Posts Tagged ‘Qashi’


I’m on the cycle road to Dushanbe. I hear word of other cyclists that have passed. People are not surprised by my destination. Cycle in the morning. Sleep after lunch. Cold shower and then on into the evening. Cycling in the central Asian heat.

Midday rest

Midday rest

Today I was given a screw. A kind gentleman helped me out at the garage when I discovered a screw had come loose and fallen off making my front pannier wave around. Today I was given a piece of watermelon. And today I was given lots of encouragement toots.

Watermelon

Watermelon

And I am happy. I’ve left the endless hot, flat plains. I’ve climbed into the hills. It doesn’t feel so stiflingly hot and the scenery is nicer. Bring on the Pamir Mountains!

Up from the plains

Up from the plains


Campsite

Campsite


Burnt and frazzled, I sit in my hotel in Qashi which is registered to host foreigners. Note to self: sun-screen bought in Uzbekistan does not work. Second note to self: allow 2 hours to find a hotel able to host foreigners. Officially I need to stay and register in a hotel every night. Tomorrow night I am camping.

That golden smile

That golden smile

Central Asia is heating up. After noon it is like a furnace, and any self-respecting cyclist is having a siesta – or trying to – lying on a carpet sofa being offered vodka, and discussing German football.

A 3-hour lunch-time break was opted for when I noticed my arms were bright red. My newly bought sunscreen seemed to have no effect – certainly not the SPF60 claimed on the tube. I told the people with the vodka of this – Uzekistan sunscreen no good. Shocked and insulted they investigated the tube – it’s made it India. Not Uzbekistan. Relief.

I was told that when in a big city I need to stay in a hotel and register (as there is a hotel, and there is no excuse not to use it). After Qashi, hotels are a bit thin on the ground, so I can camp and have a good excuse at the border. Well, try to find the hotel in Qashi. A first random cycle around resulted in nothing. Asking someone for a hotel meant that I sat in his office while he phoned some people to find out. I then was taken to a hotel – one which is not allowed to house foreigners. They took me to a second – which is also not allowed to house foreigners. I am staying at the third. I’m looking forward to my tent tomorrow. No hassle.