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Pictures of our 2nd Central Asia trip 2016 to Turkmenistan
- From Iran border at Bajgiran to Uzbekistan border near Khiva – May 6th to 10th, 2016
 
before:
Iran from the ferry port Bandar Abbas to Turkmenistan border near Ashgabat April 11th to May 6th, 2016
United Arab Emirates from Saudi Arabia border to Sharjah and the ferry to Iran January 12th to April 10th, 2016
Saudi Arabia from the ferry port Jeddah in transit to United Arab Emirates border January 9th to 12th, 2016
Sudan – from Ethiopia border to Suakin and the ferry to Saudi Arabia December 9th, 2015 to January 8th, 2016
afterwards:
Uzbekistan from Turkmenistan border in Dashoguz to Tajikistan border near Oybeck May 10th to 31st, 2016
Tajikistan Part 1 – from Uzbekistan border to Dushanbe – May 31st to June 18th, 2016
Tajikistan Part 2 from Dushanbe to the Kyrgyzstan border in Pamir – June 18th to 27th, 2016
Kyrgyzstan from Tajikistan border in Pamir to Kazakhstan border at Karkara June 27th to August 9th, 2016
Kazakhstan –  from Kyrgyzstan to Russia border – 9th to August 21st, 2016
Russia Part 2a – from Tretyakovo at Kazakhstan border via Lake Teletskoye to Gorno Altaysk – Aug. 21st to Sept. 26th, 2016
Russia Part 2b from Gorno Altaysk to the Mongolia border and back to the Ukraine border at Krupets – Sept. 26th to Nov. 11th, 2016
Ukraine Part 3 – from Russia border at Hlukiv to Odessa for shipping to Bintulu/Sarawak/Malaysia Nov. 11th to Dec. 5th, 2016
Myanmar (Burma) round trip (=start) – without our vehicle from December 26th, 2016 to January 22nd, 2017
3rd Rejuvenation of our LandCruiser FJ60/1982 in Miri/Sarawak/East Malaysia from 2/6-5/3/2017 + continuation from 7/18-9/22/2018
Borneo-Sulawesi-Moluccas-Papua Trip (=start) – from August 22nd, 2017 to May 27th, 2018
 
Turkmenistan Map
 
 
         Map of Central Asia
 
latest picture: May 9, 2016
  • click a picture to see details

 
 
 
 
 
 
001  May 6th, 2016: The Turkmen flag
is greeting us. Turkmenistan gained
independence from the Soviet Union on
October 27th, 1991. We got only a five
day transit visa for this country, longer
stays involve a compulsory guide
002  After the Turkmen customs,
stationed at 5'577 ft. [1'700m] altitude,
the view opens down the valley towards
direction Ashgabat, the capital. The
entry costs us US$24 on immigration
and US$115 on car fees
003  Road sign to Ashgabat –
the spruced up capital city of
gold and marble – right after
the customs building
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
004  The Turkmen State Puppet
Theatre with its golden domes was
built in 2005 at a cost of US$15m
005  A giant portrait of the current
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow
(62), governing since 12/21/2006,
in the city of Ashgabat
006  Tόrkmenbaşy Palace of the
former President of Turkmenistan
Saparmurat Niyazov in Ashgabat. The
palace is built of white marble. The
dome is gold-plated. Expense: US$80m
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
007  Side by side: Right the Ministry of
Health, left the Turkmen State Medical
University
008  Part of Ashgabat's monumental city
center that only developed in 1991 after the
independence of the country: Galkynysh
Square with a triumphal column crowned
with the globe and presidential standard
009  A street in Ashgabat with nostalgic
lighting. The blue domes belong to the
Ruhyύet Palace (Oguzhan Palace), the
official residence and principal
workplace of the president
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
010  The Independence Monument. The
design of the base was inspired by the
traditional Turkmen yurt, the tower by the
headgear worn by Turkmen girls. It is 387ft
[118m] high and consists of two numbers:
27 = day + 91 = year of independence
011  The Main National Museum of
Turkmenistan. The bronze colored pole in
front is the fifth-highest (436 ft. [133m])
flagpole in the world
012  The Independence Monument from
another angle. Due to the prohibition of
taking pictures of certain buildings it's
taken out of our LandCruiser. Guards
are stationed everywhere
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
013  Domes and wide roads without
traffic are part of the exuberant architecture
of Ashgabat – the city in white and gold,
with more than 1m people
014  Another unknown monument at a
roundabout in the desert southeast of the
Ashgabat ring road, out of the city
015  Everything is pompous in Ashgabat.
Even the street lights that line the
boulevards are eye-catching. Here on
the southern ring road Archabil Hwy.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
016  Garashsyzlyk Avenue with residential
houses towards the National Museum of
Turkmenistan in the South of the city of
Ashgabat
017  Even the signposts at the exit road
from Ashgabat to Mary in the East of the
country align with the white cityscape
018  A part of the borough (district) of
Kopetdag in the centre of Ashgabat still
under construction
 
 

 

 
 
 

 

