Uzbekistan, oh, those colors! He admired the colors of the women's costumes Elisabeth, sakwiarka from South Africa, I met on tour in Kyrgyzstan. In October, yes, This would be the best time for this country. We were dying there in July with hot He sighed encountered another traveler driving through Kazakhstan.
Leaving China somehow I was not thinking about a visit to Uzbekistan this year. Also heard something about the difficulty of obtaining a visa, patients luggage checks at the border ... the initial plan was to journey through Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan do and perhaps there last winter. As you know this plan is also devalued.
After these referrals and spent many hours on the internet I knew further, Uzbekistan that it is a good idea in October, However, should begin as soon as the formalities which take time and require little west. They were two: obtaining necessary to gain the invitation of Uzbek visas (apartment on 09/2017) and obtaining the visa in this choice location, where best to do it. For this he even headaches due to the fact, I ended up with blank pages in the passport (if they could train border guards in all countries of the world, not to przystawiać stamps at random, just nicely in turn fill the pages of the passport??. Then this page with a stamp can not be used for visa). The entrance to Tajikistan in autumn did not even think I'm zmarzluch, only later I learned, with also a very good time on the Pamir, because sunny, drought, no landslips and mud.. But you can not plan everything perfectly in time. In mid-September I arrived to Bishkek, I left the bike there and I went 200 km further to settle Almaty Kazakh visa and two weeks later after crossing the Kyrgyz Tienshanu I found on the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border in Osh.
I was expecting the worst. The news brings Internet-gminno, on the basis of the law border guards have the right to inspect all the luggage traveler, carefully check the status of a first aid kit with medicines (many drugs is prohibited in Uzbekistan, for example. analgesic drugs with codeine which also sometimes I used), view phone or laptop in search of obscene images.. It's like behave towards you is a lottery and if you find something you are facing heavy penalties. I spent a lot of time reviewing first-aid kit, throwing almost everything, so it was not a problem. I wondered over antibiotic, but unable to find the information I decided to take a chance and leave it.
In accordance with the rules of the lottery and to my surprise and delight the whole runs very smoothly. On the border in Dostyk near Osh swirled wild crowd of Uzbeks, but it is they who informed me, I went to the border guard is going to open a separate door and will pass with a bicycle. I was a little silly so crooked snout on the move, but all in all it was not even my idea. I went to the main hall, where he first filed a declaration, which had to be imported to specify all valuables and cash. This is very important, because the declaration is checked during the trip. Then I was told to take off all our luggage, which scanner and x-rayed.. already. Welcome to Uzbekistan. Nobody had open, show your phone and computer, and did not check. Leaving the country already so gentle and easy was not - see the entry of the registration requirement.
Uzbekistan pulled into the Osz to Kyrgyzstan and pressed between Tadżykistan mountains and surrounding valleys Fergana. It najżyźniejszy one of the most fertile areas in Central Asia, and one of the most ethnically inflammatory. Recent unrest in the largest city in the region, ie. Uzbek city of Andijan a year 2005. They were directed against government policy, then killed about 200 osób. In year 2010 riots against ethnic Uzbeks in the nearby Kyrgyz-Kyrgyz Osh and Jalalabad resulted in the closure of the borders cut off from each other a lot of family members. The boundaries were opened for them in September 2017 that is, just before the entrance to my, on the wave of changes introduced by the new president of Uzbekistan, which replaced the previous, islama Karimova, who ruled the country over 30 years. The new president finally initiated reforms in many areas, facilities for tourists are one of them, although there is still a long way to be really good. A long time to write, and yet this alone can not comprehend.
One of the novelties are the new notes and even able to exchange currency at any bank at market price. Apparently a matter of course, but you, who were in Uzbekistan knowledge, that so far it traveled there with thick files of banknotes 1000 SUM or the equivalent of a few dozen cents. Value 100 USD occupied half sacks. I drive into the country, I go to the next best bank, where the cashier lady with a smile lists dollars giving me a freshly beautiful banknotes 50 000. No need to look for and watch out for fraud cinkciarzy. Not so long ago, bank exchange rate was half of what you could get with just cinkciarzy.
