Monday, June 22, 2009
Of Uzbekistan: There's Gold in Them Thar Desert Wastelands
After our side-trip to the mountains some cousin of my host family took me, along with the unmarried son of the family, down to Bukhara, which was probably a four-hour trip by car. We made a couple stops along the way, including one spot out in the middle of nowhere where people were mining for gold by hand, pictured above. They had dug out tunnels by hand in the desert floor, bringing up buckets of dirt which they ran through a little sluice and then used a pan to sift out the gold flakes. It was technologically the equivalent of 1849 in California, except for the motorcycle.
We eventually made it to Bukhara, after stopping at every road junction along the way to ask someone which road went to Bukhara. And we eventually made it to my hotel by asking someone for directions every fifty feet in the town and still going the wrong way half the time.