I received a welcome surprise when I opened the front door of the hotel: I was greeted by the dull light of an overcast day. The clouds kept the heat at bay as I began what I hoped would be a big day on the bike. A big day it was. I rode for 43km before stopping for a break at a roadside bus stop, devouring a well-rounded lunch consisting of a tomato, cucumber and mayonnaise sandwich, oatmeal cookie, apple, nectarine, and dried fruit and nuts. Another 40km took me to another bus stop where I ate the same thing and then had a brief nap. I would complete another 60km before I called it a day, reaching the little town of Elabad, where I decided to register in a hotel rather than camp, to maximise my chances of not facing problems at the border for a lack of registration during my time in Uzbekistan.
Dinur Hotel is really nice and I have just enjoyed a delicious dinner of plov (yes, I don’t mind buying it – it’s cheap and filling) and a deliciously peppery salad, also treating myself to a draft beer. My legs are rebelling a little from being overworked and my bum is in a little pain too. Overall I think I can say that my new bike seat was a really good choice. My bum is wearing a little thin with minor blisters forming, but I think a few days off the bike would allow the skin to heal and toughen up enough that such problems won’t be ongoing.
I’m continuing to feel very happy about life. I think this is because of the simplicity of riding through Uzbekistan and the fact that it gives me plenty of time to think about life. With plenty of food in my panniers and the opportunity to sleep comfortably wherever I like, my mind is empty of worries and I can spend my time simply enjoying and appreciating where I am and what I’m doing.
|Distance ridden today||143.14km|
|Average cycling speed||20.8kph|
|Total distance ridden||22,168km|