Monthly Archives: October 2014

Azerbaijan

After picking up the car at the docks we were given 3 days to exit Azerbaijan if we were to pass as a temporary import. Talk about temporary, we were never told this when we applied for our 30 day visa but anyway.
Baku seemed like an interesting city so we decided to spend a day looking around. We knew nothing about it and were caught by surprise by the size and abundance of money here. The architecture is really interesting in Baku, some very modern buildings being built, people call it the Dubai of Central Asia. We decided to head outa town first to the burning mountain. Just on the outskirts of town is a place of some holy significance that has been noted in history going back to the 5th century. Basically natural gas leaks from the mountain side it ignited centuries ago and has been burning ever since. It was almost impossible for me to get up the mountain but we saw it from a distance and were satisfied.

old meets new

old meets new

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Khiva & crossing the Caspian Sea

We stayed in the inner city within the 17th century walls (Itchan Kala)

We stayed in the inner city within the 17th century walls (Itchan Kala)

We rocked up to Khiva in the early evening – Tim and Nic had booked us a downstairs room at the hotel they had been staying at in the old town.
We all went out for some local Uzbek food which turned out to be similar to the rest of Central Asia but better. Instead of old fatty mutton they had beef, and there was a great dish involving stuffed peppers and roasted veg. We took a few quick pics of the Old Town by night en route home.
The next day we tagged along on a pre-booked tour with Tim, Nic and two Israeli dudes. The Israeli’s seem to love touring the Central Asia area – we have seen quite a few of them. Continue reading

Categories: Kazakhstan, uzbekistan | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Samarkand – Bukhara, Uzbekistan

At the height of our uncertainty in Tashkent with health issues, trouble finding parts for the car and registration problems we were almost going to head for the nearest border and give up on Uzbekistan. We heard from many travellers that Uzbekistan was their favourite Central Asian country and that you could really get the whole silk road experience here. Because we mucked around for so long with visas and at the border we thought we should make the most of it. Our main concern was registration, because we had been unregistered in Tashkent for so long it was unlikely that we could get any kind of accommodation for the rest of our journey. Hotels always check your previous registration before taking you in.

A cool series of sculptures on the outskirts of Samarkand. Homage to the silk road trade.

A cool series of sculptures on the outskirts of Samarkand. Homage to the silk road trade.

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Tashkent, Uzbekistan

We never planned on spending long in Tashkent, particularly because there’s not a lot to see here compared to other places in Uzbekistan. However things don’t always go as planned, especially on a trip like this. We ended up spending more time in Tashkent than we have in any other single place. Luckily we were well looked after.
Some time was put aside for my kazak visa, we read it would take about 4 days. It was a Friday when we arrived, due to the border guards taking their sweet arse time we got into Tashkent late in the arvo. Thus were unable to apply for the visa until Monday. We managed to get a hotel for the two crews at the grand orzu but it was $75 a night. Expensive. We were happy to call it a night as it was late and we had been searching all over town, everything was full due numerous exhibitions.
That night I was hit by a major case of tap arse. It’s bad enough to get the shits when traveling but being in a wheelchair creates even more of a nightmare.

slight typo but not so appetising restaurant name.

slight typo but not so appetizing restaurant name.

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End of the Pamirs – Dushanbe to Tashkent

Market shopping - heaps cheap

Market shopping – heaps cheap

Dushanbe was not going to be a place of exploration for us. We had booked an apartment for two days and the plan was to re-stock, get sorted and move on to Uzbekistan. It turns out that we ended up staying for just under a week. Continue reading

Categories: Tajikistan | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

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