August 28th 2011: Turkmenabad, Turkmenistan – Bukhara, Uzbekistan

Driven distance on August 28th 2011: 160km (100 miles)

Driven distance total: 11’200km (6960 miles)

Today was again one of the exciting and adventurous days. We crossed the border from Turkmenistan to Uzbekistan. Our stay in Turkmenistan was very short, but we had only a 5-day transit visa. Approximately 10 stations and almost 3 hours later we arrived Uzbekistan. This time without any costs! We crossed the border together with two persons from Denmark and England (Jerry und Hilina) which we met already at the border crossing Iran – Turkmenistan. The two are driving an older ambulance, originally from Germany, to Tajikistan. It was donated to Tajikistan. We have seen on the way many old ambulances that are mainly donated to Mongolia.

Shortly after crossing the border we made a pleasant picnic along the road together with the 2 very nice people with the ambulance.

Arriving in Bukhara we found for once relatively fast a nice hotel in the center for 40$, and it even has internetJ. Bukhara seems to be touristy, it is one of the very nice old cities from the historic silk road.


August 29th 2011: Bukhara, Uzbekistan

Driven distance on August 29th 2011: 0km (0 miles)

Driven distance total: 11’200km (6960 miles)

The entire day we went either sightseeing or we were in an Internet café. We finally found a place were we could connect our own laptop. The city is simply fantastic! On top of that, there are finally nice temperatures, what do we want more? The buildings and structures of the old city are simply astonishing.


August 30th 2011: Bukhara, Uzbekistan

Driven distance on August 30th 2011: 0km (0 miles)

Driven distance total: 11’200km (6960 miles)

Today we discovered by coincident a small park with “rollercoasters” for children full of Uzbeks with their children. It was really funny to see. The rides were not really in “safety first” condition, but what does it matter anywaysJ. After some smaller sights we went with Jerry and Helene (ambulance drivers) to their Guesthouse and had dinner and beers with other travellers. Nice evening J


August 31st 2011: Bukhara, Uzbekistan

Driven distance on August 31st 2011: 0km (0 miles)

Driven distance total: 11’200km (6960 miles)

Actually we intended to continue our journey today, but finally we are staying one more night. I took finally the time today to run after 2 other visas I need to organize. I have to get one visa for Turkmenistan and one for Iran, I really hope it will work out!

Also a reason for us to stay one more night is, that tonight there are some festivities in the city, since tomorrow Uzbekistan celebrates 20 years of independence from Russia.

Finally we did not find any party, but we met some people from the day before and drank some beers together.


September 1st 2011: Bukhara – Yangikazgan, Uzbekistan

Driven distance on September 1st 2011: 320km (200 miles)

Driven distance total: 11’520km (7160 miles)

We continued north from Bukhara. Without any precise description we were looking for some yurts, but we had no chance of finding them ourselves. In one of the small villages we had luck and met by coincidence the boss of the yurts. He showed us the way to the yurts and we had to follow his old jeep through the sand tracks with 60 – 70km/h (40mph)!! Approx. one hour later there was a small travel group from France coming. It was a really nice evening and I even could practice my EnglishJ. And not to forget was also the short ride on a camel at the yurts.


September 2nd 2011: Yangikazgan – Uchkuduk, Uzbekistan

Driven distance on September 2nd 2011: 340km (210 miles)

Driven distance total: 11’860km (7370 miles)

In the morning we continued our journey after the breakfast with the nice French people. There is to say that by now we are used to have every day 4 times contact with the police. There are several checkpoints along the road where we get registred every time. So far we didn’t have to bribe somebody, and they were always nice. Sometimes they are almost more interested in how many cylinders my car has then in the registration itselfJ.

On the way we made a short stop at a yurt. We got then invited directly for lunch, how nice. There was on a big plate some noodles, onions, potatoes and a head of a goat or a sheep, mmm goooood..;).The meat was not really good. It contained little meat, but there was a lot of fat and chewy stuff. But so what, down with it. The one guy ate at the end the eyes of the animal. At the end of the visit, one of the guys asked me if he can drive around with the Landrover. He had a big smile on his face J.

