SAMARKAND

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Dear friends:


I am in Bukharat, Uzbekistan. A very old and beautiful Muslim town. A lot of things happened in the last few days. First at all, I recovered my faith in God. Not as deep and suddenly as happened to Saint Paulus when he saw the light and fall down from his horse while trying to kill Christians, but in some way I could say I started to believe after 60.000 km around the World feeling I was being too lucky to be just by chance. But this is a very intimate experience and I am not going to tire you telling it. Just what I am gonna say is I visited the Catholic Cathedral in Tashkent (a good example of courage under soviet dictatorship) and my bike and me got blessed by the bishop. It is not a bad excuse riding 12.000 km from Spain just to get blessed in Central Asia.

Reaching Sarmakand was the point. After stopped five times in every check point by curious policemen, finally we could do the 300 km from Tashkent to Samarkand. When I saw the city lights in the late evening, I felt my trip had a real sense. I did not know it in advance but I had to go there and visit the 2500 years old Registan in front of the big Mosque. The Mosque is great as our beautiful Alhambra, but without the herds of turists walking around. Uzbekistan is an Islamic country but is not like others as Morocco, where you can not be alone just five minutes. In Samarkand I could seat by myself in the trees shadow and just seeing the old religious buildings and hearing the font music. I searched the ghost of the Spanish ambassador who came here in the Fifteenth Century. Then a non official guide approached to me. I asked him and he knew. He took me to a very small street named Ruiz Gonsalez de Klavixo. Ok, I got it. I am coming back home following more or less his way.

Bukharat. I think is even better than Samarkand. Smaller, with less grandiosity buildings, but here the mosques and mausoleums are located in the heart of the old town and the real people live among them. It is not decorate, is still real after 2500 years. It is a great experience riding the bike in very narrow streets trying to find a place to sleep. The sky is deep blue and the solitude is perfect. After the big hardness of Kazakhstan, this part of the trip is being so comfortable. Cheap hotels but friendly owners. Simple food but cold beer. Ok, it is easy to get fat here. I have to go. The Aral Desert is waiting again. I have to go back Kazakhstan and the way is horrible. No towns and no fill stations in more than 500 km. Just sand, tons of sand. Then the Caspian Sea, but the ferry has not fixed schedule so I could be waiting in Aktau for a long time. I will tell you anyway.

Keep safe

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