Next stop on our journey Samarkand. The biggest Silk Road city here in Uzbekistan. Unfortunately that meant another day of driving and not a lot of fun stuff to do. The only remarkable thing that happened was that we got our first speeding ticket. The corrupt cops wanted us to pay $100 before they changed their request to 100.000 som, which is about $30 and still probably 10 times as much as a local would pay. But what can you do, we are traveling around a police state after all and we didn’t get a ticket or got in problems with the cops for about 16,000 kilometers. When we arrived in the city we immediately went out for a food and booze hunt. More challenging than we expected. We visited a couple of shops but drinking doesn’t seem to have a high priority here in Uzbekistan. Rather disappointing. After a lot of rejections we found a shop that had what we wanted. We thought we would give a Uzbeki red wine another chance after that disaster we had in Khiva. This time a dry one. It was a bad decision.
The plastic-corked wine was dark red and smelled as it was stored in a trough to rot and die. The taste reminded me of the glue you use to build plastic model planes. It was chemically, stale and bitter with hint of sweetness that didn’t manage to make the wine drinkable. It had 11% but who cares, this wine is absolute shit. Another low point in the country’s wine selection.