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Published: April 22nd 2013
This part of the journey is beginnning to wind down . Two days ago we did the 10 hour bus trip from Bukhara to Khiva and a more desolate landscape would be hard to find . It is desert and it has thousands of sage bushes about which will be eaten by the animals in the next few months. The shepards and their families will live in yurts and use the mudstraw structures as their kitchens . It is an unforgiving land . Mind you on our nature stops we have managed to find the spring flowers blooming in the shade of the sage and they are small but quite beautiful .Yura tells us this will only last for a few weeks and everything will begin to dry up .There is not a lot of wealth in this part of Uzbek and the way of life is more traditional than elsewhere.
Khieva has been another surprise . A walled city not nearly as old as the others we have seen . Therefore the buildings are in less need of reconstruction . It is very pleasant to walk about . There are many Medrassas and several UNESCO sponsered workshops that teach and promote hand carfts ...wood work ,carpets ,embroidery ...it's good. The European tourists , mostly French ,UK ,and some German , seem to buy a lot. That don't seem to be having nearly as much fun as we do though. Quiet , serious ... not like our group at all .We see them at mealtimes and must admit say unflattering things about them .
Mealtimes are a treat. Food is inexpensive by Canadian standards. Yura generally orders a variety of salads as our first course . I MUST grow more beets this summer for they make a delicious salad. Another favourite is the "French" salad that includes the equal to hickory sticks!It' very tasty .This is followed by the main course and we have been eating our way through traditional Uzbek food . Yes there are kebaps , but there are also soups , dumplings , dill noodles ,filled pastries chicken , beef ,lamb and pork dishes grilled , fried ,stewed ...The meal with a beer or glass of wine included has never cost more than the equivalent of $15 Canadian .
Better finish for today . We are off to spend the night in a Yurt in the desert near a fort of Alexander the Great . The next day the Alberta folk will be leaving the group and the rest of us will have a meal in Nukus before flying back to Tashkent.
Until next time ...love the comments .
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