A day of rest is just what the doctor ordered and we spend it lounging around in hammocks in the hostel’s massive garden, before climbing up the massive sand dunes to watch the sunset.

Remember the guys in the Range Rover Sport? Our guide decides to take a day trip with them (I politely decline as I want to do our laundry and not die at the hands of some maniac rich kid in an overpowered car). At 8.30, when we get back from the sand dunes she’s still not back so we head into town for dinner alone and make the god awful mistake of accidentally ordering sheep’s stomach (this is why you need a guide).

When we get back to the hostel, it’s 11pm, she’s still not back, but she’s called to say she’ll meet us in the morning at 9. We go to bed giggling to ourselves. When we get up the next morning, the dishevelled young girl has barely slept. They got ANOTHER flat tyre, and had to wait in the freezing cold until 3am for someone to come and fix it. The poor little duck, but my god, sounds like these guys need to stop aiming for the broken glass and slow down over the pot holes.

We drive to Hami the next day The driving now has become particularly boring expressway lined either side by grey/brown scree deserts. The most exciting bits are petrol stations and the ‘Learn Russian in 60 minutes’ CD which we’ve been studiously tuning into.