This morning I had a walk around the local market and took a few more photos in Itchan Kala (old town of Khiva). The heat is still turned up high at 102 degrees, so it’s hard to resist spending time in the air-conditioned hotel room!
Khiva is the final planned stop in Uzbekistan. I hope to be able to cross the border into Kazakhstan tomorrow, if I am able to make the distance before the border closes. It looks to be about 650km to the border which could be a tall order for one day, depending on the road conditions and any temporary speed restrictions that are in place. It took me 10 hours to cover the 450km from Bukhara, although some guys in the guesthouse made the same trip in a taxi in 5 hours. Mind you, the taxi driver was touching 140kph at times and I try not to take the Defender above 90kph.
I had to locate some diesel today, in preparation for tomorrow’s early departure (5.00am). Whilst I have been able to buy diesel from filling stations elsewhere in Uzbekistan, I’m told that none of the stations in Khiva stock diesel. To buy diesel in Khiva, you have to go to someone’s house who sells it! Fortunately, I had the assistance of the son of the owner of Alibek Guesthouse, where I’m staying. He came with me in the Defender and took me to the house of a diesel provider. I requested 40 litres, which were pumped from a larger tank into two 20-litre jerry cans. Those cans were then poured into the Defender’s fuel tank. At 4,500 Som per litre, the 40 litres cost 180,000 Som (about $60 US).
There are no significant towns between Nukus and the border, so if I can’t make the distance before 5.00pm on Monday, I’ll have to find somewhere to camp overnight and then get to the border on Tuesday when it reopens.