After more than two days sat in Atyrau police stations trying to sort the paperwork issue, I finally managed to acquire the necessary police report that I had lost my documents; something to show the border guards at least. This would have been virtually impossible without the help of Mark (honorary British Consul in Atyrau) and Tatiana, the interpreter he found for me. Big thanks to you both!
So, with document in hand, I fled town heading for the Uzbek border (with Nacho, who had caught me up again). Late-ish start and a long ride brought us to Beyneu, just 50 miles short of Uzbekistan. Stayed the night ready for the crossing the next day.
The final 50 miles was a very bad road, soft sand, corrugations, angry dogs and British cyclists (Leo, hats off to you fella!). We made the border and the crossing was remarkably smooth. My police letter and photocopied V5 did the trick.
Uzbekistan!! The road from the border through the desert was long and hot. Longer than anticipated and by nightfall we were well short of any civilization. We had hoped to get to Khiva, but that was not going to be possible. After meeting some Finnish bikers and more British cyclists, we had no option but to wild camp in the desert.
It was actually a nice peaceful night, but it still took most of the next day to finally arrive in the fabled Khiva.
Soundtrack: Belle & Sebastian - The Rollercoaster Ride