6.4 miles on foot (10.3 kms for the metric-civilised world)
#Khiva to #Khiva
Fortunately, this day is one of those days. After some days spent pushing, shoveling, cracking and jumping in the car, we go for our favourite hobby: strolling around a historical city, doing basically nothing and resting. Jelly Belly needs some rest in the end. So we visit Khiva, also known as the Uzbek Lucca. This small ancient town all enclosed in a set of walls is as magnificent as cruel is its past.
Once a rich stopover on the silk road, it was more famous for the slave market then for its spices or fabrics.
But as our parents would say, first duty then pleasure: Jelly Belly needs some medical assistance for the exhaust. Our host brings us to a friend of his, quite away from the city center. They say the car wlil be ready in the afternoon. We start our cultural tour.
The town is actually an open air museum (we also learn the meaning of the English word “helluva” from the guidebook), with many madrasas, mausoleums and mosques to visit. Although pretty touristy, it’s definitely worth a visit, with its unfinished blue minaret. You only need to avoid in turn the group of Japanese or French populating the city. This time we really take our time, just curiously looking around and enjoying the view.
In the afternoon it’s time to take Jelly Belly back. We jump on a local “marschutka” (a very small mini-van that works like a bus and is pothole-proof – they actually have numbers like buses), trying to explain the driver where we have to get off. We have no bloody idea of where the place is, but somehow we manage to take the right marschutka and to get off at the right stop. Jelly Belly is ready and shining. In fact the mechanic was so nice that he washed the car for us (probably he was disgusted by the amount of dust that he had to wash it).
We spend the rest of the day chilling out with Iranian pistachios and Uzbek beers until the sunset, which we admire from the top of the Kuhna Ark. For dinner, well, let’s skip that.
Number of countries crossed: 13
Days without accidents: 1
Number of times the counter has been reset: 2
Number of times the Jelly Belly has been washed: 1