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Just keep pedalling

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As we move closer to another desert, this time in Turkmenistan, the topic discussed most frequently is the heat we can expect in the coming weeks. After struggling with freezing temperatures on the Pamir Highway we were greeted with balmy temperatures in Dushanbe and since then it has been getting progressively warmer.

During our last three rest days, two in Samarqand and one in Bukhara, it was apparent that the people here stay indoors during the day, and rightly so. When roaming the streets in daylight both cities seem like deserted places with only tourists and stallholders daring to face the heat, but when the sun disappears in the west these cities come alive. The streets are filled with children running around and people having cold drinks and there is no better place to be than in the main city square, drinking in the atmosphere.

But the anticipation of what to expect as we head toward Turkmenistan is looming large with 50 degrees Celsius being mentioned. As we have had a taste of things to come this past week after cycling in 40+ degrees this anticipation is not one of excitement but rather trepidation and planning on how to survive.

In the end though there is only one thing to do to get through the challenging parts and move toward greener pastures: Just keep peddling. This is exactly what we will do until we see the green grass of Turkey.

   — Catharina Robbertze


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