So we left Samarkand and headed for Nurata. Beck thought we might enjoy a night in the desert and a swim in the lake! On the way we had a fabulous fresh lunch at a local family’s home…salads, bread, soup, stuffed capsicum and watermelon. Delicious! We also stopped at a site that was attributed to Alexander the Great, you could see the remnants of a wall…perhaps he had ordered it built on his way to India?
You could feel the heat even before we left the car, but it’s amazing how cooling a shady, grapevine covered courtyard can be! Onto the desert yurt camp…we arrived mid afternoon and of course there was no one in sight…all the sensible people were inside or resting in the shade. So we drove to Lake Aydarkul which was a huge man-made lake nearby. Water had been pumped from the Aral Sea to fill it. It was warm, but refreshing and the best thing to do while waiting for the sun to lose some of its bite!
Later Lionel and Beck played numerous games of rummy-o, while the workers got on with the job of plastering a wall with mud and straw. I even had a beer it was so hot! Dinner was another feast, followed by some folk music around the fire…I’ve heard the desert cools down in the night…but we were still sweltering in our yurt around midnight!