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We were so happy to be back in Kazakhstan. We were trying so hard to leave Uzbekistan and finally we were out. It took us almost a week. We had a very good time, met amazing people and visited beautiful places, but we knew it was time to start moving towards China to be in Himalayas in time.
We were sad that we couldn’t go to Kyrgyzstan. We met lots of cyclist who went there through Kazakhstan or Tajikistan. We could still go through Alma-Ata. There are few borders we could cross but we decided to skip it this time and go straight to China.
The border officials in Kazakhstan were nice; they were impressed about our journey and made our crossing very smooth. We got the stamp and were only one gate away from Kazakhstan. The guards by the last gates wanted us to give them some money but we told them we didn’t have anything, they smiled and let us through.
We got all the visas in Monday (12.7.2010); The Chinese visa in the morning and Kyrgyz one in the evening. We missed the afternoon train till Angren, which is the last town before you start ascending towards Fergana valley. We only had 3 more days left before our Uzbek visa would finish and almost 400km to go. So it was our only option to reach the border in time.
We took the train the next day. We missed the first one at 7.42 am, which left just as we came to the station. So we returned to our Korean family and spent some more time with them. They made us big lunch and gave us snack for the afternoon train.
We arrived to Samarkand early in the morning. The train station was few km out of the old city, on the edge of the new Samarkand.
We cycled through the new city which was still under construction and looked very European. It was strange that they were building new houses in the style not fitting into the environment. But I guess this is happening all over the world. Continue reading
Khiva is one of the most magical towns we saw in Central Asia. It’s located south-west of Aral Sea in the oasis on the delta of lower Amu-Darya River in ancient times called Oxus, surrounded with endless desert. In the south is Kara-Kum and in the north Kyzyl-Kum desert.
This ancient oasis turned into a beautiful natural museum under the open sky, where majestic ruins of numerous castles and fortresses, ancient settlements and traces of impressive irrigation systems can be found.