(8.6.2012)”What the fuck is that?” Paul suddenly sits upright on his mattress and looks to the east where the sun had set about two hours before. I look in the same direction and what I see makes my heart jump out of my chest and a feeling of absolute weakness and powerlessness falls over me.
We had decided to sleep in the prairy without tent this time. There were no mosquitos or sandflies around, no clouds to be seen anywhere and no thunderstorms chasing us. But now, only minutes after the decision, I see a huge cloud at the horizon that is shining bright. It’s getting bigger and bigger. “Paul”, I said, “what is that, it looks like a nuclear blast”. I did not expect him to know actually but hoped that he would have something else to offer. He doesn’t answer but takes the camera out of the bag and starts filming. While the cloud piled up bigger and higher in the night sky we think about other explanations, UFO’s, solar reflections in the sky or else. Suddenly the cloud shrinks together to the size of a big and enormously bright star. From this center three spiraling light-arms followed by two light rings spread over the nightsky from the one horizon to the other within seconds. We look at each other. We both haven’t seen such a light show in the sky ever before. It made me feel so small.
The light effects are gone now, just a glow at the horizon is left. I get the bottle of vodka, which we bought for special occasions and take a deep zip. If this was to be the end of the world or aliens coming for us I don’t want to leave without even testing the vodka. On the one hand I am glad that it is over, on the other I want to see it again to make me believe that it was real. “Give me the camera” I say to Paul.” I need to know if I was just dreaming or awake”. The camera showed that it was more than real, even that bright that a camera could capture it at night, easily. We lie down and talk about explanations for the event, it ends up in a bunch of wild guesses for we really don’t have a clew what it could be. I fall asleep and have a wonderful, refreshing night.When I wake up the next morning my brain suggests that I in deed was dreaming but the camera proofs the opposite. I check my skin for signs of alien treatment or nuclear rays but everything is normal, even Paul has the same sleepy look, no three green eyes to be seen.
The day before we had spent building and repairing stuff on our bikes and decided to stay near Aral one more night. This morning we will go back to Aral to get some more water and food. We meet some Dutch guys which change our euro-coins to dollarbills so we don’t have to carry that with us any more. On the way out we meet two French people, a man called Guillom and a women, Peggy, from France.
They drove from Paris to India in their Citroen 2CV, also called the Dug, and are now on their way back. We have a really nice talk standing in a sandy desert road while the wind is speeding up and throwing up sand in the air. When we finish talking an hour later little dunes have built up in front of the car and the bikes. We laugh about it and decide to drive on before we will be covered in sand completely. Talking to these guys was really fun.
The road is getting worse again but the wind takes grip of us, like our father did when we were young, and pushes us 60 km further. We find a place to sleep next to the road. Again we decide to sleep without tent.
It’s was a very dusty night. The wind had nearly stopped and the trucks started driving their nightshifts. The dust from the road was carried right to us. Our noses already began itching before we went to sleep and when we woke up this morning with swollen eyes and noses. Next time we will sleep on the other side of the road, where the wind carries the dust away.
Buy the way, it really was a test of a nuclear weapon (see picture) Russia had tested an new long distance nuclear missile in Kazachstan, of course without nuclear materials inside. The blast was still seen in Iran and Afghanistan so no wonder that we had a spectacular view on the event. A once-in-a-lifetime experience.
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