In Turkestan, cheerful town on the Silk Road, we see the Mausoleum of Khawaja Ahmed Yasawi, one of the few historic buildings in Kazakhstan, the bazaars, beautiful and chaotic and a lovely square with a fountain where the kids are taking a bath. We are also tempted, but in a rare moment of wisdom, we desist.
Here we finally find a stereotyped silk road atmosphear, indeed this city has a long history, dating back to the 3rd millenium BC, and was an headquarter of the Timurid emipre, Timur itself commisioned the mausoleum, dedicted to a Sufi mysitic and poet who lived during the XI century, and who's name was indeed Khawaja Ahmed Yasawi.
We leave the city and cycle until the heat is overwhelming, which happens fairly quickly, and then we get on a last truck to Shimkent. The driver is crazy, drives like a Georgian and sings. Finally we can ride! we had done a little bit less than 3000km in a week and we have 8 days left to get to Kyrgyzstan, we should make it in time.
They road begins to ascent, and the landscape starts to change, there are even some trees and small rivers, we wash our bodies by a rivulet very cute but freezing.
We sleep there, it is the first wet place in a long while. We meet a man with a ton of kids around him, they're curious but not intrusive.
Today we climb, climb, climb, but luckily the temperature is not exagerated. This is one of the few more inhabited areas of Kazakhstan. At the top begins a long descent that takes us to a beautiful park of olive trees along a river where a woman on a bicycle is fishing.
We sleep well, and ride for almost a hundred miles, cross Taraz, where it seems there is not much to see except the pretty waitress of the restaurant where we stopped to eat the usual fried eggs (Daniele got some pasta with sheep, way better). Along the way we stop for an ice cream in a gas station, we get to talk with people there, they offer us a beer and that after "Sto chilometra" "mnoga marijuana iest."