Central Asia Overland – ‘ello Uzbekistan!

Day one of the final part of our Central Asia Overland trip.

We’ve a free morning in Tashkent while Amanda (our Explore leader) goes to collect the new arrivals from the airport, and we start sight seeing this afternoon. It will be weird having new people in the group, plus we’ll be 20, which is a big (too big) group.

Tashkent feels very big and modern, a definite contrast to Kyrgyzstan, although some of the mainly Chinese places we stayed in in Xinjiang were similar, if not so big and not so western in terms of products. Tashkent is the first place we’ve had BBC/CNN news on the TV (plus dodgy Russian pop videos!!) and there are adverts for iPhones, Levis, Rimmel (Kate Moss again) on billboards and TV, and the person before us in our room here left behind Friday’s FT. Mind you, having access to international news is a mixed blessing in these times of financial meltdown …. I’ll have to work out the impact of the collapse of the Icelandic banks, and where that leaves my Icesave-ings…

Next stop after this internet cafe is Il Perfecto, for (what promises to be) a proper cup of coffee….