Published on April 27, 2018
From Bukhara onward, we do not see much more than a truck driver hotel and repair shops.
The following morning it turns out that there is no suitable tire available here. Now we must put our hopes on Samarkand – about three hundred kilometers away. Hassan and his truck become invaluable partners in the process of locating a tire.
As we drive on, we see that we have not missed many attractions, but in our mind are currently only punctured tires.
On the long drive (the road is even worse than the one that killed our BMW tires) Hassan has time enough to tell us his life story.
As far as we understand in his narrations, he is an Iranian from Mashad, has been driving trucks around the world as a truck driver for over forty years, and was active in the Palestinian Territory in the 1970s.
We do not ask further when the keyword “Black September” falls. Anyway, he is extremely helpful and rattles with me repair shops and tire dealers.
In Samarkand we should find something, also waiting for him is his twenty-three-year-old “Natasha,” of whom he swarms us for hours.
And that’s the way it is. Not only do we get to know Natascha, who is already waiting for her monthly rations, but also many other truck drivers, most of them from Iran.
All very helpful and friendly, they immediately throw themselves on the bike and bring it down from the container door.
The rear wheel is the same and together with Hassan, the partisan we are already in the taxi on the way to a tire cobbler.
It turns out that there are no new tires for the BMW in Samarkand, but the old tire is patched.
The motorcycle stays overnight in the guarded truck camp and You Song, and I take a taxi to a hotel.
The receptionist astonishingly speaks not only English but also Korean, which makes You Song especially happy.
We booked two nights, but then stay two more nights in Samarkand, because our visa for Tajikistan is valid only from 30 April.
It’s about three hundred kilometers to Dushanbe, which we hope to do with the patched tire. There we have an address of a repair shop that has new tires and where the BMW can be serviced.
When we pick up the bike, we throw a lunch for the whole trucking camp and You Song displays her acupuncture skills. Everyone has a back-pain or knee pain or a tight neck. Then say goodbye to Hassan, the partisan. Two days rest in front of us and a bit of sightseeing in Samarkand.