Day 36 - Bukhara, Uzbekistan

Kublai Kooks - Mongol Rally 2017
Day 36 - August 20, 2017
Bukhara, Uzbekistan
Countries: 25 KMs/Miles: 13501/8438
Breakdowns: 14 Time @ Borders: 44h 0m

Morning saw the Kooks rise a little slow as they weren’t in any rush to face YACKS and her latest issue. They mulled it over a tasty hostel breakfast and decided to crack on to Dushanbe where they could get some higher quality petrol and hopefully have a better chance of diagnosing & solving whatever the problem with her engine may be. But first, sightseeing.

Kathy and Mirjam had kindly offered their services as tour guides for the Kooks since they had spent the previous day taking in the Bukhara sights and were now practically locals. Bukhara was quite a surprise to these unsuspecting Kooks With market laden alleyways, beautiful mosques and shisha cafes, they were finally getting a glimpse of what they had anticipated Central Asia to look like.

Walking through the city in the desert heat had drummed up the Kooks appetite and they found a café to fill their stomachs and quench their parched throats with some cold beers. With Dushanbe near and nobody exactly thrilled to be behind the wheel of YACKS, the Kooks enjoyed their lunch and a late start was to be the result.

Back at the hostel, the Kooks bid farewell to their tour guides and set off to fill the jerrycans with just enough petrol to make it to Dushanbe and not a drop more. No benzine to be found. Shit. The Kooks would not miss this inconvenience when Uzbekistan was in their rear-view mirror. Hesitant to trust any petrol from the local’s ‘stash’, the Kooks headed back out of town to brave the horrendous roads from the previous night and get to the petrol station that had served them before.

After filling up, John, ever thinking of YACKS dying groans, once again had an idea and went about testing the one-way valve. Although it appeared as broken as the rest of the car, it was not the culprit and left the Kooks scratching their heads once more.
With the rest of the Kooks being mechanically imprudent (up until this point many had barely even changed a tire), sometimes important feedback to John can be lapsed because it is just not deemed ‘important’ to the others. Many just prefer to turn the music up when the car grumbles at them. This was one of those instances and a small piece of information came to John’s attention that had not been previously made aware. Millie had seen YACKS coughing up blue smoke earlier that day. Immediately John knew the problem, YACKS was burning fuel and her piston was f*cked. Not an easy fix made even more difficult in a country lacking Skodas. Kooks had a real problem. Back to the hostel, Dushanbe would need to wait.

Beers divvied amongst the troops at the round table, the options were weighed. As the rounds increased, the option which rose above the rest was the work of some real creative brainstorming. Cut YACKS in half, attach a tow-bar and register her as a trailer. Five would jam in Millie with their gear in YACKS. Genius. The beers were definitely working.

Kathy and Mirjam returned from their daily excursion and were happy to see the Kooks but felt pity on their situation. Seeing the Kooks so disheartened, the girls dragged the boys out by their rubber arms for dinner, drinks and Shisha. Just what the boys needed and soon the vodka shots were being dispersed as the attitudes were lightening and the worries shed.

Eventually the Sunday night merriment wore on the tired restaurant staff and the bill was handed out while the lights were turned off. The Kooks and girls were not ready for bed though, that would only bring them closer to tomorrow and tomorrow’s problems that they were ever eager to put off.

The French are often given a bad rep of being ‘pompous a-holes’. The Kooks know this not to be true but on occasion they are still guilty of stereotyping when a French accent is within earshot. An Uzbek local barking French to them from across the restaurant immediately hit the group the wrong way. As it would turn out though, this guy was indeed an A-hole. Promises were made by the French speaking Uzbek that a late-night disco was near and the weary Kooks agreed to the venture since the girls wanted to check it out and frankly the lads wanted to kick on too.
Everyone managed to pile into two clown cars that would do the circus proud and made their way to the supposed ‘disco’. All back alleys exasperated and no disco found, the French turd with his empty promises was wearing the Kooks nerves. The group told their French captor to politely ‘F*ck Off’ and everybody piled into a friendly local’s van to head back to the hostel.

The rest of the evening is a bit blurred to the Kooks and thankfully their vodka stash was not discovered. Sober level-headed Kooks must have hidden the bottle from their unruly counterparts. Those Bastards. End Transmission.