7 years ago Paul and I rode into Tashkent (the capital of Uzbekistan), tired and lost, and were befriended at a set of traffic lights by three lovely ladies who literally gave up their homes to give us somewhere to stay.
That was another story from another trip, but now Sally and I are here, and instead of three, there is only one lovely lady, but the warmth and generosity is still unbelievable.
Valentina took a taxi to meet us in the restaurant we stopped at on the way into the city, and brought us to the little apartment we’re in now. Then she showed us around the place she’d freshly cleaned, filled with some food and snacks, soap and shampoo, and asked us to give her our dirty washing before disappearing until today at lunchtime 🙂
Then she returned with a sim card she’d bought that moring (we aren’t allowed to buy one as foreigners) – already preloaded with data, and some birthday presents for me, then took us out for lunch in a lovely local restaurant!
We only know about ten words of Russian, and Valentina is the same with English, but with google translate and a bit of patience we all make ourselves understood.
Then there’s Eugene and Alena… who I also met 7 years ago. Eugene invited Paul and I to lunch after meeting us in Valentina’s carpark, and helped us exchange some money among many other things. I contacted Eugene and Alena a few days ago to let them know we were coming to Tashkent again, and so we’re headed out for dinner tonight to celebrate both our birthdays, Happy birthday Eugene!!
The tyre problem seems to be nearing a conclusion, we made it here, 350km without it deteriorating much, so there’s a positive, and now we have Eugene and Alena, along with a friend of Valentina’s all looking for a replacement for us in Tashkent!
I’m not holding my breath to find a good replacement, but hopefully we can find something that will get us out of jail. Even if we find something old or the wrong size, so long as it will fit and get us a few hundred km (in case the current one fails) then we’ll be happy.
Huge thanks to Valentina, and Eugene and Alena for all your help, you guys rock xoxo