Although after a few days in Osh and Opran was squeaky clean and loaded the equipment could shop around for sleeping under a cloud here am I reluctant. I still do not know how this whole obligation Registration, I read so much about. Everyone says something else, one to follow because the check, most, with this requirement only on paper and that others to piss, but all in all even I can not really pinpoint a patch of open space in this densely populated area so I go Andijani roadside small hotel. Russian? asks the receptionist. No, I'm from poland .. Oh - he is responsible and then takes a box to the price list for accommodation and efficiently rolls it to the other side. "Prices for the citizens of other countries," read. twice. No tak L. In this case, and it is not so bad because it leaves some 13 USD.
In Fergana I find the Catholic Church, run by Polish Franciscan. None of this church, we know – basically chapel decorated home, next to the parish house and part of the religious. For that matter, it was in Bishkek, Kyrgyz, Jalalabadzie, Autumn. From out of the chapel .. Rita got! I remember Rita perfectly with Kyrgyzstan, beautiful woman, Russian, Here is the organist. Ewa, but you came! I hear and I warmly welcome. What's going on here? I hear the Polish. This father of Joseph, Franciscan ministers at Fergana just looks at our embraces. There is also the brother of Marian, will soon be mass. Like other pastors in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan as you are nice warm people, a personification of religious personalities.
In the courtyard renovation continues, working hard - is located here processing house for the needy. For many years, he accepted a parish in the Fergana needy – mainly children from difficult families, providing them with a roof over his head, meal, place, where you feel good. These are the children of equal nations and religions – It is home to many and for some the only home, and above all the parish it is an alternative place for them to street. A few years ago the Uzbek authorities withdrew permission for home business, However, during the reign of the new president of the country again there is light at the tunnel. In a few days the parish was flooded by a man with an important organization dedicated to freedom of religions in the world. The Uzbek authorities have taken strange to visit and provide its assistance in the organization. I also staying the night sheltered and somewhat helping in translating speeches. Little does she know things, my stay in the parish may also cause them trouble. I am writing this, because I was not completely aware of.
And though it may not be a good subject for our times, when the religions and faith does not arouse positive associations that work for me brothers in Central Asia, Uzbekistan in particular is impressive, because it requires a lot of effort and determination.
The Catholic Church in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan operates mainly thanks to Polish monks - the Jesuits and Franciscans in Kyrgyzstan in Uzbekistan. It Muslim countries, though Islam and Islam there where I am now or the Arabian peninsula has a different face - in Central Asia approach him, however, is much less restrictive, but it is still valid religion. Community of the faithful in each of the churches, I visited - whether Bishkek, Jalalabad and Osh in Kyrgyzstan, whether it Samarkand, Bukhara, Fergana and Urgench and Tashkent in Uzbekistan count the dozens of people. mainly Russians, However, there are converts Uzbeks and Kirghiz, adults and adolescents. It is quite unusual, because first is the belief consciously adopted in adulthood and practice it very difficult. Mass on Sunday comes after a few dozen or a few dozen people in the world, a week often appears one. It is in such small communities bond is really huge.
Particularly difficult is the situation of the church in Uzbekistan. It is fairly well described in an article „Uzbekistan, We walk along the edge of " Peter's father, who currently presides and from Samarkand 20 years in this country. I encourage you to read the whole, and I will quote only a few sentences:
„religious law, Uzbekistan, which is approved and signed by the President, it is the law, which violates the Constitution of Uzbekistan and all international laws. To keep his face out (Uzbekistan is 8 country in the world when it comes to persecution and human rights violations) authorities are trying to build the image of the state of freedom and democracy.
