We'd envisaged Moynaq being a dying, decaying ghost town but the reality was quite different. The population was bigger and younger than we'd expected and whilst there were quite a few abandoned buildings and not that many shops, restaurants etc there was plenty of activity. There are programmes underway to increase the number of newly created lakes and wetlands around the town and to offset some of the environmental problems caused by dust and sand from the dried up seabed. It's unlikely to ever again be the thriving place it once was but things look to be on the up. It was a pleasant surprise.
The film, exhibits, and photos we were shown in the small museum really brought home the enormous changes that have happened to the Aral Sea over the last 50 years. Our visit to the ships graveyard was fantastic but because the sea is now so far away (a couple of hundred km !!!) it was a surreal experience that felt a bit out of context. It must have been really dramatic when the sea itself was still visible but not reachable by boat.