I woke up dreading the day. My spine still hurt, and I knew there was a high chance I would have to walk 50k today.
I had some breakfast, then I went back to the road.
There were truckloads of people being driven around, I suspected that they were working the fields somewhere:
I walked for a while, and then, when I had just started to look for a place to have lunch, I ran into this gentleman selling lemonade next to the road:
It wasn’t anything local. It was imported sirup made from some berry, the name of which I forgot immediately after he told me. So basically this stuff was like a mystery brew to me – it had a secret ingredient.
It was very tasty, by the way.
I walked past a house that reminded me of Germany:
And then I was out in the open, in a barren place:
I had figured that finding a place to eat something or at least buy something would be easy, but I was wrong. There was nothing out there:
Well, almost nothing. I saw a freight train once:
And then, after an hour or so, I came to a railroad crossing:
There was another “German” house:
And then I walked past a large, fenced area that seemed to consist almost entirely of shipping containers:
Note how one of the containers apparently has air-conditioning? I didn’t know what to make of all of this, and because there were guards everywhere, I didn’t take many pictures.
Sometimes I saw trucks huddled together:
And one time, this gentleman crossed to road in order to give me eggs and a piece of fabric:
The eggs were from his courtyard, and the fabric was from his factory.
Thank you, I said, and then I sat down next to a little shop and had some ice tea and cookies. There was an old lady sitting there, too:
I decided to give her the eggs that the gentleman had given to me:
They would be of more use to her, since I had no means of boiling them, or frying them, or using them to bake a cake anyway.
I had walked past two hotels, one in the container area and the other one right thereafter, but both had been closed. So I sighed and kept going:
Then night fell:
When I reached Olot, the last town in Uzbekistan, I had done almost 50k. The night was black, and it was very quiet. Only one time I saw a group of people sitting outside of what seemed like a shack:
I was very happy when I found a shop that was still open:
More ice-tea, more cookies:
When I got to the hotel though, I despaired: it was fully booked! A whole bunch of gas workers from Kazakhstan, Russia, Korea, and apparently France, and not a single bed available.
Alisher was working the reception that night:
He told me about another hotel in Olot, one that was a bit harder to find. So in the end he decided to walk half of the way there with me, then he pointed in one direction and said: “Walk straight, then stop at the traffic light! There is only one traffic light in Olot.”
And sure enough, I found it:
There was a hotel there, which looked a little bit run down but had a license to host foreigners anyway:
So there I slept, on my ground pad, on my bast mat, on the floor, some twenty-odd kilometers from the Turkmen border.
I did not have a visa for Turkmenistan, yet.