We woke up earlier than normal this morning to have breakfast and get on the road. We knew it was going to be a six hour drive to Khiva and it’s we wanted to arrive before the dark.
The trip was mostly uneventful. I had done my research and heard the road was terrible between Bukhara and Khiva, more specifically I had heard it was bad outside Bukhara, then really good for a long time, then bad again outside Khiva. It was true. But we’ve found the idea of good road/bad road is relative. If you’re a 20 something backpacker that’s on a soul seeking trip and has never left Western Europe then sure, these roads are terrible, but if you’ve lived in West Africa, or even Tennessee, they’re not really that bad.
We’ve been impressed by the number of greenhouses we’ve seen all over the country. Uzbekistan is really preparing themselves for climate change. It’s amazing to us how much the rest of the world is preparing while the US is…well….not. The US thinks they’re already the best at everything. Like Ming Dynasty China. We all know how that went. Uzbekistan has these impressive multistory greenhouses lining the freeway all throughout the nation.
We drove through some tiny rural villages and I was once again struck by the similarities to New Mexico. The houses were made of adobe and everything. I was driving so didn’t get pics but if I had you’d never believe me that I hadn’t taken them in Chimayo.
We did have one adventure. At one point while I was driving down a gravel road in a small village we came to a gate and we weren’t sure what to do. A guy came out and showed me a ticket for 8,000 som ($0.80). We paid it and he opened the gate. I drove forward slowly and onto a makeshift bridge over a river made of several pontoon boats tied together with wooden planks nailed together across them to be driven over. Yippie!
We arrived at the hotel tired and hungry. Someone called Brandon! That’s my husband’s name. Huh? Who knows us? It was the owner! We had met him yesterday morning at our last hotel in Bukhara and he had told us about his hotel here in Khiva but he had not told us he was coming here. We had no idea he’d be here.
I checked Google Maps for a recommended restaurant in the area and it said there was a good one just 300 meters away. Then I asked the owner for a recommendation and he suggested the same place. So off we went! It did not disappoint.
We are truly right in the heart of old town Khiva. There is major renovation work going on. Khiva is a UNESCO World Heritage Site so I’m assuming they have to do with the funding but I don’t know that for sure. I’ll ask around tomorrow. There’s construction everywhere. I’m not talking new, modern buildings, I’m talking renovating the ancient buildings. This is what we see as we walk out the door of the hotel.
That’s all I can write for today. I’m exhausted. Going to sleep now. Tomorrow will be a big site seeing day. The hotel is beautiful. I think we might be the only guests here.