It should be clearly emphasized, with not about Islam. It's not like that. Muslims have a greater action, because it is the most widespread religion, but also experience these powers. "
"Christians could be you, Uzbeks who are not. Because to tell the truth, no religious freedom does not. If you want to become a Catholic Uzbek, it must reckon with the consequences. In relation to each other and parishes. (...) One of my friends had such a situation, He was arrested in the subway with a religious book and had to explain why a few hours reading and where it is .. ". e.t.c., etc..
In Fergana again returns nasty weather and the sky a wall of rain, all in all I'm there 3 nights in the church and in Rita. Just before heading out something further to me there in my head begins to dawn, is the Fergana Valley, inflammatory site, that the strict obligation that is the registration. every day in the hotel and I need to sleep for a few days I do not have registration… I can call this hostel in Tashkent at the invitation I exhibited ..? I'm calling.
– When przekraczałąś borders? I hear in the handset
– 1 October.
– And then where did you sleep?
– No.. the first night in a hotel in Andijan, a potem no.. at my friends.
– Fuck! I can hear the other side of the handset.
Looks I'm , someone very upset and I therefore also upset.
Today is 5 October, from 3 you do not meld. come over immediately. By train. If someone on the way he wants to check your registration cards tell, not with you because you left in Tashkent, You came today on a trip to Fergana. Or else everybody We will have trouble.
I freaked out. Well, I think this more serious than I thought. I had no choice, just pedaling to the nearest railway station with hope, the train will take my bike. If I wanted to overcome these 300 km distance (on the road over the pass 2000 m altitude) bike any hotel in the area, not to mention the hotel in Tashkent would not accept me.
It worked and the bike lands in nowiuśkim train from Andiżon - Tashkent. This new line opened 2-3 years ago, until recently only overcame this route minibuses. Elegance-France, climate, background music, televisions and even suspended heat or cold tea soczek. Five hours of western comfort in the Uzbek edition.
The owner of the hostel in Tashkent greeted me saying "you're the, What broke the law?". However, I set the registration slips for all nights, when I was not there, and ordered to pay to pay for it. I agreed to half that sum.
Nightmare registration kwitkami haunt me to the end of your stay in Uzbekistan, because on places, where he was very drawn to the attention. On departure from Tashkent there was another nightmare, because I had an accident but ended well - to me nothing happened, but it was necessary to repair the bike, I had to change my plans and prune bike madness on the roads Uzbek.
Well, but let's get back to what colors. It begins to fall. Full color palette. Full sun on, but not too hot. Here in this desert country time, it can be eventually breathe air cooler, the temperature in a string of some kind 25 and degrees in the fields as the eye could last harvest still the greatest wealth of the country or cotton. Plant, whose cultivation was introduced by Moscow in the 60s with the water drained Aral Sea, roslinnka unique because it is greedy for water. Aral Sea dried up practically depriving place to live and work thousands of people and, above all, causing an environmental disaster (Bartek Sabeli recommend the book "The sea can come back"). Well, and now in October and white cans were flying in the air, Human bend back to earth after the weight of the filled bags, which are loaded on trucks. I fold the cotton harvest they are all mandatory.
So I go in the direction of Samarkand by the endless fields of cotton cut by a thousand channels. For the first few dozen km road is a nightmare - is far too busy and loud. The first night I wander around in the dark for more than 2 time and recording channels in a maze, crops and sand can not find a scrap of space for a tent. But here comes hotelik. Clear, new, now. Lady receptionist asks for registration Kvitka, reading them carefully and t raining question.. "And where were you on the night of 12 on 13 October..? Unfortunately, You must have receipts for each day, You can not sleep "is only Contd accommodation problems. I leave the hotel I turn on the first gravel alley, I find a piece of the field, and I break up 200 meters behind the hotel are careful, not to put a tent on the cow's cake.
Crossing 300 km Samarandy takes me less than 5 days and not a very pleasant. On the way back I'm going to have another, quieter and more pleasant ways.
