Blogs from Mary, Turkmenistan, Asia


Asia » Turkmenistan » Mary August 20th 2016

BORDER CAMP TO DESERT CAMP. 17 AUGUST 2016. My stage 4 TDA stage 77 Distance: 80.3 Kms SubT. Kms 474.1. kms Road Condition: 50% broken road/deep potholes, 50% decent bitumen. Weather: 39c blue sky Time in Saddle: 3:20:29 hrs Av Speed: av. 24 kph. Av Cadence. 66 Rpm Elevation: 255 m up; 225 m down Calories burned : >5000. Ate Breakfast at 6.30, departed at 7.30, entered Border Post, 50 m away at 9am, left border at 2 pm. Endless bureaucratic nonsense on Uzbek side, checking you had declared all money spent, retained against what was brought into country. Then on Turkmen side, thorough x ray and baggage and vehicle checks. On road in heat of day. rode to a hot restaurant lunch, not bad, but didn't entice afternoon riding! Road in afternoon average, the broken ... read more

Asia » Turkmenistan » Mary September 21st 2015

Our last impression of Uzbekistan was, like our first, pretty good. The border guards gave us no hassle, were friendly, and reasonably quick. Perhaps we were just lucky. It was pretty much the same on the Turkmen side although they did the most thorough search of our bags so far. From getting out of the taxi in Uzbekistan to getting into the car in Turkmenistan took about an hour and a half – not too bad by local standards. First stop in Stan 4 was Kunye Urgench for some (more) mausoleums. The Turkmens take a different approach to the Uzbeks, rather than restoring historic buildings they just stop them falling down, although perhaps not as spectacular we thought it worked better. Then we were off on another long desert crossing, this time the Karakum, to our ... read more
Door to Hell
Door to Hell
Door to Hell

Asia » Turkmenistan » Mary August 6th 2015

Geo: 37.6621, 61.7596The roads deteriorated fairly rapidly,, the buildings looked decidedly different and nothing was obvious. We had some direction from a cyclist indicating we could get local currency in a Paint shop in the next village. Sure enough we followed his directions, got some money and were on our way. Iran was hot, Turkmenistan is hotter, wow indescribable.We drive slowly to Mary as there are next to no street signs and our mapping software has no details for Turkmenistan. The Russians have built irrigation channels all thought the border sections of the country which look pretty inviting. We pull up near one and there are some locals swimming. Still reeling from the Islamic thing it is weird to see people relaxing in not full clothing, we strategically sit in the shade and wait for them ... read more

Asia » Turkmenistan » Mary October 1st 2014

Sept 27 - 28 Mary/Merv This morning we were set to visit Gonur Depe, an ancient settlement that dates back to 7000BC !!! A two hour journey from Mary in a 4WD vehicle, to Gonur regarded by the Russian archaeologist Sarianidi who discovered the site in 1971 as 'one of the greatest civilisations on the world', this site was the birthplace of Zoroastrianism. There is evidence of four fire temples on this huge site which is surrounded by city walls. There is some limited excavation going on which has revealed an astonishing scale of housing, temples, palaces, kitchens, pottery firing ovens. By 3000BC, this civilisation had moved they think because of the changed river direction which left the area barren. We were amazed at the lack of protection as it was possible for us to walk ... read more
Merv -Erk Qala 6thC Achaemenid city
Merv - Domed roof of Mausoleum of Sultan Sanjar
Gonur Depe - horse Skelton fossilised

Asia » Turkmenistan » Mary May 25th 2014

Asia » Turkmenistan » Mary September 26th 2001

Early morning rise and checkout, and then a quick transfer to the airport. The flight is at 6.40, the check in procedure is chaotic and after the worst security inspection on this side of the new millennium we yet again carry our own bags to have them loaded on the waiting AHTOHOB AH-24 turboprop. At least the commotion helps ensuring that I don't doze off and sleep through the flight missing out on the fun. We are headed to the eastern city of Mary where we will do some sightseeing before boarding a bus and drive towards the Uzbek border and make it to Bukhara sometime in the evening. I have a fun if somewhat limited conversation with a girl named Nadja who is returning home from a holiday trip to Iran. Apart from her stylish ... read more
Feerbluud on the loose!
These hills hide a lost city
Apparently close to paradise

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