Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Border to Nukus

14 days of cycling, including probably 4 of the hardest cycles I've ever done, it was no wonder I was starting to take longer and manAge fewer miles, I needed a rest.

I'd been 5 days sleeping in my tent, cleaned a sheeps anus, cycled 500km, been blasted by sand, diesel fumes, etc and hadn't had a shower. Dehydrated, starving, malnutritioned. To help against the wind I would tuck in behind big lorries that went by. my pace almost doubled but I could feel the fumes in my mouth from the trucks (the slow ones I could draft had the dirtiest fumes) i could feel the smog clogging up my lungs and feel it mix with my spit to form poison which swalkled left you with a very sore thoat.

During the off road section it was as though my bottom had been paddled for 8 hours a days. It was bruised and sore, as were my hands, arms and legs, back etc...

I arrived here in a Nukus and was so excited I was bouncing off the walls and ceiling. They had showers, they had western faces, I could hear english... they had no rooms :o( But they did have a Ute in the garden - A round tent like structure with woolen walls and ceiling. Friggin brilliant. I almost screamed with joy - in fact I might have done!! In the shower I sang, danced, and then again when I got out smiling faces and amazing people.

Gorgeous people here and yesterday met the owners nephew (after giving a little englisdh lesson to the college boys) who took me out all over town to the best spots teaching me so much about life in Uz!!

He is like a IP in town, he walks into restaurents people fight to grasp his hand, doesn't have to pay a thing for food etc, he knows the 'IPs' (Ie the gangsters) But has fought long and hard to keep his homeland on the map. Helping charities, and businesses alike. His ideas have helped keep business's above the black during the hard times of the current recesion. His family depend on his skills at businessHis interlect made me feel like an eneber. It was huge. He knew politicsm history, languages. A feel like a new man after taking in all those facts and figures. He works for aids projects who's doctors confessed to agreeing had no affect on aids. But he would give everything up and wants a 3rd world war so he can die for his country.

The school system out here is amazing. I got taken round a seniour and junior school today meeting teachers and pupils and taking a few pics along the way. Their schools are amazing. 4 computer rooms, all the science stuff you can imagine, 3 gyms. I was so surprised!! I think 96% of the country can read anbd write - how does that compare with the UK - I reckon it's higher. Something the Uz's put down to the Soviet years -they brought education. In fact the Uz's look back with great fondness to those years.

Learning loads, getting fat, talking none stop, smiling, playing games, laughing, hugging (oh the hugs have been wonderful!!). How fast you can forget your struggles and regain enthusiasm!!!

On the road again tomorrow.....

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