And what they have in the Uzbekistan.. In our beautiful nature, top, Animals.. among them several mosques told me a Kyrgyz heard where I was going. Kirghiz and Uzbeks do not like me to put it mildly.
It is true. Madres and several mosques. but what!
Samarkand it has been my dream for years. It is in this name something blue, emerald, blue, something that moves me in the imagination of fairy tales 1001 night. The main square of Registan, UNESCO world heritage site surrounded on three sides madresehs unusual because I reach from behind and enter through the gate ajar (unconsciously, then it turns out, there are valid with tickets). I stand and I szczękopad. It is absolutely beautiful, Color walls majolica, blue domes of mosques, symmetry. Architecture of the Silk Route in pure form. For some time seeing a similar style in the Bukhara and Khiva well and then in the Persian Gulf no longer do it for me so big impression, but the first time I will always remember.
In Samarkand I leave the bike and go further by train - the trials and tribulations of a bicycle repair lost week, distances are large, places to see and also the lack of time. Such a journey without a bike for me to have another dimension - suddenly have to deal with moving from place to place, because after all, every day we have a bike. In Uzbekistan in terms of transport we have to choose trains, shared taxis, coaches, minibuses - the latter two I avoid. To buy a train ticket you should go to the station (You can also travel to the office, but it costs twice more) and give yourself at least an hour and it does not count on, the tickets will still be for the next call.
To buy a ticket you should have an identity document and angelic patience. Stand in line plastered to the back of the person in front of you, because only when we will break 30 cm to maintain a standard distance CET immediately find someone, who will use it and there crammed. "I'm standing here," I said to the gentleman, who used such a trick against me. "Well, STOC is no "rude answer without looking up from his cell phone. Powstymując gesture of slapping him in the face asked only by climbing to the heights of my knowledge of Russian, or culture left at home, or never knew the meaning of the word, so it can let the check in a dictionary and as soon as he pulled away a little bit taking the phone went again to their places. God as Cuba.. etc. When you think so, from now your turn has come for several minutes and you leave with a ready-ticket is a high probability, come from someone physiognomy service employee safety, will push its 4 letters and thick karczycho against human throng, swings there some legitimacy and humbly take care of the cashiers just him and his complicated orders for the connection to Samarkand 4 przesiadkami, place the window on the right side of the first-class carriage. Is that where you have a request, but it is certain the next half hour you back. I bought three times, I know, asking you for a new president to also do with the purchase order, and introduced the Internet as in Kazakhstan.
Taxi as I have already mentioned in the entry about the accident can be any car, you only need to set the direction and price. Taxis operate successfully in cities as well as between them. „The center does not pay more than 3000 sum!"Natasha warned in Bukhara. The same rate applies in Samarkand, unless, with the going on.. I even in Nukusie 1000 sum of wages, I will not give more adds Sasha. Nobody likes to overpay, but when we realize, ze price to dollars 8000 sums it means that we are paying for the course taxis jakies 1,50 PLN - 2 USD. The bus will cost 700 catfish or 35 cents. These prices are valid lokalsów but you can be sure, if the foreigners are the price will be even 10 times higher, which in any case is, They will be with us for a little money. Taxi drivers in Uzbekistan terribly swindle, I, however, equipped with this knowledge because local wage rates also nobody more than me is not required. Sometimes just because they ask where I'm from a different accent.
What, kupielnym you go? A friend of Sasha clogging his nose with his hand. Well, get ready.. With gesture I conclude, the sense of smell is not the kind of the best I have ensured. Well, I'm going “kupilenym” or sleeper and does not inspire me too optimistic about the long, 10 godziinnej travel, but what to do – Night on the relationship Samarkand – Urgench I bought last place. And so it is well, in summer you have to buy tickets well in advance. When I go to the car does not hit me no unpleasant odor and people are sleeping. The windows are however continually slammed and I think, the summer, when the temperature is above 40 degrees and no air conditioning this trip is the macabre. My place is at the end of last wagon Whose great- no I do not kink in his face, gets on all sides.
