Catching up after almost a week without internet connection
We rode across
The 600km ride to Ashgabat was then quite pleasant and landscapes were mostly deserts and a few scattered small towns with little to no infrastructures. Petrol was very cheap – about $0.30 per liter – and police checks plentiful. We met with friendly locals and got introduced to a few traditional dishes (see pictures for more details). The Arrival in Ashgabat was then quite a shock… literally an oasis of wealth with very grand brand new buildings and parks with water falls at every street corner. Pictures of the dictator were everywhere! We are not into geopolitical commentaries but when most of the country lives on very low standards, this clearly does not seem like a good use of public money (mostly petrodollars).
We then spent 2 days crossing the Karakum desert – first on a decent road but we then had fairly difficult riding conditions on a mix of sand, gravel and decomposing tarmac. Struggled a lot in the sand dunes and realized that our bikes are still way too heavy… The ride left us exhausted but the overnight stop in the Darvaza oasis was well worth it! Amazing camping site and the lava crater was very impressive.
Heading for the Uzbek border, we stopped at Konya-Urgench, one of the jewels of Turkmen tourism and once one of the greatest Islamic cities before Genghis Khan arrived and decided to destroy pretty much everything.
The exit of
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