13-Nov-2004 -- A weekend in rural Uzbekistan presents hunting opportunities as few sites have been visited.
Ambitious plans were made to visit 3 sites but these were gradually reduced to one successful and one incomplete 40N 65 E.
Alisher ( an interpreter with the Tacis "Development of rural economy" project)and I set off with a local taxi driver. With a 10.30am start the number of porential points was already reduced. We reached within 3 km of the point on metalled road and then set of on a rough track (taxi driver not very happy!). We soon saw a mititia man with his hand up and we entered negotiations. He told us the area was restricted because of gas installations. After a while he allowed us to go but insisted on coming with us. The more the merrier.
The tracks went in roughly the right direction but 300 metres short we came to a drainage channel. It looked shallow but in fact was chest deep. The water was not cold and was very clean and the channel had a sendy bottom. The only problem was the muddy banks. Undaunted Alisher and I both looked for crossing places. I went first and after crossing, walked to the point. No sign of Alisher but he told me when I got back that he had crossed but was too far behind to bother to chase me. No stamina! Photos taken and then a team photo back at the car. On to Bukhara for a bite of lunch and then on to 40N 65 E.