I wasn’t feeling quite right when I got moving this morning and I began to feel sick as the day went on. ‘Had I eaten something bad?’ I wondered. Things made sudden sense when I went to the toilet. Orange is one of my two favourite colours, but that doesn’t mean I like my piss being an alarming shade of it. I was suffering from dehydration and needed to find shade and cool water quickly. These two things proved hard to find. My woes worsened when a chaihana I knew was coming was closed. It would be another 45km before I came across another. Of course today had to be one of the hottest days I have had in Central Asia. And of course I had to have a headwind. I began to hate life as I battled the elements and worried about my health, but there was only one thing I could do: struggle on. Finally, when my hot drinking water had all but run out, I rounded a curve in the road and saw a roof. Saved. The roof belonged to a chaihana and a chaihana meant both shade and water. I immediately bought an ice cream and cold water before collapsing in a chair and beginning my recovery. After about fifteen minutes my mind had settled and I became self-conscious about my appearance. My shirt is falling apart, faded and extremely salt-stained and I knew my face fit a similar description. I found a sink where I could wash my face and freshen up a little, but I couldn’t really do anything about my tattered shirt. Keen for more relaxing and medicine, I ordered borscht, beer and more water. When these were settled in the bottom of my stomach, I bought another soup and more water. I stayed at the chaihana through the remainder of the afternoon.

At 5.45pm I began to make a move to leave and find somewhere to sleep. With a plan to drink a phenomenal amount of water and electrolytes overnight, I bought ten litres of the liquid gold and re-entered the heat. These days the mornings remain pleasantly cool for the first couple of hours after sunrise, but the heat doesn’t begin to dissipate until the sun goes down, so even though it was approaching 6pm, it was still warm enough to make me sweat heavily. After about ten kilometres I spied my driveway, leading away to from the main road to a set of low hills. I rode the track for a while before veering off, pushing my bike the last 300m to get over a hill and out of sight from the road. As luck would have it, I found a perfectly flat, bare patch of ground amongst the prickly vegetation that otherwise covers the area. As I set up my tent, a curious herd of horses approached as close as they dared. Having eaten at the chaihana, I didn’t feel very hungry so haven’t bothered with dinner, just eating a few snacks instead. The hot day has transitioned into a warm night, much warmer than previous ones. It’s not yet dark but I’m ready for bed nonetheless, knowing that if I am to feel up to riding tomorrow, my body needs a good rest and time to absorb all the water I’m putting into it.

Relax and recover

Accommodation Free-camp
Distance ridden today 87.92km
Average cycling speed 16.2kph
Total distance ridden 22,875km