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Published: August 11th 2016
SAMARKAND. 11 AUGUST 2016 HOT 38c BLUE SKY.
First thing, I went to the airport this morning and took delivery of the bike and camping gear. Seemingly all survived well on their magical mystery tour! I put the bike together as much as my limited skills allowed. For some reason the bike shop disassembled the derailleur, so I Will seek out expert assistance tomorrow. A fellow departs the tour here in Samarkand, and gladly took possession of the box to repack his bike for the return journey to San Francisco.
Travel bags have now been repacked into daily bag, with every day essentials, and weekly bag which only comes out on rest days. Hopefully the correct items are in the relevant bags.
Walked up to the Mausoleum of Amir Timur who founded Samarkand in the 13 th Century. More impressive from a distance. The ancient buildings and monuments are very grand, some have been restored and others are decaying. The tile work is majestic and shines in the brilliant sunshine. Hard to imagine that in winter 3 feet of snow falls.
Travelling out to the airport I got to see more of modern Samarkand, not memorable,
buildings a mix of boring asian and Russian design, much in a state of decay, however the roads seemed reasonable. The drivers behave erratically, so I will need to be observant.
Have been eating local food, first night green peppers filled with mincemeat and rice, served in a broth soup with potato and carrot. Not bad. Last night Beef stroganoff, it is a heavily influenced Russian culture. Breakfasts are boiled eggs, olives, bread and cold meats and salads. Different! Have had a couple of beers- Pilsner, no other name, ok but not cold enough. I think the food must be heavily seasoned with MSG as I have had average sleep and woken with bad headache.
Wandering downtown came upon a pair of Peacocks taking shade under a shop awning, Iran was the Peacock Throne, and flower gardens covered by shade cloth. The clear sky makes the sun unrelenting.
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