Baku to Samarqand in a nutshell

Well the team is in Samarqand, Uzbekistan safe and sound despite some anxiety on the part of those of our fans who are related to us. We haven’t had internet in about 5 days and then only now discovered that our mobile tweets hadn’t been going through to the website.

We made it to Baku at dawn after driving through the night the day after crossing in to Georgia. Eventually we got on board the ferry about 2am Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. There was much strife and hilarity here but I have to abbreviate in order to catch up. The boat took all that night and half of the next day. Just when we seemed to be getting close to land we stopped and dropped anchor.

So close, yet so far

So close, yet so far

The boat stayed anchored off Turkmenbashi until Thursday morning before we pulled in to port. Entering Turkmenistan took about 8 hours of going to different windows and paying fees (about $420 to get us and the car in to the country, not counting the $625 ferry ride).

Uneventful drive across Turkmenistan. We stayed Thursday night in Ashgabat, Turkmenbashi’s (the former leader) monument-city to himself. We took a few pictures despite being acosted by the military police and told to delete them.

All hail Turkmenbashi!

All hail Turkmenbashi!

Earthquake memorial with golden baby Niyazov

Earthquake memorial with golden baby Niyazov

Market in Turkmenabat on our way out of Turkmenistan

Market in Turkmenabat on our way out of Turkmenistan

We stayed another night (Friday) in Mary, Turkmenistan, then met a few other teams at the border crossing in to Uzbekistan at Farap on Saturday midday. We saw Bukhara briefly yesterday afternoon before driving on to Samarqand, arriving about 1am. We’re staying with Sarah’s friend Aziza’s family.

We spent today seeing the sights around Samarqand. Uzbekistan is a pretty amazing place, and one I (andrew) didn’t know anything about. I guess that’s a bit what this whole thing is about.

Sher-Dor Mosque

Sher-Dor Mosque

The crew rests at Shah-i-Zinda

The crew rests at Shah-i-Zinda

We’re spending tonight in Samarqand again with Aziza and her family, eating delicious osh plov. Then tomorrow we’re on to Tashkent.

3 Comments

  1. Ron Cole says:

    The port at Turkmenistan sounds pretty exciting (and expensive). We were starting to think you 4 had been swallowed up in a river crossing…thx for the newsy update.

  2. Angie says:

    You can blame the tweets not getting through at least partially on Twitter. It was shut down for the better part of a day, and my tweet freaking out at you for being incommunicado also didn’t get through. (It’s still not working for me.) Facebook and livejournal were down too. Some professor in Georgia was posting his story from when Russia attacked, which prompted somebody to cause and denial of service attack to all the websites where he had a presence. !!!

  3. Samantha Cullen says:

    Sounds like an amazing adventure. Hope the car keeps going without all parts needing replacement. Enjoying following your progress from cold and wet Melbourne – all seems very exotic (and challenging) from here!