The sights of Samarkand had been spectacular but Bukhara beckoned.
It always felt good to be back on the bike and feel the kilometres pass under the wheels again. The road was reasonable bitumen with little traffic. The weather was fine but it was another 35-40 degree day crossing the dry, semi-desert plains of southern Uzbekistan. But it was only about 270km to Bukhara so it made for an easy, if hot, day’s ride.
By mid-afternoon I had found the guesthouse that had been recommended to me by the flood of travellers surging eastward – mostly Europeans on their summer holidays. On my trip so far I had met very few people travelling westward.
Unfortunately when I arrived at the Rustam-Zuxro Guesthouse, there was no room at the inn so Zuxro asked me if I would be prepared to sleep out the back for one night until a room became available. I said this was not a problem so I ended up spending a night in a room next to the goats! However, Zuxro made sure I got a very good room at a very good price the next day.
During my time in Bukhara, Zuxro and her husband, Rustam, proved to be very accomplished hosts. Even though they spoke little English they made sure that all guests were well catered for – not only meals, but help with money-changing, organising taxis to airports or just general tourist advice.
For me, tomorrow would bring the opportunity to explore the fabled old city of Bukhara.