As with many of the settlements through which we’ve passed, Nukus was another sprawling affair with lots of wasted space between the mostly single story buildings. All this creating a very spread out town, with any trip requiring a ride in one of the many buses that are whizzing around. Bus! – actually a Beford Rascal Van. After looking in the guide book, we found that there was one main attraction in town and that it was actually around the corner from the hotel! After a 14 hour sleep we waited for the worst of the blazing heat to pass before heading over to the Savitsky Art Museum. It holds a collection of avant-garde Russian paintings that were deemed unfit by the Soviet Regime, and were rescued from destruction by Ivor Savitsky. Reviews rave about how inspiring and amazing this place is – maybe we were in the wrong frame of mind, it was OK, but like many things, not what you’d put up with in Europe – we rushed round before heading back to our air conditioned hotel!
With another desert section to cross before we could reach Samarkand, we decided to continue with our railway adventures and take the twice weekly train that was due to leave at 11am the following day. After a trip to the Bazzar to change some money (on the black market again), we jumped in the #54 Bedford Rascal bus and headed to the railway station to buy the tickets. Actually, they are not Bedford Rascals – Daewoo/GM now build them by their thousands in an Uzbek factory and sell them as the Damas, typically as a 7-seater!!