We just arrived in Uzbekistan today. We got up at 6AM at our guest house in the Fan mountains, hit the museum at Panjikent, saw the ruined ancient city of Panjikent, crossed the border, and took a taxi to Samarkand. We are in a lovely guest house that costs twice what anything in Tajikistan did but apparently they get electricity for 24 hours a day, water comes out of the taps, the shower is warm, the staff speaks English, and the toilet is something you sit on instead of a couple of boards over a hole in the back yard.
We will be here for 2 days and then catch a train (we love trains) to Nukus in the far NW of the country. From there we may go to check out the ruined ships in the Aral Sea, before heading to the ancient silk road cities of Kiva, Bukhara, and then back to Samarkand. On October 22nd we catch a flight from Tashkent to Turkey and on to South Africa, where the second half of our adventure will begin.
As usual, the Internet sucks, so don't expect any photos. We tried to mail photos back from Tajikistan on CD for my mom, but it is illegal to mail CDs out of the country. Luckily you can take them over the border by hand:-)