Kat, Ruth and Andrew piled all three in a minibus with bags and panniers on top, beside and below.Alex rode behind the extremely courteous taxi driver all the way to the Fur Kat Homestay.We passed Alena and Marcel (our driver puller over and we pulled them into our arms, heavy with regret that we couldn’t have ridden with them) and agreed to see one another in Bukhara.
The train was too hot to get out of your seat anyway!Soon we’d arrived in older, sassier sister city Samarkand.Upon glancing around the dirty dry dust bowl of a crossroads we were perched at we noticed a group of glamorous and amorous young women and their children behind us.Kat wandered over and soon we ‘moosh’ and ‘jshenna’ (husband and wife) were welcomed inside to stay the night.Our itinerary for Bukhara outlined dates to arrive, but it turned out we had an old, redundant one – after all that hurrying we were one day early still! Kat’s parents, Ruth and Andrew had travelled a long way and finally, on the date of our anniversary of being apart one full year, and their wedding anniversary as well – we were reunited.
We checked into Sasha and Sons’ Hotel regardless and proceeded to sleep away most of the day and night – hidden warm and cosy in our plush, technicolor room. We spent hours talking and sharing and being given gifts!Bang on seven o’clock am and there was a bang bang bang! Well, a whole lot of stuff they’d been hauling around on our behalf (new clothes, yay! We trooped downstairs to breakfast and were greeted with fresh fruit, yoghurt, muesli, cereals, pancakes, omelettes, dried fruit, green tea, black tea and of course, coffee!Much of the next few days was spent in wonderfully close quarters, and too with Marcel and Alena whom we managed to catch up with a number of times for delicious dinners.The peacocks delegated the task of servitude to various humans but we all knew who was in charge.Samarkand was ready and waiting to be perused – she had her best dress on, resplendent in the sunshine.Alex only just convinced the border security of his “healthy” constitution (despite having to sit down every thirty two seconds and having skin paler than a homeschooled child in England) we were lucky a third time; an Iranian truck driver who couldn’t open the shipping container on the back of his B-Double insisted Iranian style that he would help us: he strapped Tan Nay Nay to the back of his cabin and drove us the final eighty kilometres to Bukhara.