Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Day 24 - The Uzbek Border

Three hour's ride from the camp brought us to the border with Uzbekistan. We had been warned about this one, so were prepared with a good lunch before attempting entry.

Leaving Turkmenistan was easier than getting in. Only one piece of paper to fill in (two copies), one office for a stamp and we were out. One hour 30 minutes for the group.

Across no mans land between the barbed wire and guard posts to the Uzbek border post.

A much better logistical design. Two offices (immigration and customs) in the same building. One queue, clear signs and even a computer. Not quick but within three hours were all through. Then we had to wait. We were never clear what for.

Eventually our passports appeared and we could go, only to be stopped at the gates to fill in a declaration to say we understood the need for insurance. Bizarrely, we had to complete and sign this (in duplicate) before we could go to the insurance office to buy some.

Total time 5 hours not quite beating the Turkmenistan record.

By the time we left it was getting dark and the 45km to Khiva was an obstacle course in the half light.

As we arrived at our hotel under the walks of Khiva we met the van and understood. the wait. Customs had clearly been working out how to charge us for something. $400 to allow the van through on some trumped up pretext.

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