15 May 2012

Uzbekistan: Jasliq - Moynak, May 9, 2012

We awoke early, with the sun to pack up camp and continue on.  A couple farmers came by on their old HHH to say hello and check out who was camping nearby.  We did up a pot of tea, packed up and headed out towards Kungrad, then Moynak.
The first camping adventure
Morning tea and then off to Moynak
We decided to stop in Jasliq, the first real town since the border, to see if we could get fuel and food.  We arrived, parked and within minutes, HJ had a car of police asking him if he had already registered.  We hadn’t so we had to follow them for the procedure.  It was definitely their highlight of the week, having us there to register.  We bought a few groceries and were on our way.
Gas stations are a plenty, just no fuel to fill the tanks 
The ride was the same as the past 300km, very flat and very monotonous.  We arrived into Kungrad, asked a few locals for the way then headed to Moynak.  On the road to Moynak, there was another police stop.  We needed to register our presence again.  Inside the station, the policeman says, “the French.”  We looked outside and it was Michiel and Marilou.  Haha.  We said our hellos, exchanged a few stories and we were off again. 
Midday stop for some bread, cucumber and cookies
80 octane...our bikes do not love it
A Michiel and Marilou sighting near Moynak
We arrived into Moynak, a once-prosperous fishing town that was subject to an engineering error which resulted in the large fresh-water lake to dry up to 1/5th of the original size.  The town felt dead.  We stayed at the local hostal, another non-descript building with no running water and electricity only at night.  The man was friendly and he made us dinner and breakfast.  
It was a tempting offer to change bikes
HJ contemplating on the old Soviet-designed building - Hostel Moynak

We met two dutch backpackers here, Job and Coen.  They had come from Turkmenistan and were telling us about their adventures there. Really made us want to figure out how we can travel there.
Skeletal ships resting in their sandy grave of what was once the Aral Sea
In the morning, we got up early, walked down to the once lake front and marveled at the rusted old ships docked in their skeletal state resting on the sand.  It was an incredible site to see, depressing, but interesting.   

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