23-Apr-2005 -- We tried to reach this point last November but were beaten by time and a large irrigation channel. This time I had a downloaded satellite photo of the area but no map. I was approaching from the east this time, but I decided that as there was a railway and an irrigation channel in the way I would follow the route I had planned – an approach from the local town of Kuziltepa from the west. By the time we got there the driver decided he did not have time for the detour as he had to get back home before dark as his lights did not work. Offers of extra money were to no avail! Looking at more of the satellite photo afterwards I see that the approach would have been very simple from the north east!! Hindsight. I wasn't expecting to catch this point on this trip. The driver refused to drop me in Kuziltepa as he said there were few taxi drivers there – I only needed one! So we went another 75 kms to Bukhara to find a local taxi – I am glad taxis are cheap! At the taxi a local man agreed to take me – then rang up for his car to be brought! It arrived 5 minutes later covered in white polish – half way through the job! The journey back to the point was uneventful – we took the road leading south out of Kuziltepa and after crossing the railway we reached the bridge over the irrigation channel at N40° 00.669’ E 64° 52.573’ and headed east. We parked the car 1km from the point and the taxi driver’s enthusiasm waned when I told him the point would be a 2 km round trip walk to nowhere! He stayed and I went. Success this time. At the point the full moon was already high in the sky to the east and the sun about to set in the west. The ground is semi-desert with a mixture of small shrubs and irises. It was interesting to see that the sun set exactly at the time predicted for the CP by the Garmin GPS - 7.26 pm.
Back to Bukhara and a stay in “Sasha and Sons” lovely hotel in the centre of this beautiful old city on the Silk Road. The photo shows the magnificent 47 metre, 850 year old, Kalon minaret which even Chingis Khan agreed not to destroy.