June 25, 2009 GMT
Uzbekistan

We collapsed over the border (harder to get out of Turkmenistan than it was to get into Uzbekistan) after a fairly interested customs official gave my bike a serious going over. The first town of any size is Nukus, and after asking the locals we found Hotel Nukus. It's the worst hotel I've stayed in thus far in my life and I advise giving it a wide berth. Unfortunately due to our various states of ill health we had to stay 3 nights. Things improved after the 2nd night when we managed to upgrade to an airconditioned room which didn't smell of crap quite so much.
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We hit the road again, despite not being fully fit. The day turned into a marathon when it became clear that the land between Nukus and Bukara is pretty inhospitable and although we'd hoped to camp and cover the distance in 2 days we would have to do it in one, over 350 miles of desert.
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We got into Bukara about 8:15pm with the light failing. Luckily we found the hotel district without too much trouble and piled into a likely looking hotel. The Amelia turns out to be a really nice boutique hotel with traditionally painted walls and modern standards of comfort. It couldn't be more different from Nukus, and I'd happily stay for many days and nights!
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Breakfast is excellent as well, fruit, pancakes, rice pudding, yohurt, potato donuts, biscuits, cheese, salami, plum jam and bread.
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They also let us ride the bikes down a narrow corridor and park them in the internal courtyard.
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Now for a couple of days of recouperation and exploring what Bukara has to offer. Bring it on.

Posted by David Newman at June 25, 2009 03:47 PM GMT
 
 

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