In the morning gets a little gwarniej, lead the people's eyes. Nice woman in front of me about 60-ki improves makeup. maybe tea? asks. Immediately someone will. One of the men with couches beside breaks, I take my cup runs and a bubbling samovar at the beginning of the wagon. These good guys our Uzbek woman says improving handkerchief.
Boys, and it really younger and older men return from Russia for the winter homes. Probably half of Uzbek men goes to Russia to saksy - the language they know, year visa is not required as well and you can earn. Here, Uzbekistan may draw 100 dollars a month, Half of the women often. Can you imagine the życ 300-400 for a month?
In Urgenczu he picked me Zofia. Yep, It also met in Kyrgyzstan. It was there that I learn from it, that our Polish singer Anna German, I loved my mother was there, in Uzbek Urgenczu she was born and spent his childhood in Uzbekistan. I did not have a clue! Sophie gives her fanclub, organizes concerts, He collects books and materials about the talented singer. Sophie's home in the evening come familiar, Russian and Uzbeczka, They cook together plov. It is immortal and primary here, and for this tasty and nutritious food Uzbek. Plov is rice with meat - beef, mutton and other additives - carrots, onion, grochem, egg. Although the different varieties under different names plovu my companion on the way from China, it is here, most tastes in Uzbekistan. Plov is eaten by hand, gaining portion and kneading it into a ball before putting mouth. However, I always need a spoon.
On the table land or salads. People, what kind of salads! I love them already and Uzbekistan will always remind me of just salads. Bazaars there's always salad section - rows and rows of mis kopiastymi, colored mountains salads. It is mainly silage with a slight sweet aftertaste, the amount of variations on it is difficult to replace.. from the base or in long strips of carrot, many varieties of cabbage-cucumber variety in the field of strips beef and rice noodles. Swojska sauerkraut with pepper here is better than Polish.. not only properly sour, but also retains crispness. Once you are in Uzbekistan skuście necessarily salads! one can, and even should try before you buy, I often devoured their bazaar still on the bench.
Well, that is the local bread lepioszki. The best such hot drawn from a clay oven, but these are the Uzbek Happy beautiful. Round. shiny. And almost every city has its own variation, These Urgench are in a very large and flat, These Samarkand heavy and compact, I taste the least. With roads and bazaars are people selling dozens of fresh lepioszek.
Urgench through the city on the road to a nearby Khiva, city-monument, pearls of Uzbekistan. The architecture of the former capital of the Khanate for me the quintessential images of the Silk Route and the fairy tale 1001 night. On the other hand, I lack in authenticity and life Khiva, which amounted to Iczhan the walls of the old town or Kala. Just as I miss her often in many other places, a UNESCO Heritage Site. restored, aligned, pokolorowanych, fragrant pledged almost new and dozens of stalls. Hardly anyone lives there, So is such a city-museum. Although it was lovely came one afternoon after Khiva. Well, I also had back problems, more because they could not hurt.
Bukhara no direct train, therefore decides, as most of the tourists not only shared a taxi to the route Urgench - Bukhara (80 00 or SUM 10 USD za ok 600 km distance!) and through the desert mknę. For anything I did not want to go this way by bike, what a bore.
– "Ucitielnica" (ros. Teacher) Now write the word 20 times.
– Mrs, I can only 10? Please.
– How well you read the text it well, let it be 10 times. But it must be really good!
– "U-but-Tiel-ni-ca" I hear conscientious boy syllabication, that up a little I want to laugh. The boy is seven years, and comes every day for two hours of extra lessons of the Russian language to Natasha. Natasha lives and Bukhara and Tips, one of the few, who remained in Uzbekistan after the collapse of the Soviet Union. And one of the participants of the Uzbek-Polish group retreat, the participants met at the lake Issyk Kul in Kyrgyzstan a few weeks earlier. Traveling from town to town still meet people there understood, which shall communicate to me almost from hand to hand. In Uzbekistan I feel absolutely took care of.
