During three weeks of research in Uzbkekistan we have already spent at least 50 hours in long-distance share taxis and buses.
Better not to think about traffic safety
The best option on the more or less bumpy roads is to fall asleep on the back seat immediately as the drivers speed over potholes and past country bumpkins on brakeless bicycles. Once Isa looked up briefly from her slumber to notice how the driver had hooked his safety belt over the handbrake, probably to appear law-abiding at of the many police checkpoints. Better not think about traffic safety.
Gratefully, the road between Buchara and Beruni / Khiva has been greatly improved this year, about half of it being completely rebuilt and the other half repaired. Alas, the sanitary facilites are still awaiting similar improvements.
Long-distance bus travel is generally far worse than the share taxis, though. We boarded the bus to Moynak a full 90 minutes before its departure, but already boxes of peaches had been installed under every seat, and a medley of rice bags, machinery, iron rods, vegetables, furniture and peasants were to follow, chewing tobacco, gossiping about the other passengers, and asking us about prices in Moscow because that was obviously where we were from.
Minubuses or Marshrutka
The minibus to the village of Sentyab, on the other hand, left before it was full, since all the passengers whom the driver expected were there. We then made a detour to collect a whole mud-brick oven to be fixed on the roof, and
continued at a pace of 40 km/h to the village.
The new Uzbekistan high-speed train
And finally the new high-speed train between Tashkent and Samarkand started operating.