Day 66, 7th June, Samarkand

Went back to the Ark in the morning but got a mild attack of the pewks, probably due to heat exhaustion and dehydration the previous day. So we set off for Samarkand along a boring road where an endless succession of villages merge into each other. By taking mineral water in short sips, seemed to have solved the pewk problem but felt very tired, so we stopped on the hard shoulder of a very busy road. Not a good idea, but three hours sleep left me feeling like a box of birds. Then the inevitable: a powerful torch shone into the van and a knock on the door. Three plain-clothes men in an unmarked car. “We are militia, you cannot sleep here, it is dangerous. Please follow us to the blockpost”. Did so, feeling bit apprehensive, although they seemed friendly enough. They wanted to know where I had obtained the car. Birmingham. Where? They were amazed we had driven from England all the way to Uzbekistan. They told us to drive to a lorry park on the edge of Samarkand then get a hotel the next morning, and said goodbye with hearty handshakes and salom aleikom’s all round. Found a lorry park and spent the night, got a breakfast and got a wash for the van all for £6.

Mausoleum opposite Ark
Mausoleum entrance
Kalon mosque and minaret from the top of the Ark
Friendly guard at the lorry park

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