Our last two days in Bukhara were spent largely working on finalising details for the Craft Training School, hopefully to be run in March or April 2014. I am sure Alex will want to write lots about it so I will not tread on his toes! Discovering some of the very best craft produce that Uzbekistan has to offer was terrific and I could not resist buying a few ceramic bowls, not realising the logistical complications of sending them home when my girlfriend was no longer flying out due to Visa issues!
As Alex regained energy from the latest spoken illness, I went out of town to visit Chor-Bakr, a huge mausoleum now pilgrimage site where four of Muhammad’s relatives are buried. The bus station was handily located near a huge farmers’s market, so I rewarded myself for my cultural efforts by tucking into every variety of pastry I could find! The heat of the day having reached sickening levels, I ran out of energy walking back into the town and found an empty medressa to lie, and fall asleep in! It was very odd being there on my own in such a beautiful place but very restful!
A few more essential tourist sights, and more games of Durak with the locals, filled my afternoon with delight at being out of the desert and in such a nice town! We met up with Graham and Julie again in the evening to share a delicious home delivered plov before heading to watch the sun set over the powerful medressas. Spotting some unprotected scaffolding, I went to sleep excited at the prospect of heading up for sunrise!
At 6am, I headed up out of sight of any locals and dived into an empty third floor room, delving into dark doorways looking for stairs to creep up. As I poked my head up above the beautiful medressa, Alex decided he did not want to miss out this time as he had in Khiva and headed for the scaffolding to follow me up. Other than a little telling off on the way down, the sunrise and view from the top were superb and certainly worth the effort!
We spent most of the day exploring more bazaars, pastries, fruits and sweets with Graham and Julie before switching to a hotel with a shower for our last night before hitting the road. We had the pleasure of being taken out for dinner by Rustam and hit the sack ready to ride into another desert postcard town!