After an 18-hour long ferry journey across the Caspian Sea we made it to Turkmenistan. Land of police checkpoints, lovely people and pothole hell!
7 flat tyres we had on our trip across the country. The first 4 within the first 200 km. This meant we no longer had any spares! We were also in the middle of what looked like a desert even if it wasn’t.
We ended up putting the car into the back of a Russian equivalent of a British Army Bedford truck and took it down to Ashgabat. A long slow journey which had the only advantage of meaning that we tended not to be stopped at checkpoints as they couldn’t see the car! Whilst it seemed an incredibly good idea at the time in retrospect it was a bit of a disaster as it caused enormous strain on the chassis and we had to stop to get some emergency welding done at the back of the car to stop it being torn in half!
This done we headed for the border thinking we were doing really well and got there at about 11.30 in the evening giving us half an hour before Stephen’s visa expired. Sadly the border was shut! Another night in the car approached. Stephen I think decided it was just too uncomfortable so set up his camping chair beside the car and I stayed inside.
The following day we crossed the border at 8 am where we discovered that whilst I was free to go… Stephen wasn’t! After spending some time on the phone with the British Embassy in Ashgabat it appeared that Stephen would almost certainly have to wait another day. Eventually, I decided that I would go on to Uzbekistan to try and get the chassis straightened and repair the damage to the Axel.
I am now happily in a rather nice hotel in Bukhara waiting for Stephen to catch up.