We bid good wishes to Feruza and her family as we waved them goodbye this morning. Our route took us along the ring road on the outskirts of Tashkent where I saw the only collision of the trip so far and it was a very gentle one – a minivan rear-ending a car. Thankfully it was back to a normal temperature after all the rains, 20C, with zero humidity so we were able to really cruise. We reached Ahangoran around lunch-time and after a recommendation from a local for ‘Nur’ we trundled over to find another feast, this time delicious shashlik.
After Ahangoran we were back into the hills, climbing over the mountains into Ferghana valley and it was tough work. The drivers on the road were so friendly though, with plenty of beeping and cheering and quite a few people hanging out of the side of their cars to yell their support! As the light started to fade we arrived at a long lake in the mountains and were able to find a small place to pitch our tents behind a shed. The plunger for my gas container had broken in Jizzakh so I spent a few hours trying to fix it. Gluing was no good, melting the two plastic parts together didn’t help and I was out of ideas until I bored four holes in it and tied them all together. Coupled with a tent peg, it worked, but it was not efficient and it was certainly a little more work. We’ve got a nice climb tomorrow before we descend into the supposedly beautiful Ferghana Valley.