Since the route was too far to our next destination, we stopped at a city called …… At the entrance of the city was again police at the checkpoint. This time there were another 8 persons there. It took 30 minutes until we could continue driving. All of them were very friendly and we got even invited by the police for tea J

We found afterwards a good hotel and a good restaurant with some different tasting food!


September 3rd 2011: Uchkuduk – Nukus, Uzbekistan

Driven distance on September 3rd 2011: 390km (240 miles)

Driven distance total: 12’250km (7610 miles)

First we needed 30 minutes to leave the hotel. First, the ladies from the hotel wanted to see pictures from Switzerland, and then they wanted to take some pictures from us with them togetherJ. Well in this city there aren’t too many tourists, since most of them choose different routes in Uzbekistan. We drove today approx. 400km (250 miles), most of them in the desert. The roads were most of the time completely empty. The condition of the roads was absolutely miserable. I have seen many roads in my life, but this today was really something special. Often we had to drive in walking speed and had to search the best way over the completely ripped off roads. The Landrover of course managed it just perfectlyJ. In the evening we found a good hotel with good food and Internet.


September 4th 2011: Nukus - Moynak, Uzbekistan

Driven distance on September 3rd 2011: 210km (130 miles)

Driven distance total: 12’460km (7740 miles)

The city Moynak, which we visited today, had at one time twice as many people and was a pleasant fishing village at the Aral Lake. Thanks to the Russians, which built canals to the lake in the 60ies, the shore line has now moved 180km (110 miles) away from Moynak. Now it is a sad town! The only hotel left is in absolutely miserable condition! The small piece left of the Aral Lake is completely dead. In Moynak we went to see the graveyard of the ships and a monument of the Lake. The Ship graveyard contained about 10 rusty old ships in the sand.

Now to the next story in Moynak. We had the glorious idea to drive to the boats into the light sand. We do actually have a Landrover!! And of course we managed to get stuck in the soft sand. (the somewhat shameful details of the story can only be received personally J ;-) )! At least we made it ourselves out of the sand. We needed all supporting systems! Differential locks, Sandbleche, deflation of the tires, many bushes underneath the tires and of course a shovel, to shovel away sand like crazy! After one Hour and 15 Minutes our Landrover had hard underground again! We learned a lot when it comes to driving out of sand. And also we could test a few things on the car like the differential lock, the Sandbleche and the built in compressor to inflate the tires again.

Afterwards we had a few beers on this event!


September 5th 2011: Moynak – Nukus, Uzbekistan

Driven distance on September 5th 2011: 220km (140 miles)

Driven distance total: 12’680km (7880 miles)

Returning back to Nukus, into the same great hotel we were the night before. We arrived already around noon. The entire afternoon we didn’t do too much.


September 6th 2011: Nukus – Khiva, Uzbekistan

Driven distance on September 6th 2011: 220km (140 miles)

Driven distance total: 12’900km (8020 miles)

The trip continued to Khiva, another antique city of the silk road. The road was fortunately quite good. In Nukus we stopped quickly to get some new engine oil for the Landrover. “Landy” was happy about itJ. One hour working costs 8$, and this in a big official Chevrolet Shop (small GM cars). There were always between 6 and 8 persons around the car, since most of them never have seen a car like this! It was funnyJ.

Then in Khiva we have found a nice B&B in the middle of the town for 25$ for both!


September 7th 2011: Khiva, Uzbekistan

Driven distance on September 7th 2011: 0km (0 miles)

Driven distance total: 12’900km (8020 miles)

Khiva is similar to Bukhara, a little bit smaller but anyways very scenic. The antique buildings, the museums as well as the city wall are really something special. The entire day we visited those sights and museums.


September 8th 2011: Khiva, Uzbekistan

Driven distance on September 8th 2011: 0km (0 miles)

Driven distance total: 12’900km (8020 miles)

Today was again one of those days where we didn’t do too much, only some minor sightseeing and Internet.


