When we woke up the temperature had dropped vastly to a chilly 24C which had some of the team contemplating a hoody for the first time in weeks. A short 70km drive got us to the Capital of Uzbekistan, Toshkent.
We took the opportunity of the large city to stock up on provisions. This also included a dash across a main road dodging a torrent of Daewoo Matizes. Uzbekistan has a plague of these little abominations racing through the streets overtaking, undertaking and cramming in every little gap in the traffic. It also turns out most of their drivers are blind and have no qualms in driving full pelt at pedistrians crossing roads.
Having restocked we made our way to the closest border crossing to Kazahkstan. Unfortunatly a lot of the borders crossings were for pedestrians only requiring us to drive almost back to our morning campsite to find a vehicle crossing. On reaching our third border we found that the guards were taking a lunch break which required us to stop just short of the gates. When the guards finally opened the gate to the customs area, Endeavour required it’s usual push start. This was promptly followed by the Immobiliser in Adventure refusing to deactivate, causing us to push the second ambulance through the gates as well, much to the guards’ amusement.
Our time at the border did give us a chance to try and sort some of the problems that were plaguing us. The immobiliser turned out to require a small amount of soldering in the no-mans land between the Uzbek-Kazahk borders, much to our relief.
We watched another Mongol rally team go through customs where the guards insisted on them taking there bags out to take through the Xray scanners. We had little concern of having to make this effort as the state of the ambulances would require a search and rescue team complete with sniffer dogs and climbing ropes to find our personal belongings.
Just as we had thought the guards took one look in the back, laughed and waved us through. They were however fasicinated by Rich’s hair trimmers which they were very insistent on sorting out Neil’s ‘Hair Problem’, much to his dismay.
After passing through successfully after four hours at the border, we spent a further hour driving in Kazahkstan before camping in field next to the main road with some donkeys for company.