From Angren, we entered a more hilly area. We rode beside the river Sirdaria, that replaces now the Aral sea to irrigate the coton fields. We stopped in the afternoon on a beautiful spot on the river, where we could swim, eat and rest, on our own, without having to socialize with uzbeks as there were none. Uzbeks are so friendly it gets tiring to talk to all of them, so we enjoyed a lot a bit of quietness.
The second part of the day had been the most physical one in a long time, with a 15 km ride to climb up a mountain to enter the Fergana valley. It was pretty steep and took us around 2 hours and a half to get to the top, where we had stunning sunset over the valley. There are plenty of soldiers in the area, as this region has been a rebel one over the years. Plus, we are very close to Tadjikistan, where fights had recently begun. We therefore had to show our passports many times during the day, which slowed us down, and couldn’t take pictures everywhere. Still, it was a pretty nice area.
We arrrived in the night on the other side of the mountain, and cycled downhill in the dark among the truck drivers. We stopped in another Chaikhana, asked if could sleep there, and set up our tents beside the restaurant, where the workers (all kids) where sleeping as well, in rather rusty conditions.