September 9th 2011: Khiva – Miskin, Uzbekistan

Driven distance on September 9th 2011: 280km (170 miles)

Driven distance total: 13’180km (8190 miles)

We went north-east of Khiva to check out some fortresses. In this region, there are several fortresses that are close to 2000 years old. To our surprise we could find the first fortress without any problems, even with bad maps for this region. Although the fortress was quite a ruin, it was really special to see this fortress in the desert. Just aside of the fortress were some yurts for tourists, and we could get some lunch. In the afternoon we visited two other fortresses. We have also seen some cotton fields, were people were working. At one place a convoy of more then 20 buses was crossing us, filled with students that have to help in the fields. In the evening we started already a little bit in direction Bukhara, since the street is suppose to be very bad! Luckily we found something like a rest area with a restaurant, but really only “something” like a rest areaJ!! But we felt welcome and we could sleep in the car safely hidden away from the main road. We even got something good to eat. On the other side, the toilet was something else, even compared to IndiaJ..    


September 10th 2011: Miskin – Bukhara, Uzbekistan

Driven distance on September 10th 2011: 350km (220 miles)

Driven distance total: 13’530km (8410 miles)

In the morning we received some eggs and tea, then let’s go towards Bukhara. The road was, like people mentioned this before, like hell. At the moment they are building a new road and at a lot of places there is one construction sight after the next. Many times we had to drive for several kilometers with 10 – 20km/h (10 mph) Finally after 7 hours we arrived somewhat exhausted in Bukhara. Since we are for the second time in Bukhara we already know the places to eat etc..


September 11th 2011: Bukhara, Uzbekistan

Driven distance on September 11th 2011: 0km (0 miles)

Driven distance total: 13’530km (8410 miles)

Now I had a real working day! For hours and hours I was sitting at the PC. Writing reports (like this one), organizing the visa for Iran etc.. Besides the Internet connection I required a printer to print out the application form and a scanner to get the filled out application back into an e-mail. Since I was betting at an auction web page (like eBay) on a lens for my camera, and the auction finished at midnight, I had to go back to the Internet place in one of the hotel lobby. Just when the auction finished, some very nice Spanish people invited me to drink some vodka with them. It was really funny! Since I returned back to my hotel finally around 1AM, the door was closed. I couldn’t get to my room.. Since I didn’t see the bell at the door and nobody came when I knocked, I went to the Landrover to sleep. The bed in the car is anyways better then in all of the hotels ;).


September 12th 2011: Bukhara – Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Driven distance on September 12th 2011: 320km (200 miles)

Driven distance total: 13’850km (8610 miles)

The road between Bukhara and Samarkand was finally a road that was not too bad. In a normal time we were able to drive the 320km (200 miles) and finally for once it was not necessary to concentrate all the time to drive around the endless potholesJ.


September 13th 2011: Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Driven distance on September 13th 2011: 0km (0 miles)

Driven distance total: 13’850km (8610 miles)

Samarkand is much bigger then Bukhara and Khiva. The sights also seem more majestic and dominant. Samarkand is the most important city of the Silk Road. We checked out some sights in the morning and were asked by a policeman, if we wanted to climb up one of the minarets to enjoy the good views. One Japanese guy and me agreed and walked with the police man into a darker room below the minaret. One by one had to go with the policeman, the Japanese guy went first. He also explained that he is taking some risks in that, and when somebody asks us what we were doing there, we were supposed to say that we are UNESCO-agentsJ. When it was my turn, he asked for some money for his special services. Once again bargaining with the police. He asked for 10 dollars!! Unbelievable! At the end we agreed on 4 dollars! The stairs in the minaret was quite an adventure, and on top I reached directly the roof and could stick my head out of the roof of the minaretJ. The view was spectacular! Later on we had together with the Japanese guy some ice cream and talked for 2 hours. Daniel ate in the 2 hours 10 boles of ice creamJ.

After some good spaghetti in the evening, we have discovered a parking lot with 20 Camping cars from Switzerland and Germany. Out of curiosity we started to talk to some people. We found out, that the entire group is travelling together half a year until Peking! We met an elder couple from Switzerland with a great Toyota Landcruiser. They were already travelling another time for one year in South America. We had very interesting discussions for about 2 hours, and they could give me some helpful information and contacts for my world trip. It was a good time!


