Published: October 3rd 2007April 22nd 2007
From Tolkuchka Bazaar we drove for hours and camped somewhere in the desert, pitched our tents and we started cooking our meal, come night time Ata came back with this big tractor thing that transported us that night to the Darvasa gas sraters, it is better to view it at night as it would seem more dramatic, the trip to get there is very uncomfortable, bumpy ride, got there and was really impressive sight, after about more than half an hour we try to get back to the camp but got lost many times, the truck plowing through everything in sight, the wooden fence in front we were hanging on to broke and me and Noel got thrown in the back I have to grab and hold on to Angus' leg, until we got back safely to camp. From there the next morning a 12 hours plus trip to Kunye Urgench to a Korean run homestay we got lost really bad as the roads were being repaired, lots of detours, we asked for directions in a small village and we amused the kids by playing frisbees with them. When we got to the farmstay, we had supper at a big room,
food laid out on the carpet floor, Tony and Claire had to fix a leak in the truck so they did not get to dinner until late, I saved all left over bread and fruit but they forgot about the fruit and it ended up not being eaten. The pit toilet is miles away so it was really a big trip to just get to the loo. Next morning packed up and visited some famous religious places in town, mausoleums and what nots, then off to the border where my bag was searched thoroughly at the Uzbek side by two giggling women border patrol officers, they asked about all that I have in my bag, underwear and protection, obviously they have not a clue what they are for. Due to long wait we some ended up needing to use the loo at the Uzbek side of the border including me, quite a shit hole literally. We got bored so we started playing frisbees with the local kids who works as porters, we were having so much fun the border guards got upset and told us to stop, and he shooed all the kids away from the truck after some of
the border guards also started joining in the play. Finally it has ended bye Ata and welcome Jalol our guide for Uzbekistan.
There are more photos below