019  The "humble" office building of
the borough of Kopetdag in Ashgabat
020  Two Turkmen ladies in festive
outfit are on their way to an event
021  Park-like enclosures surround
residential areas of Ashgabat
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
022  After leaving Ashgabat, we are
surrounded immediately by the Central
Asian Karakum desert. Heavy rainfalls
formed little lakes
023  Some camels are crossing our path
024  A complex protection made
from straw against the drifting sand
in the Karakum desert
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
025  After the grandiosity of the capital,
we experience a "tarred road", which does
not deserve its name: It is a combination
of broken asphalt, bumps and deep holes
026  One deep hole after the other. Hour
by hour Emil is balancing our LandCruiser
around the deep holes. Due to the constant
slalom drive, the speed drops to merely
20mph [32km/h]
027  After the challenging road, Emil grants
himself a break. The bad stretch until
Ruhybelent is almost 280mi [450km] long,
~110mi [~180km] north of Darvaza. There
forks the ~100mi [~160km] road to
Dashoguz in the East, which is a bit better
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
028  Our LandCruiser is looking for the
best track on the 5mi [8.5km] long sandy
drive to the Darvaza gas crater (gate of hell:
40.25248 58.43957) in the Karakum desert
029  A blooming wreath of flowers
(presumably a species of Allium or Phlox)
sprouting in the desert sand is a special sight
030  On the sandy track through the
Karakum desert to the Darvaza gas
crater our LandCruiser has no troubles:
2WD should be OK
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
031  The Darvaza gas crater, also called
"Door to Hell", is burning continuously
since 1971 and is situated about 170mi
[270km] from Ashgabat. Its total area is
about 57'600ft² [5'350m²], its diameter
230ft [70m] and its depth 98ft (30m)
032  Soviet engineers looked 1971 for oil,
found however a gas field, which collapsed
while drilling. Geologists deliberately set it
afterwards on fire to prevent the spread of
methane gas. That's the Turkmen version -
the Russian is different
033  In the darkness, the walls of
the burning Darvaza gas crater gleam
in a particularly intensive red
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Darvaza gas crater, also called "The Door to Hell" offers an exceptional setting to celebrate our 47th wedding day
034
035
036
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Three different faces of the Karakum desert. It is with 135'000 mi² [350'000 km²] –
depending on the source of counting – the 10th largest desert of the world
037
038
039
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
040  The intensely sparkling yellow of
the common yarrow flowers (Achillea
millefolium) at the pebbly roadside is
eye-catching
041  Emil's eyes gleam: After the dry
Islamic country of Iran he enjoys his mug
of beer to the fullest in a garden restaurant
in semidry Turkmenistan
042  A Yucca (Yucca) flower: In the
past, roots of yucca were used for the
manufacture of soaps and shampoos.
Actually, this plant is only native to
North America and the Caribbean
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
043  The Wedding Palace (Bagt Koshgi)
in Dashoguz in northeast Turkmenistan.
Dashoguz is the border town to
Uzbekistan 6mi [10km] away
044  Another impressive building with
a dome in Dashoguz in northeast
Turkmenistan: The Ak-Bazaar, today
nearly empty and abandoned
045  A typical Turkmen luxury palace:
The relatively new (2014)
5*-Hotel Daşoguz in Dashoguz. A room
 costs US$90 a night. We leave again!
 
N.B. Not one single time we have been controlled by the omnipresent police, only stopped once before the border city of
Dashoguz to invite us for lunch. In their hearts the Turkmen people are still "nomads" where hospitality is incorporated!
The African trip 2013-16:
CapeVerde: Santiago/Praia part 1 – November18th to December 13th, 2013
CapeVerde: Fogo – Dezember13th to 23rd, 2013
CapeVerde: Brava – December 23rd to 26th, 2013
Cape Verde: Santiago/Praia part 2 – December 26th, 2013 to February 28th, 2014
Cape Verde: Sγo Nicolau – February 28th to March 13th, 2014
Cape Verde: Sγo Vicente/Mindelo part 1 – March 13th to 20th, 2014
Cape Verde: Santo Antγo/Eastern side part 1 – March 20th to April 7th, 2014
Cape Verde: Santo Antγo/Western side part 2 – April 7th to 10th, 2014
Cape Verde: Sγo Vicente/Mindelo part 2 – April 10th to 29th, 2014
Namibia Part 1 – from Walvis Bay to Windhoek
Angola Part 1 – September 26th to October 4th, 2014
Angola Part 2 – October 4th to 22nd, 2014
Namibia Part 2 – from Windhoek to the Angolan border, back again and on to South Africa
South Africa Part 1 – from Namibia border to Capetown – January 22nd to February 23rd, 2015
3rd Major Repair of our LandCruiser FJ60 - 1982  (due to two broken sideshafts)
South Africa Part 2 – from Capetown to Tsitsikamma National Park – February 24th to March 13th, 2015
South Africa Part 3 – from Addo National Park to the Lesotho border – March 13th to April 7th, 2015
Lesotho – April 7th to 15th, 2015
South Africa Part 4 – from the Lesotho to the Swaziland border – April 15th to 23rd, 2015
Swaziland – April 23rd to 28th, 2015
South Africa Part 5 – from the Swaziland to the Botswana border  – April 28th to May 15th, 2015
Botswana
Zimbabwe
Mozambique
Malawi
Armed Robbery in Malawi on July 31st/August 1st, 2015
Tanzania
Kenya
Ethiopia Part 1 – from Kenya to Djibouti October 25th to November 18th, 2015
Djibouti October 18th to 27th, 2015
Ethiopia Part 2   from Djibouti to Sudan November 27th to December 9th, 2015
Sudan December 9th, 2015 to January 8th, 2016