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On the road . May 2007 . Iran, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan

map route Iran, Turkmenistan and uzbekistan

Globax Internet, Bukhara, Uzbekistan 22-05-07
From 1 holy city to the next, via the wild, wild west
Tehran to Bukhara
(11 cycle days; 4 rest days; 1 train trip; 844km; 1744m)

Tehran Mashhad (by train)
Mashhad to near Mazdaran (78km; 187m)
Mazdaran to near Gonbad Lee (86km; 510m)
Gonbad Lee - Iran to km 57 in Turkmenistan (88km; 81m)
Kilometer 57 in Turkmenistan to road to Mary (88km; 133m)
road to Mary to Mary (93km; 73m)
Mary to near Zahmet (94km; 157m)
Zahmet to Repetek (103km; 314m)
Repetek to near Farab (89km; 146m)
Farab to Sayot (Uzbekistan) (76km; 108m)
Sayot to Bukhara (49km; 35m)

Whiling the time away
We have a few days to kill and the nagging thought that our Sony Cybershot is going to produce big black blobs in the middle of our Central Asian landscape photos gets the better of us and we decide to purchase a new camera. We initially had our heart set on the Olympus E400 but the digital SLR choice in Tehran is either Canon or Canon...

read on
pristine money Tip of the month: Only pristine paper bills
In Central Asia, it is important that your American dollar and European euro bills are in pristine condition. No unusual ink marks, pen scrawlings or small tears. Sticky taped currency is out of the question. Banks and exchange bureaus will simply refuse point blank to accept them. On one occasion we tried to convert a $US20 note into Usbek Sums which had a tiny biro dot on its corner. It was otherwise immaculate, but still it was immediately rejected. The bank clerk eventually gave in after much pleading: reluctantly though and at a much lower exchange rate.

Also be aware that they'll have no problems dishing the shabbiest local currency back at you; often on purpose, as no-one wants them. But the fault-finding can work both ways of course and you have every right to refuse sub-standard bank notes from anyone. Although they may make a fuss, persist. You'll get what you want in the long run.


Tehran (Iran) - Samarqand (Uzbekistan)
1100 kilometers and 510 meters
Riding days: 13
Alti meters: 2801 metres
Weather: generally hot! loads of (head)wind
Best accommodation: Bahodir B&B in Samarqand for the friendly and relaxed atmosphere.

Special thanks to:
Our friends Simon & Pierre-Yves for their present & presence again in Tehran • Niall for the hard to find coffee and great friendship • Saba Docharkh bike shop in Tehran for their impeccable service and unbelieveable prices • Islamic Relations Office & Foreign Pilgrim's Affairs for the copy of the promo vcd • The two truckies who gave us a lift into Samarqand • Alexandre for meeting up agin in Samarqand • Stephan for the enthousiastic cycle touring chats at Bahodir B&B • Trish & Paddy for the little bottle of desperately sought after tea tree oil and of course all the travel-wise tips for Pakistan and IndiaAll the other guests at Bahodir B&B that made the stay there really relaxed and cosy

03: new crank set, cassette and chain (Ali)
03: spoke (Ali)
03: new chain fitted (Son)
03: replaced broken toe-clip (Ali)
04: replaced back tyre (Son) + repaired flat (Son)
17: burst tube (Son), replaced tyre
21: flat tyre (Son)
25: flat (Son)
26: three flats (Son)
28: replaced tube and tyre (Son)

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