Iranian Contrasts

From the paddy fields in the north west past the beach resorts of the Capsian Sea to the pine forests rreminiscent of Switzerland and lots of bits of hot desert in between.

we've moved on now and we reached the little known country of Turkmenistan - what a weird place. A huge desert with a few towns including the fantasy city of Ashgabat, al white marbled splendour rising from the desert floor - I think everyone in the group just gasped with surprise when we saw it.

We quickly found the English pub - first alcohol since Turkey and they even had a football match showing on the telly - it was Manchester United versus Blackpool, who are always entertaining because their manager Ian Holloway is such a bizarre character.