Tales from Turkmenistan

Our exit from Iran took place up in the mountains which was good for two reasons, there was a bit of a cooling breeze which helped in the stifling heat and also nice views to admire as we ended up spending several hours just waiting and therefore much time was spent admiring those same views. The combination of exiting a strict Islamic country and entering a former Soviet republic with the attendant paranoia that often surrounds them meant that we were not in for an easy crossing. Four weeks into our journey and already everyone is seasoned enough to bring food and drinks as well as books to the border post with them. Computer failures added to our misery and meant it was a longer wait than usual and then suddenly we were saying hello to Turkmenistan where the Customs guys grumbled loudly at having to suddenly process temprorary imports for 13 motocycles but it’s amazing how efficient it made them as they watched the clock with one eye whilst completing our forms with the other.
Not much is known about Turkmenistan, and actually there isn’t a whole lot to see. It’s got a lot of desert and not much else. Tourism is actively discouraged as demonstrated by the visa process which is both long and complicated. For most people it’s a transit route to the rest of the ‘Stans.