. When I got hungry, I stopped in at a little shop, where I bought some tomatoes and juice, much to the fascination of the kids, and even adults, around. Clearly it’s not really a hotspot for foreign tourists. There was a camel in the plot of land next door and when I went to take a photo of it, a guy wandered over and gestured that I could get on it if I wanted. I contemplated it for a moment before realising there was no way I could get myself onto it even if I wanted, and then thinking that I wouldn’t want to put the camel through such an ordeal anyway. I rode on happily, feeling fit and healthy despite the overbearing heat. At 70km I had a break next to a brick monument, which provided the only shade I’d seen in a while. I had to keep moving to keep up with the shadow as the sun tracked across the sky. As I dozed, I became increasingly concerned at the strength of the wind, which was growing in power every minute. I pushed my way through a harsh headwind for the rest of the day. One stretch of 10 km took me to the town of Mubarak, where I treated myself to a sprite and a coke, as well as enough water to get me through the night and into tomorrow. The next stretch of 10km took me to my current campsite. To find it I left the main road on a dirt track, which I followed for more than a kilometre before spotting some buildings. Something told me I should be a little wary and ensure I’m well-hidden for the night. I immediately turned around and backtracked a little before leaving the track and pushing my bike a couple of hundred metres into a patch of low scrub.
|Distance ridden today||97.81km|
|Average cycling speed||13.9kph|
|Total distance ridden||21,371km|