It’s 2pm and as we prepare to head for Tashkent, we have just been greeted with news that our water pump has arrived there. How appropriate. So now, the plan is to take a taxi to the Bukhara station and catch a smart looking Spanish made fast train to Tashkent. Jen has a hotel (B&B) booked (for two nights) and we should arrive around 8pm. DPD (the parcel delivery co.) will deliver the pump to us at the hotel in the morning and at some point we will meet up with Fira, a friend of a Tajik friend I met at Milford Sounds in NZ. Milford Sounds is about as remote as you can get in NZ. Marina works for a travel company that caters for the thousands of tourists who flock to this spectacular part of our country, daily. Whats all this about Milford Sounds got to do with me? I take tour groups around NZ and met Marina on a recent trip. I took a double take when she told me she was from Tajikistan. She said nobody there had ever heard of it…:). She is home in Tajikistan for the Off Tour season, and when we told her we were going to Tashkent, she gave us her friend there’s, number. We will catch up briefly with Fira before hot footing it back to Bukhara to install the pump and get back on the road, tomorrow. Thats right, we are now only going to stay one night. I am hoping we will meet with Marina when we travel through Tajikistan… soon!!! Imagine meeting someone from Tajikistan, in Milford Sound!!!! Amazing. Are you still with me?
An hour later and the taxi has taken us from the hotel to the railway station, about 15min away = 35000som or $6 and we are now on a train. Not a flash new fast train, which is parked next door, but Soviet style train with no aircon. Buy hey, it’s a train and it’s going to Tashkent….hopefully? Via? We will now arrive a couple of hours later. But what’s time?..:). The fast train probably sold out a day or so ago? Our train is scheduled to leave at 4pm. The cost for two of us…135,000soom about $27.
Amazing experience vying for tickets. Money coming over my shoulder left and right. Could it be for favour? It’s such a rush now after dealing with the the mindless bureaucracy of buying tickets.We are as parched as the countryside and have no idea if we can buy water or anything to eat, on the train?
Yep, we can and did and, I like trains..:)
Fast forward to 11pm and we are in our B&B in Tashkent after a half hour drive in another taxi, from the station. What is it about the cars here in Uzbekistan? They are all Chevrolet. GM must have a sweetheart deal with someone!. Not the big american gas guzzlers, but all manner of smaller models. From prams on wheels to SUV’s. All Chevrolet.
For the mechanically minded blokes, our old water pump was designed never to be repaired. The ball races are groves in the shaft and we would need a lathe to turn them down and then find a double row bearing of the right dimensions, to get it back together again. However, I am sure the bearings failed because the seal has been leaking and washed the grease out, which caused the bearing to fail. Simple huh!..:) Finding a seal set of the right size would just be another inconvenience, in a place where very few speak the lingo.
For the non mechanically minded, it’s been another hot day…:)
Sorry, it’s been a picture free day too.