Uzbekistan into Kazakhstan

Uzbekistan to Kazakstan. We entered at the pedestrian only crossing 25km past Tashkent. Maybe we would never have crossed the border had it not been for the guards clearing a passage for us through the surging crowds. The guards were not so gentle, at one point grabbing a man by the scruff of his shirt, yanking him as he moved in front of me. 2 women actually climbed over Li and her bike before I angled my bike and extended both arms as a barrier. The crowds were insistent in their forward motion, one woman fighting with a soldier toting a machine gun. She continued to yell, arm holding a stringed box as she strained towards Kazakstan. The man with the machine gun held strong to the string so they were at a stand still, her box in between. The soldier was young, the woman old and determined, both unpredictable, but I would not have wanted to go up against that woman, even with a gun.
With aid of the guards we were squeezed through, not a second thought of queue jumping as there was no queue.
Border control did not request to see our multiple slips of paper, registration slips and the reason we had decided not to ride large sections of Uzbekistan. Only hotels catering to foreigners will register you and there could be 400….500 kilometres between hotels. However riding to the border, we came to another of the hundreds of police check points across Uzbekistan. We were stopped…..passports……registration papers……they scrutinised every slip, counting and re counting the dates to make sure they added up. Our passports returned…..mine requested again, the police wanted to look at the Kangaroo on the coat of arms before we were sent our way.
Apart from travel blogs, there was very little up to date information about travel trough Uzbekistan. Even the Lonely Planet guides are 3 years old and out of date….but what information we could find warned of the dangers of the police, corruption, bribes, stealing passports, money, equipment not correctly declared on forms difficult to discipher. Were we carrying legal medication? We were somewhat scared,…..fears strengthened as we witnessed locals paying bribes to police on many occasions.
Fortunately we had no problems, passports checked only once during a bus journey despite constant stopping at road blocks.
Our equipment was x-rayed upon exit and with a friendly wave from the soldiers were moved on.

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