Small Salid is Tajik, Natasha explains. Very difficult for him. The house is said to be in Tajik (Persian language group), at school in Russian and Uzbek. She goes to school and does not understand. He must quickly learn the language because I help him.
Central Asia is a great ethnic mix. The boundaries of Soviet republics set in the 30s by Stalin still not necessarily reflect the actual distribution of seats, inhabited by different groups. And so, Uzbekistan about 30% population are Tajiks, Kyrgyzstan still lives a lot of Uzbeks, Also in Tajikistan. Tajiks are the only ethnic group originating from Persia, current Iran, Thus, their language like Farsi. Tajiks are still around 30% population of the largest cities in Uzbekistan, ie. Samarkand and Bukhara just, but the number of schools in the Tajik language has fallen from over 300 alone in Samarkand 20 a few years ago now. Tajik when the child goes to school the problem begins, as in the case of a small Salida.
I spend two days in Bukhara, which is pretty cool climate - the center is filled with tourists, but enough to leave a bit off and life goes on in old walls. I'm going back to Samarkand, I get on the bike and is heading back to Tashkent.
A few days later, I landing on the night of the Tajik family. It was getting dark already, I asked a man walking down the road on the way and somehow came out. Do only warn his wife - please before entering the yard. In the evening, they kindle in the oven because the nights are already cold, It is very nice, although poorly bypass. My Tadżycy, but here 'm hearing. For anything we do not want to Tajikistan. There safely, near Afghanistan!
At home is 13 year old girl. It is very taken over my visit. Does not speak Russian, but she likes to learn English. Yes, yes corresponds with a serious expression on my questions. He brings me his book. I look at it as a salvation, Yet it difficult! This is not a textbook for beginners, and you learn to speak first year. It is not too difficult to tell a girl reading a passage from a book even though I see, with little understanding of the.
Could use a dictionary adds grandmother. We have nothing here, there is even a library. I want to give the old girl a smartphone with wgranym dictionary, but it turns out, from left him in Almaty, along with some other stuff. Disease, so I wanted to give it to her! I took the address, I can send.
On the way back to Tashkent I try to find the side of the road and go wrong in the villages. Again, there is a vision to find the hotel after two days in the area to register and fill out the damn obligation of registration. When I show up in a big city Jizzax, although in a lot of hotels do not even have any half-space. I'm going to ostanitego, Hotel name and appearance since immediately make the stick to the pocket, that, but here too there is no place. Nina is a very receptionist taken over my situation. Well, what you do? asks worried. No tent somewhere rozibję. hold on! He says, and grabs the phone. Obdzwania all hotels in the area and when there is space to call his sister .... I am now working on the night shift, but her sister will get you well says, and again I do not know how to thank, why and how it is human kindness and selflessness to take (in China 3 months earlier had identical event). Well, but the lack of reporting Kvitka.
In Tashkent, therefore, of course, no hotel can not and does not want to accept me, so humbly I knock at the door of the rectory Tashkent Cathedral, where they pooled Polish nun and bishop. I know, it is not a hotel, and I did not have this plans, but I have no choice. In the morning I go only to the border with Kazachstenem, beyond which it is no longer so simple. Human throng pushing a bicycle, there is no separate passage. Border guard scrupulously checked my registration cards for the last month and I already have a vision before my eyes pay the fine.. In the end, however, the passport stamp lands coveted outbound and I am in Kazakhstan feel the breeze of freedom pulling the wind from the steppe.
Uzbekistan, oh, those colors! Colors women's dresses and headscarves, ceramic colors adorning the walls and domes of mosques and madres, colors of rugs and carpets, colors delicious salads.. Uzbekistan vivid color balance and steady raw desert landscape. Uzbekistan remained deep in my heart, and there is much more to see. This is not my last time, I assure.