September 14th 2011: Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Driven distance on September 14th 2011: 0km (0 miles)

Driven distance total: 13’850km (8610 miles)

And again we have good weather. Probably it is time to mention, that we had in the past 2 month on 3 days some rain, otherwise always sunshineJ.

This morning we visited a mosque, a market and very special graveyard. At this graveyard are several mausoleums along a tiny alley. Really something special.

In the afternoon we finally found a restaurant with Wi-Fi Internet so we were able to put pictures and reports in the Internet. So go ahead and read them, so I don’t write them for nothing;). And we got very good food at this place!


September 15th 2011: Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Driven distance on September 15th 2011: 0km (0 miles)

Driven distance total: 13’850km (8610 miles)

In the morning I have seen the young guy, probably 23 years old, who works at the hotel. He looked quite old and explained me that he was involved in a fight the day before. He is missing several teeth. Now the interesting part of the story, he explained, that he is going tomorrow to the dentist and showed me some bridged teeth that he had from somewhere. Now the dentist has to integrate them somehow in his mouthJ!! Teeth problems solved, the Uzbek way!

During the day we didn’t do too much.


September 16th 2011: Samarkand – Shahrisabz, Uzbekistan

Driven distance on September 16th 2011: 90km (60 miles)

Driven distance total: 13’940km (8660 miles)

We went in direction south until a town called Shahrisabz. It is as well quite touristic. It seems that this place is “the place” for weddings in Uzbekistan. Within a short time we have seen 3 weddings, was really funny. At lunch we met the people from Spain that I drunk vodka with a few days before! What coincidenceJ.


September 17th 2011: Shahrisabz – Termiz, Uzbekistan

Driven distance on September 17th 2011: 300km (190 miles)

Driven distance total: 14’240km (8850 miles)

The trip today went well. Today we have seen for the first time Afghanistan, of course from Uzbekistan side;). What I could mention at this point is, that most of the people are really friendly! Today we made a short stop and a man was immediately coming to our car, asked us where we are coming from, and gave us two small bags with grapes and apples, just like that! Also at the police and military checkpoints, they are always very friendly and correct!

This town Termiz seems quite peaceful. It is (or used to be) the base for the German military for Afghanistan. We have found a very nice hotel with a parking spot for my Landrover behind a gate, for 17 dollars.

In the evening we ended up in a nice little restaurant where we were soon invited for Vodka from some guys sitting next to us. The next bottle we were buying, and at the end we had quite enoughJ.


September 18th 2011: Termiz, Uzbekistan

Driven distance on September 18th 2011: 0km (0 miles)

Driven distance total: 14’240km (8850 miles)

First thing in the morning, we took a taxi to the „Friendship bridge“ between Uzbekistan und Afghanistan. When we arrived, we have seen many trucks from Bulgaria that were waiting for the entry to Afghanistan. The customs people were very unfriendly and the entire ambiance was not good! So we went again immediately. In the afternoon we visited a museum. That was about it on this day.


September 19th 2011: Termiz – Denau, Uzbekistan

Driven distance on September 19th 2011: 230km (140 miles)

Driven distance total: 14’470km (8990 miles)

Driving from Termiz to Denau. Denau is very close to the border of Tajikistan. Since our Tajikistan visa is only valid from the 20th, we couldn’t enter yet, but we went anyways to the border to check if it is open for tourists. Another border between those countries was apparently closed. But this one here seems to be open. Back in Denau we were looking for the only hotel in town. A big hotel, immensely oversized without guests! Unbelievable! The night was 40 dollars, but really nice rooms! At the first floor of the hotel was a supermarket, at least that’s what it says. It had wonderful shelves and fridges for meat and cheese.. but the only thing there was in the supermarket was vodka!!J.

In the late afternoon we went for a short visit into the town, and ended up in nice restaurant. After we were finished with eating we were again invited to sit at some peoples table to drink vodka. It was really pleasant, just our Russian could be better J.