Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Today was so much better than the day before. The headwind still blew but nowhere near as hard. My fears of a nightmarish slog through Turkmenistan receded a little.

From the camping spot the road rose up over the range of hills I'd observed the day before & opened up a vista of similar ranges, looking like rows of sharks teeth. It was an awesome sight. The land didn't look very hospitable to human habitation. I passed a number of abandoned settlements though others looked as if they'd been used not so long ago, perhaps by nomads who'd moved on.

After the hills were behind me the land totally flattened out & became more & mode desert-like. This didn't last as soon I arrived in Sarakhs with its cultivated fields, not like an oasis as in the towns around Tabas but like the villages of the steppe that I'd passed through the day before.

I'd hoped to stay in a hotel, my guidebook said there was something cheap near the customs & immigration point however this place seemed to have closed & the only alternative was an expensive place in town. I'd have stayed there but for the need to change too much to do so. Instead I camped by a field near the border. I changed a little with a Turkmen truck driver & got a bunch of advise on the road as well as costs & the current black market rate on the currency.

I cycled 111 km in 7 hours & 1 minutes
Total so far 5942 km in 83 days
GPS Coordinates of end point - N 36°31.490, E 61°09.962

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